LANSING (WWJ/AP) – Legislation to repeal Michigan’s ban against ticket scalping is moving forward in Lansing.

The Republican-led state House on Thursday voted 66-42 to make it legal to resell tickets for sports, concerts and other events at a price higher than face value.

The scalping ban has been in place since 1931 but is rarely enforced, and lawmakers say it’s time to take the prohibition off the books. Rep. Tom Kelly, a Saginaw-area Republican, said the bill levels the playing field and enables the regular Joe to compete with the likes of Ticketmaster.

“Our country’s free market economy should apply to concert or sports tickets, and we have every right to sell those tickets at a higher price to a willing buyer… Supply and demand should dictate the market, not an overly intrusive government,” Kelly said in a statement. “By legalizing this common practice, Michigan law enforcement agencies will be freed up to concentrate more on genuine public safety issues.”

Professional sports teams, universities, venues and online heavyweights like eBay and StubHub oppose the bill, which is now headed to the GOP-controlled Senate, warning it would help ticket brokers gouge customers. Some performers, like Kid Rock, have said they will stop performing in Michigan if the bill becomes law.

The legislation also would increase penalties for failing to print prices, surcharges and other information on tickets.

Scalping is legal in 35 states and there’s no federal law against the practice.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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