CreativeOhio exploring ticket scamming solutions for Ohio’s theatres and performance venues. 

Photo of concert at JAC Live

CreativeOhio has heard from our members about the significant and growing impact that ticket scamming is having on our state’s theaters. As Ohio’s leading advocacy organization for the arts, we are committed to exploring solutions for our members, and recently added this issue to our Public Policy Agenda.

Despite warnings from Ohio’s Attorney General, Dave Yost, about the prevalence of fake ticket scams, these fraudulent activities continue to plague our arts organizations. Both large and small theaters are feeling the effects, with some larger venues reporting six-figure losses, annually, as a direct result. Scammers often create fake websites that mimic legitimate venues, tricking consumers into purchasing counterfeit tickets. These unsuspecting individuals, often families and out-of-state visitors, show up at our venues only to find their tickets are invalid. This not only results in financial losses for the venues that often honor these tickets in good faith, but also creates a public relations nightmare, as the blame typically falls on the venue rather than the scammer.

In response to this growing concern, two bills have been introduced at the federal level, though their progress has been slow and uncertain. CreativeOhio is closely monitoring legislative developments in other states, particularly Minnesota. Last month, Minnesota passed House Bill 1989, known colloquially as the “Taylor Swift bill,” a significant piece of legislation aimed at curbing ticket scamming. This bill offers a robust framework for protecting consumers and venues alike, and could be a potential model for similar state-level legislation.

CreativeOhio’s Public Policy Committee has been looking closely at this issue. We recently spoke with Todd Duesing, President & CEO of the Hennepin Theatre Trust in Minneapolis, who spearheaded Minnesota’s legislative effort. Duesing, who previously served as the Chief Operating Officer for Cincinnati Arts Association, has unique insight into the challenges facing Ohio’s performance venues.

Inspired by Minnesota’s success, CreativeOhio is exploring the possibility of introducing similar legislation in our state, and working with our stakeholders to ensure policymakers have an understanding of the need for consumer protection in this area. By addressing ticket scamming through state legislation, we can work towards addressing a national problem and setting a precedent for other states to follow.

Such legislation could be a game-changer for Ohio’s arts organizations, providing much-needed protection against bad actors and scam websites, and ensuring that our patrons can purchase tickets with confidence. By reducing the occurrence of ticket scams, we will also alleviate the financial burden on our venues and improve the overall experience for our audiences.

Stay tuned for updates as we move forward with this initiative. For more details on our public policy efforts and to get involved, please visit our Public Policy page.

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