Did you know that reselling tickets in Hawaii is completely legal, except for boxing matches? Or that in San Francisco you can go to jail for selling a ticket on the street but it’s legal to do so from your home? These are some of the of the peculiar laws I’ve encountered in my research of ticket resale laws across the United States in the past couple weeks.

Related Article: Guide to Buying and Reselling Tickets Online

Much like this sign, many US ticket resale laws are old and outdated.

There are a few states that haven’t bothered to update their resale laws in a while and are stuck with arcane legislation that doesn’t seem to bear much relevance to the present day. In Hawaii (Hawaii Revenue Statute § 440-17), Indiana (Indiana Code § 25-9-1-26), and Maryland (Maryland Code § 43-318), it is currently illegal to resell a ticket for a boxing match at more than its face value (according to the Maryland Code, this law only applies if you are an event “promoter”). Indiana also prohibits the resale of tickets to any sparring or other unarmed combat match for more than face value, while Maryland limits it to boxing, wrestling, and kickboxing. Selling a ticket for any other type of event is legal right now in those three states.

In Delaware (Delaware Criminal Code § 11-5-918), it is illegal to resell tickets above their face value price on the day before or day of an event at the Bob Carpenter Sports/Convocation Center on the South Campus of the University of Delaware or of a NASCAR Race held at Dover Downs, or on any major state or federal highway within Delaware. Theoretically, this means that it’s illegal to sell any ticket above its face value whenever there is an event going on at one of these locations even if you are on the opposite side of Delaware. While this sort of blanket legislation covers the state of Delaware for scalping around those venues on those days, the open-ended nature of the law may have unintended consequences for online secondary market sites.

Other states have modified or are looking to modify their ticket resale laws in order to keep their legislation relevant to the ever-expanding market of online ticket resale. Louisiana (Louisiana Revenue Statute § 4-1), for example, has mandated that online Internet resellers can sell tickets above their face value if they receive approval from the event and venue operators. Tickets cannot be resold on the street or an office in Louisiana for more than their face value price. In North Carolina (North Carolina General Statute § 14‑344.1), brokers who sell tickets in-person can only charge a service of up to $3 unless it is the first sale after the original sale and the resale price is agreed upon by the event sponsor. North Carolina ticket brokers who sell their tickets online, however, may sell tickets without a cap price unless an event venue prohibits resale by filing a notice with the Secretary of State.

Overall, I found laws in 29 states relating to ticket resale which fall into four pretty distinct categories: some states prohibit the resale of tickets outright (maybe with one or two exceptions), others strongly regulate ticket resale (which usually includes forcing resellers to obtain a license and follow a list of rules), some regulate it weakly (for example, by banning resellers from selling within a certain distance of the event venue), and others allow ticket resale with a couple limitations. Here are a few examples that fall into those categories:

  • Prohibits: A 1931 law in Michigan (Michigan Compiled Laws § 750.465) makes it illegal to resell a ticket above its face value price without the written consent of the event operator and venue operator. According to that same law, it is illegal to resell season tickets if they have the ticket holder’s name on them and the tickets state they are non-transferable.
  • Regulates strongly: In Illinois (720 Illinois Compiled Statute 375/1) in order to resell tickets, one must be registered with the Office of the Secretary of State as a “ticket broker.” Ticket brokers in Illinois must pay an annual registration fee of $100, sell tickets on a regular basis from a fixed location (away from an event venue), maintain a toll free number dedicated to consumer complains and inquiries, maintain a rebate fund of $100,000 in liquid assets or belong to a professional organization for 3 years, and refund purchases in full if the event is cancelled or the ticket doesn’t arrive on time.
  • Regulates weakly: New Mexico (New Mexico Statute § 30-46-1) makes it illegal to resell tickets for more than their face value unless there is an agreement between the event operator and the reseller about the amount the reseller can charge for service.
  • Allows: In 2007, Minnesota (2007 c 47) repealed an old 1963 law that made ticket scalping a crime. Now all ticket resale is legal in Minnesota.

Below is a table that shows ticket resale laws across the US state by state. Soon we are going to display this table as an interactive map, so stay tuned.

