You can add the state of Oklahoma to the list of places where mixed martial arts is currently illegal. The state has put a “temporary” ban on event permits starting March 31st.
The ban comes as the Ultimate Fighting Championships plans legal recourse over a the states law permitting a 4% cut of UFC PPV sales. Oklahoma’s Executive Director of the Athletic Commission, Joe Miller explains the need for the tax,
“It takes approximately $360K for the Commission to provide regulation for the approximately 275 events per year we regulate. The Oklahoma State Athletic Commission does not receive any state funding. We are funded solely from license fees, assessment on live events, and an assessment on pay-per-view events. We receive approximately $137K per year through license fees and assessments on live events. Receipts from Pay-per-view are approximately $240K per year. About $80K per year comes from UFC PPV. The UFC has threatened a law suit against our PPV law unless our legislature repeals our PPV law during this legislative session. The Commission loses either way. OK has been collecting on PPV since 2004 and this is the first time the issue has been brought to light. For the Oklahoma Commission to survive and for Combat Sports to continue in Oklahoma it will be up to the Oklahoma legislature to come up with a solution to the funding shortfall. You can do the math.” [Joe Miller]
What do you think is a tax on PPV’s is just, or is this a case of politicians stuffing their pocket in a good old fashion money grab?