Members of U.S. Congress introduce bill to stop bots scalping consoles

Scalpers getting stopped.

Screengrab via PlayStation

Several members of the United States Congress have introduced a bill called the “Stopping Grinch Bots Act”, which would automatically ban bots used to purchase and scalp various items, including video game consoles.

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

The group of Democratic lawmakers introduced the bill officially on Nov. 29, citing the need to crack down on “cyber grinches” automatically snapping up inventories of popular holiday toys to sell them at a higher price later. This would ban or prevent bots from being able to get past various security measures at different online stores.

This bill could potentially have a much larger impact outside of just the holiday season, especially when it comes to acquiring video game consoles like the PlayStation 5. From the day the PS5 released until now, the new console has been in short supply and that’s been exacerbated by the presence of bots snatching up units before normal consumers. Other consoles like the new Xbox Series X/S and the Switch OLED have also been hard to come by due to the bots.

With the speed it typically takes to get bills passed, and with consoles still in relatively short supply, PS5s likely aren’t going to become magically available overnight. Especially with manufacturing issues decreasing its production forecast.