Baltimore County delegate is out to stop ticket scalpers

January 15, 1993|By Tom Bowman | Tom Bowman,Staff Writer

Psssst! Wanna buy a ticket?

The call of the ticket scalper would be silenced under a House bill that would bar scalping.

Del. Leon Albin, a Baltimore County Democrat, said he was spurred to file the legislation when he heard about an incident last year in which someone who bought 100 Orioles tickets at $13 each sold them through a newspaper advertisement for $85 per ticket.

"I think it's wrong," Mr. Albin said yesterday, shortly before a hearing on the bill before the Economic Matters Committee. "I think it's unfair to the public. It's profiteering."

About 26 states have laws against scalping. Baltimore has a law against scalping tickets at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. A Prince George's County law bans scalping at the Capital Centre in Landover.

The proposed statewide law calls for fines of up to $500 for the first offense and up to $1,000 for a second. It would apply to amateur and professional sports events, as well as to such entertainment as plays, concerts and movies.

The measure also would apply to anyone from out of state who sells tickets to Maryland events. But the bill would exempt individuals who sell their tickets at face value, authorized ticket agents for organizations and nonprofit groups.

The bill would make a distinction between authorized agents and brokers, who buy blocks of tickets and sell them, often at higher prices. The latter would have to become licensed as vendors and could charge only the price of the ticket plus tax.

Authorized agents could levy a service charge of not more than )) $5 or 10 percent of the established ticket price. The bill sets no price limits for nonprofit groups, for example, groups that auction tickets.

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