More consumer protections for event ticket sales signed into law

A bill that expands consumer protections for event ticket sales became law Wednesday with a signature from Governor Jared Polis. 

Under House Bill 1378, ticket sales operators and resellers have to guarantee refunds to consumers under certain circumstances, including if an event, such as a concert, exhibit or sports game, is canceled for any reason. The bill also protects consumers if they purchase resale tickets that turn out to be counterfeit. Ticket sellers may continue to revoke or restrict tickets for violations of venue policies, for safety concerns or to address fraud and misconduct. 

The bill also expands what is considered a deceptive trade practice during the sale or resale of tickets, potentially opening up businesses to more civil lawsuits. A deceptive trade practice can now include selling a ticket without displaying the total cost, misleading the purchaser by displaying copyrighted materials, or failing to disclose whether a price includes a service charge that goes to the servicer. 

Consumers who believe ticket sale operators and resellers are engaging in deceptive trade practices will be able to file civil lawsuits under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. Those found guilty of committing a deceptive trade practice may be subject to a penalty up to $20,000 for each violation. 

The state expects the new law to have minimal impacts on the Colorado Department of Law and the Colorado Judicial Branch’s budgets. 

Colorado’s new consumer protections come amid national backlash towards ticket sales companies, including Live Nation and its subsidiary Ticketmaster. Last month, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser joined a multi-state lawsuit against Live Nation and Ticketmaster, arguing the company engages in anti-competitive practices, actively hurting concertgoers, musicians and venues.