Bots that buy up tickets to music concerts and sporting events are set to be criminalized in New York.
A new bill means people using bots to snap up tickets — which they then resell at higher prices — can be penalised with jail time and fines.
The practice was already illegal under civil law but the new legislation would also make it a criminal act.
The new bill was passed by the New York State Assembly after being put forward by member Marcos Crespo.
Assembly speaker Carl Heastie said: “This kind of ticket scalping has had a very negative impact on fans that want to enjoy sporting and entertainment events.
“Ticket scalpers often buy up as many tickets as possible with this illegal software and then resell tickets at prices that many New Yorkers simply cannot afford. This measure aims to discourage the tactic by criminalizing this offense.”
Ticket-buying bots have become an increasing problem around the world, and means fewer fans are able to buy tickets as normal prices.
Bots often buy up large numbers of tickets which are then sold on later by the people behind them.
In one case, 1,012 tickets to a U2 concert were bought up by bots in under a minute.