Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday signed into law a bill aimed to deter ticket bots, dubbed the “Save Our Swifties” act.
State Rep. Kronda Thimesch, who represents part of southern Denton County in the Texas House, filed the bill in March. That House bill, and its Senate companion bill, passed both chambers with overwhelming bipartisan support.
“The prevalence of bots in ticket sales has made it very difficult for Texans to see their favorite artists,” Thimesch said. “SB 1639’s passage will bring much needed relief to concertgoers, sports fans, theatre buffs, and many others who enjoy live events by banning the use of bots. Texas will now have our own law to enforce and discourage this unfair practice, and I am honored to have spearheaded this legislation alongside Sen. Zaffirini.”
SB 1639 imposes civil penalties for those who violate the law and gives the Texas Attorney General enforcement authority, according to a news release from Thimesch’s office. This issue has been in the statewide and national spotlight in recent months thanks to notable consumer struggles with getting tickets to major events such as Taylor Swift’s “The Eras Tour.” The law will take effect on Sept. 1, 2023. The new law will prohibit a person from creating or using automated software program (defined as “bot” by this bill) to purchase tickets in excess of posted limits. The legislation also prohibits using multiple IP addresses or accounts to purchase more than the allowed amount of tickets, and forbids the creation or use of a bot to disable certain online systems associated with an online ticket sale or to circumvent or disable security measures used to facilitate event entry. While Congress did pass a law in 2016 which forbids ticket bots, it has been difficult to enforce and has not improved the experience for Texas consumers.
“I will be pleased if the ‘Save Our Swifties’ legislation is helping draw attention to and encouraging our federal officials to re-engage on how we can all collaborate to improve a problem that hurts eventgoers all across the nation,” Thimesch said.