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Scalper Bots Could be Banned Due to New US Bill

Scalper Bots Could be Banned Due to New US Bill - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 December 2021 / 1,379 Views

Democrats in the US Federal government have introduced in a new bill - Stopping Grinch Bots Act - that hopes to ban the use of scalper bots on high value items including video game consoles. 

The bill was introduced by Representative Paul Tonko, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Ben Ray Luján, as reported by VideoGamesChronicle

It is similar to the Better Online Ticket Sales Act that made it illegal to buy concert and other event tickets using bots. It was introduced in 2016 by Tonko, Blumenthal and Schumer.

The Stopping Grinch Bots Act would do the same with online retail sites. This would make it illegal for bots to buy stock as soon as it becomes available.

"At a time when families should be able to spend time with their loved ones, digital ‘Grinch bots’ are forcing Americans to scour online sites in the hopes of finding an affordable gift or paying exorbitant prices for a single toy," Tonko said in a statement.

"These bots don’t just squeeze consumers, they pose a problem for small businesses, local retailers and other entrepreneurs trying to ensure they have the best items in stock for their customers. Our Grinch Bots Act works to level the playing field and prevent scalpers from sucking hardworking parents dry this holiday season. I urge my colleagues to join me in passing this legislation immediately to stop these Grinch bots from stealing the holidays."

Schumer added, "The average holiday shopper is unable to compete with the light speed of the all-too-common Grinch bot and are then held at ransom by scalpers and third-party resellers when trying to buy holiday presents.

"After a particularly trying year, no parent or American should have to fork over hundreds – or even thousands – of dollars to buy Christmas and holiday gifts for their children and loved ones. It is of utmost importance that these Grinch bots are thwarted in their attempts to steal Christmas – and money – from hardworking Americans."


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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9 Comments
SuperNintend0rk (on 01 December 2021)

I love that it's called Stopping Grinch Bots Act. That's an accurate description since they're ruining Xmas for many lol

  • +11
JWeinCom (on 01 December 2021)

Kind of feel like this is the kind of issue retailers and manufacturers could have worked out on their own, but I guess it's a good thing overall.

  • +7
SvenTheTurkey JWeinCom (on 02 December 2021)

I thought so too. It's almost too late but better late than never. We'll see how much of an effect it has though. Piracy is illegal too, but it's not like that doesn't happen.

  • 0
VAMatt (on 02 December 2021)

This is a misguided idea. I can tell you right now, as someone that has been purchasing event tickets for 35 years, that the bill mentioned did absolutely nothing to improve ticket purchasing. Improvements have been made there, by the vendors themselves implementing systems, not by the law.

While I certainly like the intention of the bill, it is a certainty that it will have some unintended consequences. I don't know what those are right now, but every market intervention comes with unintended consequences. So, no matter how good the idea sounds, it should be opposed. But, in this case, the idea doesn't even sound good because we've seen it tried with tickets. It didn't work there, and there's no reason to think it's going to improve things here.

People are always a few steps ahead of government. Scalpers will just change tactics

  • +1
PAOerfulone (on 02 December 2021)

Watch this get shot down by all the House and Senate Republicans just like every other bill the Democrats introduce because bipartisanship is dead.

  • +1
SvenTheTurkey PAOerfulone (on 02 December 2021)

Heaven forbid the other party comes up with a good idea.

  • +1
Vizigoth04 (on 01 December 2021)

Okay I may have to hug me a democrat if they manage to get this through. Still need a Series X. I have everything else. Makes me think the last person who wants me to get a Series X is Microsoft. Instead they’ll just introduce a digital version of the Series X in a couple years. Call it Series XS and complete their plan of having us all go digital anyway.

  • 0
method114 Vizigoth04 (on 01 December 2021)

It's funny how MS got reamed for that (even I left Xbox because of it) then after about a year of having my PS4 I went all digital anyways. I ended up getting a much better job so selling my games back to buy other games was no longer necessary and was just a waste of my time.

  • +1
mjk45 method114 (on 02 December 2021)

but it was YOUR CHOICE .

  • 0