Good news for anyone trying to secure a PlayStation 5, as a number of Democrats for the US government have introduced a new bill to crack down on scalpers and bots. If passed, this could have massive ramifications for the industry.
The 'Stopping Grinch Bots Act' has been put forward by Representative Paul Tonko, Senator Ben Ray Luján, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. The aim is to stop third-party sellers from buying up bulk loads of units only to sell them on at a higher price.
Demand for next-gen consoles and the likes of Nvidia graphic cards are still incredibly hard to find even today. As a result, countless consumers have found themselves constantly frustrated at frequent 'sold out' messages across the web. The new bill would make it so anyone found scalping or using a bot could be sued by the FTC.
Well @IGN said it best about the new gen console scalpers, https://t.co/M0ee9hcX97 I get it, free market but this is just ridiculous. $2K for a PS5 while @PlayStation does nothing to stop these scalpers from bot ordering every available PlayStation. #ItsTimeToStop pic.twitter.com/GPJISN2z5ZNovember 14, 2020
“This bill seeks to stop Cyber Grinch greed from ruining kids’ holidays," said Blumenthal in the accompanying press release. “New tools are needed to block cyber scammers who snap up supplies of popular toys and resell them at astronomic prices. Price gouging hot toys by Grinch bots should have zero tolerance."
Schumer added: "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 upmost importance that these Grinch bots are thwarted in their attempts to steal Christmas - and money - from hardworking Americans."
Tonko, Blumenthal and Schumer previously helped get the 'Better Online Ticket Sales Act' made into law, stopping bots from buying up tickets for events. The 'Stopping Grinch Bots Act' was officially proposed on November 29th, 2021.
On top of this, the UK government has recently discussed the possibility of bringing in a similar bill to prevent scalping, following a failed attempt earlier this year. Douglas Chapman, a member of Parliament, has contacted the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture, and Sport to get the new motion reconsidered.
Too many people are struggling to buy #Christmas gifts yet again because of #scalpers using bots to hoover up in-demand items and resell them at extortionate prices. My latest motion calls on UK Govt to bring in legislation to finally #banthebots once and for all 👇 pic.twitter.com/bhxTxSosTqDecember 3, 2021
“Earlier this year I met with the then Secretary of State at DCMS to highlight this issue; I have now written for a second time to the new Secretary of State for DMCS, Nadine Dorries, to reassess the need to 'ban the bots' to include a wider range of in-demand goods," wrote Chapman in a press release.
"I have alerted her to the fact that across the Atlantic, our Democrat colleagues have also reawakened their original ‘Stopping Grinch Bots Act’ in a bid to stymie this growing problem and its ill effects on both consumers and retailers.”
While it's unlikely that any of these laws will come into effect in the near future, it sure would be great if it could at least prevent a repeat of the PS5 buying fiasco. Speaking of which, if you are still looking for a console, make sure to head to the official T3 PS5 restock tracker for the latest updates.