'Hamilton' creator Lin-Manuel Miranda cracks down on scalper bots

Line sitters paid a HamilTON of money to wait for tickets
Line sitters paid a HamilTON of money to wait for tickets

Fresh off of his Hamilton success, creator Lin-Manuel Miranda is moving on to his next project, the BOTS Act.

No, it's not a musical about the uplifting rise of our robot-overlords, but a proposed bill to cut down on the automated programs scalpers use to buy tickets online and re-sell them for a profit.

Miranda and Senator Charles Schumer announced on Sunday they were teaming up to promote the Better Online Ticket Sales Act of 2016. The bill doesn't just apply to Broadway shows, but any live event like concerts.

Bots that buy large amounts of tickets online artificially inflate the prices of tickets for regular people. A ticket to see Hamilton purchased directly from a legitimate seller starts at $189. Scalpers, however, have been reselling them for anywhere from $500 to $2,000, according to Schumer.

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Bots are programs that automatically buy maximum amounts of tickets from sites like Ticketmaster as soon as they are available, faster than any real person. About 60% of the tickets for popular shows are snatched up by bots, according to Ticketmaster.

Miranda penned a New York Times article in June to discuss how scalper bots were making it hard for Broadway fans to get Hamilton tickets.

"The problem will persist until we strengthen the existing law and make this recurrent illegal behavior a felony," he wrote.

Under the new bill, people who use the software could fine fines of up $16,000 per each ticket, but not any time in jail.

"These bots have gotten completely out of control and their dominance in the market is driving up prices for music and sports fans as well as tourists and theater-goers," said Senator Schumer in a statement announcing the partnership.

The bill, which was originally announced in March, still needs to be approved by Congress.

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