US Ticket Resale Laws by State

StateTypeStatute/LawImplications

Alabama Regulates (weak) ALAC § 40-12-167 People reselling tickets for more than the face value price must pay a $100 license tax
Arizona Allows w/ resctrictions ARS § 13-3718 It is illegal to sell tickets that were bought for the purpose of resale for more than face value within 200 ft of the event venue
Arkansas Prohibits AC § 5-63-201 It is illegal to sell tickets to any athletic event (including high school and college), any event where the proceeds go to charity, or any music entertainment event at more than its face value price
In the case of music entertainment, ticket holders may add a reasonable charge for handling/credit card processing
This statute does not apply to institutions of higher education that receives funds per ticket that are greater than the face value
California Allows w/ restrictions CPC § 346 It is illegal to sell tickets that were bought for the purpose of resale for more than face value on the grounds of the event venue without the written permission of the event sponsor
Colorado Allows w/ restrictions CRS § 6-1-718 Resellers must guarantee a full refund to the purchaser if the event is cancelled, the ticket does not provide purchaser admission to the event for which it was resold, the ticket is counterfeit or does not conform to its advertised description
It is illegal to set a term or condition of purchase that restricts the purchaser’s right to resell subscription/season tickets or hold onto some tickets while selling others
It is illegal to set a term or condition of purchase that restricts the reseller’s ability to by future tickets including season/subscription tickets
It is illegal to set a term or condition that imposes a sanction on the purchaser if they bought a ticket from a reseller not approved by the event operator
Event operators are not allowed to deny event access to ticket holders who bought their tickets from resellers (regardless of whether they hold a season/subscription ticket) solely on the basis that the reseller is not approved by the event operator
Connecticut Regulates (weak) CGS § 53-289a Resellers must disclose service charges when advertising tickets
CGS § 53-289b Resellers must refund purchasers the full amount if event is cancelled, ticket does not allow purchaser to attend event described, ticket fails to achieve described purpose
Resellers must provide purchaser with contact information (including their name) in order to allow purchaser to contact reseller if refund is necessary
CGS § 53-289c Prohibits selling tickets within 1500 ft of the venue on the day of the event; unless the ticket is sold for no greater than its face value price or the reseller maintains a permanent office within 1500 ft of the event venue (and they sell the ticket at their office)
Delaware Allows w/ restrictions DCC § 11-5-918 It is illegal to resell a ticket above its face value on the day preceding or day of an event at the Bob Carpenter Sports/Convocation Center on the South Campus of the University of Delaware or of a NASCAR Race held at Dover Downs, or on any state or federal highway artery within this State
Florida Regulates (weak) FS § 817.357 It is illegal for an individual to purchase more tickets than the original seller allows for one individual to purchase with the intent to resell
FS § 817.36 Resellers may charge only $1 more than the face value price for tickets to passage or accommodations on common carriers (except for travel agencies), multi-day/multi-event tickets to a park or complex, tickets sold on an internet site that does not meet statutory criteria, tickets issued by a charitable organization (not a third party contracted to sell the tickets on behalf of the charity)
Websites are only exempt from the $1 rule if they display the following information to the purchaser before the completion of the transaction: guarantees a full refund of the amount paid including extra fees if the event is canceled, purchaser is denied admission as a result of the ticket, ticket is not delivered pursuant to delivery guarantee and this results in purchaser not being able to attend the event
Websites that are exempt must disclose that they are not the issuer, original seller, or reseller of the tickets and that they do not control the ticket price
It is illegal to buy or sell a ticket at any price on the event property [except for the box office] without the express written consent of the property owner
Georgia Regulates (strong) GC § 43-4B-25a Aside from original purchasers who bought tickets for personal use and charitable organizations (see GC §§ 43-4B-29), it is illegal for anyone other than a registered ticket broker to resell tickets in excess of the face value price
Authorized ticket resellers can charge up to a $3 service charge for ticket resale
The event operator may sell or sanction, in writing, a service charge for ticket resale above $3 and the face value price if the amount of the service charge is specified in writing
GC § 43-4B-25b Event operators/sponsors may restrict the resale of tickets by giving a notice of restriction on the back of the ticket
GC § 43-4B-26 Ticket resellers must maintain a permanent office/business place in Georgia for the purpose of their ticket resale business, apply and pay an annual license fee of $500 for a ticket broker license and renew the license annually, and register for sales and use tax purposes pursuant to Article 1 of Chapter 8 of Title 48
