Thursday, June 17, 2010

More from New York

Below you will find the preface to the bill that was passed yesterday in the New York State Senate. Of course, the bill in it's entirety is much longer, but this should suffice as a summary of the law which will authorize and regulate the sport of mixed martial arts in New York.

Also of note, this statement is not included in this text, but the MMA community should be aware that this bill provides for MMA's legal regulation to begin "on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law." There are 196 days remaining in 2010, and who knows what time provisions will be required of MMA promotions leading up to an event? So, the UFC and any other promotions looking to hold an MMA event before the year's end will be in for a tight squeeze.

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TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend chapter 912 of the laws of 1920 relating to the regulation of boxing, sparring and wrestling, in relation to establishing protocols for combative sports and authorizing mixed martial arts events in this state; to amend the tax law, in relation to the imposition of a tax on the gross receipts of any person holding any professional combative sports match or exhibition; and providing for the repeal of such provisions upon expiration thereof 

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF THE BILL : The purpose of this bill is to ensure that the New York State Athletic Commission regularly updates the list of single discipline martial arts organizations that are approved by the commission to sanction martial arts matches or exhibitions; and to allow professional mixed martial arts to be permitted in this State and set forth the jurisdiction of the commission in regulating professional mixed martial arts promotion, participants, bouts and exhibitions. 


Section one of the bill amends subdivisions 2-6 of section 4 of chapter 912 of 1920 to give the NYSAC medical advisory board jurisdiction over professional combative sports participants. 

Section two of the bill amends subdivision 1 of section 5-a of chapter of the Laws of 1920 by expanding the term "martial arts" to include any professional match or exhibition that is sanctioned by an organization approved by the commission. Professional mixed martial arts is separated from single discipline martial arts and defined mixed martial arts and the jurisdiction of the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) in relation to holding mixed martial arts exhibitions or bouts is set forth. This section also specifies that no non-professional or amateur bout, exhibition, or participant will not be authorized by this bill. 

Section three of the bill amends chapter 912 of the Laws of 1920 as it relates to the jurisdiction of the NYSAC as it relates to mixed martial arts. 

Section four of the bill amends section 451 of the tax law to allow professional combative sports to be taxed on the gross receipts from ticket sales. 

Section five of the bill amends section 452 of the tax law to impose a 10% tax on receipts on ticket sales as well as broadcasting rights. 

JUSTIFICATION : Chapter 912 of 1920 needs to be amended to accomplish two goals. First, to allow single discipline martial arts organizations that aren't listed in the law to have a process for the NYSAC to approve them as being able to hold martial arts bouts and exhibitions. Second, to allow the very popular and professional sport of mixed martial arts.

Thirty-one states currently allow mixed marital arts and the NYSAC needs to be properly empowered to maintain both the dignity of the sport and the best interest of the safety and welfare of the professional combative sports participants. 

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