New U.S. bill may ban the use of console scalper bots

A group of US Democrats has introduced a new bill in the hope of banning the use of bots to scalp high-value items, including game consoles.

The Stopping GrinchBots Act was introduced by Senator Paul Tonko, Senator Richard Blumenthal, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Ben Ray Lujan and is designed to crack down on bot technology. ..

The bot works by automatically notifying the user when high-value items arrive at the retail store, adding the items to the cart, and then completing the checkout process, before avoiding waiting times. It offers users greater advantages than regular consumers.

These kinds of tools are not new. Sneaker and ticket collectors may use automated tools to identify replenishments. However, the surge in game popularity during the pandemic has reportedly seen some bots specifically used to target consoles.

A new bill is expected to be enacted, similar to the Better Online Ticket Sales Act introduced by Tonko, Blumenthal and Schumer in 2016 to make it illegal to use bots to buy event tickets. increase.

If a new law is passed, similar bans will apply to online retail sites, making it illegal to buy shares as soon as the bot becomes available.

“At a time when family members should be able to spend time with their loved ones, digital’Grinchbots’ are hoping to find affordable gifts or pay exorbitant prices for one toy. We are forcing Americans to search online sites, “says Tonko. statement.

“These bots not only put pressure on consumers, but also cause problems for small businesses, local retailers and other entrepreneurs to ensure that their customers have the best products in stock.

“Our grinchbot method works to level the arena and prevent hard-working parents from sucking scalpers to dry out during this holiday season. I tell my colleagues that these grinchbots steal vacations. I urge you to participate in the immediate passage of this law to prevent it. “

Schumer said:

“Parents and Americans don’t have to fork hundreds or even thousands of dollars to buy Christmas or holiday gifts for their kids and loved ones, especially after years of trials.

“It’s most important that these grinchbots stop attempts to steal Christmas and money from hard-working Americans.”

Other countries have been trying to stop peeling in recent years. A bill called the Gaming Hardware (Auto Purchase and Resale) Bill was submitted to the UK Parliament earlier this year, but it’s not yet clear if it will become a law.

A petition highlighting this issue on the British Parliament’s website has also been signed by over 15,000 and received responses from the Government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

In response, the UK government said it had already introduced legislation covering the use of automated bot software. It is popular with resellers who use it to buy high value items faster than regular consumers.

“It is forbidden to use automated software to buy more tickets than retailers allow, and the fines for violations are unlimited,” the government said. We are discussing other markets. “

In Japan, retailers handle the problem on their own, and in some cases they take action by marking or destroying the packages of consoles sold.

Last month, Japanese retail chain Nojima Denki implemented a new policy designed to fight resellers. This wrote the buyer’s name on the side of the PlayStation 5 box and destroyed the controller package.

Supply for the PlayStation 5 is expected to be even tighter than previously expected in the coming months after Sony reportedly cut production plans by about a million units.

Sony claimed in July that the PS5 has become the best-selling console ever, after surpassing sales of 10 million units worldwide in less than a month than it manages. However, due to supply constraints, it is lagging behind the sales pace of its predecessor.

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