GC § 43-4B-27 People who have been charged with a felony are not allowed to be ticket brokers or work as a manager for a ticket broker
GC § 43-4B-28 Ticket resellers must post a notice of the purchaser’s right to cancel the purchase their place of business, disclose their refund policy to the purchaser if an event is canceled, disclose to the purchaser in writing the difference between the face value of the ticket and the amount which the ticket broker is charging
Ticket resellers may only sell tickets at their permanent place of business or on the Internet; this does not include shipping tickets to the purchaser
Ticket brokers cannot employ anyone for the purpose of purchasing future event tickets
Ticket resellers and their affiliates are prohibited from acquiring and reselling more than 1 percent of the total tickets allocated for any event
Unless there is a written agreement between a reseller and purchaser, resellers are required to refund any ticket purchase if the purchaser returns the ticket and requests a cancellation within 36 hours of the time of purchase and if the return is made more than 72 hours before the event
Resellers are required to refund any purchase if the event is canceled and not rescheduled
If a broker guarantees in writing the delivery of a ticket to a purchaser and fails to complete that delivery, the broker must provide a full refund within 15 days and, in addition, pay the purchaser three times the amount paid
For venues that seat or admit less than 15,000 people, brokers and their affiliates are prohibited from reselling or offering any ticket within 1,500 feet of the venue
For venues that seat or admit 15,000 or more people, brokers and their affiliates are prohibited from reselling or offering any ticket within 2,700 feet from the venue
A broker offering to resell tickets to an event through a printed, broadcast, or Internet advertisement has to include their license number in the ad(s)
GC §§ 43-4B-29 No provision of this article or any other provision of law prohibits any original purchaser for personal from reselling or offering for resale any of their tickets for any price, provided that they do so outside of 2,700 feet of a venue that seats 15,000 or more people
Charitable organizations are not subject to these provisions when offering tickets for sale whose proceeds will benefit the organization’s charitable purposes
GC § 43-4B-29.1 It is legal for brokers and original ticket purchasers to resell tickets in the prohibited zones listed in subsections 43-4B-28 and 43-4B-30, if such resale is authorized by the event venue operator
GC § 43-4B-30 For any event (or a series of events within 10 days) that occur no more than once per year, the municipal corporation (or the county of unincorporated areas) in which the event is held is authorized to enact more restrictive regulations governing ticket resellers for those events
The municipal corporation (or county) in which an event is to be held, is authorized to prohibit the resale of tickets by a ticket broker or original purchaser within 2,700 feet of a venue which seats or admits 15,000 or more
Hawaii Allows HRS § 440-17 No ticket for a boxing match can be sold at more than its face value
Illinois Regulates (strong) 720 ILCS 375 § 1 Selling/bartering for tickets anywhere at an event venue aside from the box office is illegal; venues are allowed to sell their tickets at other locations at the face value price
Any attempt to limit resale is void if the sale conforms to subsections (b), (c), (d), and (e) of Sec 375/1.5; except for tickets for seats in sections designated for physical disabilities
720 ILCS 375 § 1.5 Brokers must be registered with the Office of the Secretary of State
Broker must sell tickets on an ongoing/regular basis at fixed/permanent locations within the state
Ticket sales must be the principle business activity at the locations where brokers sell tickets
Broker registration must be displayed at those locations along with a list of names and adresses of all the broker’s employees at those locations
Broker must comply will all federal, statewide, and municipal laws and has not violated this Act within the past 12 months
Broker must maintain a toll free number dedicated to Illinois consumer complaints and inquiries related to ticket sales
Broker must adopt a code that includes consumer protections guidelines, a standard refund policy, a resolution for the binding nature of consumer complaints by a third party, and professional conduct standards
Broker must maintain a rebate fund in Illinois in excess of $100,000 which must be liquid and readily available to distribute to satisfy valid consumer complaints
As an alternative to adopting the code and maintaining a $100,000 fund, the broker can certify that he/she belongs to an accredited professional association in the US that has operated for at least 3 years and is dedicated to maintaining the integrity of the ticket brokerage industry
Brokers or employees cannot sell tickets while sitting or standing near the event venue unless they own or lease the property
Brokers must comply with the Retailer’s Occupation Tax Act and pay any other taxes relating to their ticket sales
Brokers must pay an annual registration fee of $100
