D.C. police again enforcing ticket scalping laws on public space - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

D.C. police again enforcing ticket scalping laws on public space

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WASHINGTON - Ticket scalping in the District of Columbia is again a crime, and you can be taken into custody for selling tickets to sporting events or concerts on public space-- even at face value or less.  The law disappeared for the municipal code in October, either by mistake or because of an oversight. The exact reason remains unclear.  

Friday night's Washington Wizards home playoff game vs. the Chicago Bulls was a sellout, but sellout or not-- tickets are always changing hands, be it on the street or in line.  Signs warn against it, but camera-shy ticket scalpers told FOX 5 all they had to do to stay out of the clutches of the police was to take their business somewhere private.

With the fines as low as $50 if they're caught, scalpers say it's the cost of doing business.  

Although not knowing is not an excuse, outside of Nationals Park, police take extra steps to make sure the public knows tickets sales on public space is against the law.  Officers make announcements via loud speakers outside the stadium to make it clear.

When the story first came to light in October, D.C. City Council Chairman Phil Mendelson told FOX 5 the law should remain in place.  

"Well what I expect will happen, this is based on the chief's teletype, is that emergency legislation will be submitted to the council by the mayor and we will pick it up and then we will do a permanent fix to the regulations as well".

That's exactly what happened.  A vote on the permanent regulations is expected soon.  

A law enforcement source says at Nationals Park this season, officers looking for scalpers have been handing out $50 citations rather than taking people into custody. 

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