Interstate and intrastate online auction/distribution websites that sell tickets must adhere to similar guidelines as ticket brokers and must be registered with the Department of Financial and professional regulation
Resellers must refund purchasers the full amount if event is cancelled, ticket does not allow purchaser to attend event described, ticket fails to achieve described purpose, or the ticket isn’t sent
No reseller may refuse to sell tickets solely on the basis that the person is an authorized reseller
Any advertisement for tickets must contain the broker’s name and registration number
Indiana Allows w/ restrictions IC § 25-9-1-26 It is illegal to resell tickets to boxing, sparring, or any other unarmed combat matches for more than their face value
Kentucky Regulates (weak) KRS § 518.070 It is illegal to intentionally sell or offer to sell a ticket to an event for greater than the face value price unless authorized by the ticket issuer or by law
Louisiana Allows w/ restrictions RS § 4-1 All admission tickets must have the price of the ticket printed on the face
Tickets cannot be sold at more than their face value price except on the Internet
Tickets for athletic events at higher institutions can be sold by recognized affiliate organizations if the profit goes to benefit the institution
Tickets can be resold online at greater than their face value price if this action is approved by both the event operator and the venue operator
Online resellers must guarantee a full refund if the event is cancelled, the purchaser is denied access to the event as a result of the ticket, or the ticket is not delivered as was described on the website and this results in a denial of entry to the event
The refund guarantee must be posted on the website and purchasers must be directed to this guarantee before they make a purchase
Tickets for university sporting events cannot be sold online by Louisiana legislators or university students
Maryland Allows w/ restrictions MC § 43-318 Prohibits boxing, wrestling, and kickboxing promoters from allowing the sale of tickets for more than the admission price
Massachusetts Prohibits MGL § 140-185A Licenses are required in order to resell tickets for events, which become valid the first January after they are issued
Owners and others with a stake in the events cannot resell tickets
MGL c 140 §§185B There is an annual renewal fee resellers must pay for their licenses
MGL c 140 §§185D Resellers cannot charge more than $2 above the face value price unless that extra amount covers “costs…related solely to the procuring and selling of such ticket or other evidence of right of entry and not related to the general business operation of said licensee”
Service charges include, but are not limited to, charges for messengers, postage, and long distance telephone calls, extensions of credit and costs attributable thereto
MGL c 140 §§185G These laws do not apply to religions, educational, or charitable institutions that use the profits from ticket resales to further their organization’s goals
Michigan Prohibits MCL § 750.465 Ticket resale above the face value price is prohibited without the written consent of the event venue owner/operator
It is illegal to resell a ticket that was sold under restrictive conditions and at a lesser rate than the regular price (i.e. season tickets), if the ticket holder’s name is printed on the ticket and it states that the ticket is non-transferable
Minnesota Allows 2007 c 47 Repealed an old 1963 law (revised as recently as 2003) that made scalping a criminal offense (see old law for definitions of scalping)
Mississippi Allows w/ restrictions MCA § 97-23-97 It is illegal to sell tickets for a college athletic event or an event held on state property for more than the face value price
Missouri Allows MRS § 67-306 No city, county, or other political regulation/ordinance is allowed to prohibit the resale of tickets at any price for any event including any service fees in connection with the sale
New Jersey Regulates (strong) NJRS § 56:8-26 – 56:8-38 Anyone engaged in the business of ticket resale must register as a ticket broker
Registered ticket brokers must maintain a permanent office in-state, pay an annual registration fee of up to $500, and disclose their refund policy
Prohibits using “diggers,” people temporarily hired to secure tickets in person, online, or the Internet
Brokers must disclose when they are employing “try and get” (accepting a ticket order before possessing the tickets)
Must file a $10,000 bond conditioned on the promise that the broker and employees will not be guilty of fraud, extortion, or violation of the ticket broker law
Limits the amount that someone who is not a registered ticket broker or season ticket holder may charge above face value for a ticket to the greater of $3 or 20% of face value
Limits the amount that someone who is a registered ticket broker or season ticket holder may charge above face value up to 50% above the amount paid for the ticket
Prohibits reselling tickets in the vicinity of an event except in designated areas
Prohibits giving anything valuable to an event employee to obtain tickets
Prohibits original sellers from holding back more than 5% of the tickets
Requires the licensing agency and event sponsors to create a way for season ticket and other ticket holders to legally sell their tickets back to the venue
New Mexico Regulates (weak) NMS § 30-46-1 It is illegal to resell tickets to any event at a price greater than the face value of the ticket
Resellers can charge a service fee if the fee is permitted according to an agreement between the event operator and the reseller
New York Regulates (strong) NYACA § 25.01 – 25.35 Requires ticket resellers to be licensed by locality in which it operates and to post a bond conditioned that the reseller will not be guilty of fraud, extortion, or violation of the ticket broker law
Sets maximum reselling price of the face value of the ticket plus 45% if the venue seats more than 6,000 or the face value plus 20% if the venue is smaller
Allows resellers to add a reasonable service charge to ticket sales
Allows operators of venues to manage Internet websites to resell tickets within the maximum reselling price
Requires resellers, or anyone that facilitates reselling, to guarantee that it will refund the amount paid by a purchaser if the event is cancelled, the purchaser is denied admission through no fault of his own, or the ticket does not conform to its advertised description
Requires resellers to post a $25,000 bond conditioned on the promise that the agency will not be guilty of fraud, extortion, or violation of the ticket reselling law
Prohibits reselling tickets within 1500 feet of a venue seating more than 5,000, but allows operators to designate reselling areas within that zone
Prohibits anyone from paying a venue employee a commission, gratuity, or bonus in connection with the sale of tickets
Exempts charities that use the profits wholly for their charitable purposes
North Carolina Regulates (strong) NCGS § 14‑344 Resellers can charge a service fee of up to $3 (or more if it is the first sale after the original sponsor and it is agreed upon by the sponsor) for each ticket sold but cannot receive funds greater than the combined face value, tax, and service fee
NCGS § 14‑344.1 Internet resellers may sell tickets above face value without a cap price unless they are prohibited from doing by the venue
Internet resellers must guarantee a full refund of the amount paid including extra fees if the event is canceled, purchaser is denied admission as a result of the ticket, ticket is not delivered pursuant to delivery guarantee and this results in purchaser not being able to attend the event
Tickets for student games issued by institutions of higher education cannot be resold online
Internet resellers must remit a tax according to GS § 105‑37.1
A venue may prohibit the resale of tickets above face value for a given event by filing a notice of prohibition with the Secretary of State
Resale prohibitors must pay a $125 fee to the Secretary of State for each event for which resale is prohibited and these notices must be renewed on December 31 of each year
Venues and ticket sellers that prohibit resale must post a notice conspicuously on their web sites that ticket resale is prohibited
The prohibition notices are not valid until 30 days after the notice is posted
Internet resellers must report their gross revenue receipts to the Department of Revenue on the 10th day of each month
New Mexico Regulates (weak) NMS § 30-46-1 It is illegal to resell tickets to any event at a price greater than the face value of the ticket
Ohio Defers Authority ORC § 715.48 Municipal corporations are authorized to regulate and license ticket resale
Rhode Island Prohibits RIGL § 5-22-26 It is illegal for resellers to charge more than $3 or 10% of the face value of the ticket as a service fee, whichever is greater
Ticket purchasers who buy tickets through the Internet on a computer in Rhode Island must abide by the same rules
If a ticket purchaser buys more than 10 tickets online on a computer in Rhode Island, the original seller must make the purchaser sign an agreement that includes the purchaser’s name, address, and an affirmation that the purchaser will not violate the terms of this section
South Carolina Regulates (weak) SCC § 16-17-710 Resellers cannot request or charge more than $1 above the price for which it was sold by the original seller
This section does not apply to Internet resellers or people selling tickets from a permanent location (not on the property of an event operator without their expressed consent) who guarantee a full refund (apart from delivery costs) if the event is cancelled, the buyer is denied admission as a result of the ticket, or the ticket is not delivered in time for the event
Tickets for events at higher institutions can only be sold at more than $1 if the institutions designates a certain event as an open market event before tickets go on sale and makes a public announcement about such designation
Virginia Defers Authority VAC § 15.2-969 Localities may prohibit the reselling of tickets for profit except for religious, charitable, or educational organizations where the profits revert to the organization and resale is authorized by the event’s sponsor
Wisconsin Defers Authority/Prohibits WS § 42.07 Tickets to the state fair may not be sold for more than face value
State fair tickets are a revocable license and their transfer is based on terms set by the state fair park board
WS § 66.0410 Neither municipalities nor the University of Wisconsin are allowed to prohibit the resale of any ticket for an amount equal to or less than its face value

Disclaimer: SeatGeek does not provide legal advice. The information located in this post should only be used as a reference.