New York Overhauls MMA Bill as Deadline Looms

Update June 10, 2015 – Jim Genia has tweeted the following update announcing that the Senate has accepted the revamped Bill leaving it in the hands of the NY State Assembly –

Jim Genia Tweet

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As the New York State Assembly struggles to gather the needed votes to pass proposed legislation to legalize professional MMA, the Bill has been overhauled with a view to obtain the needed support.  The current text of Bill A02604 can be found here. MMA journalist Jim Genia, who has provided coverage of these legislative developments that are second to none, has provided the following summary of the revamped Bill –

  • Amateur MMA is permitted, and will be sanctioned by the Athletic Commission or by third-party organizations approved by the Commission. There will be no more unsanctioned events allowed;
  • The Commission will have jurisdiction over all combative sports, including professional wrestling, martial arts and kickboxing. The list of organizations approved for sanctioning of martial arts events is gone, and the Commission will lay out criteria for third-party organizations to get approval to operate within the state;
  • These third-party organizations may have the power to sanction pro combative sports, including MMA events;
  • The Commission will have jurisdiction (and licensing ability) over gyms that provide sparring in preparation for pro boxing or pro MMA bouts;
  • Accident insurance for a minimum of $50,000 is required by all pro combative sports promoters, with a million dollar insurance minimum for competition injuries resulting in major brain injuries; and,
  • All combative sporting events, pro or amateur, will pay an 8.5% tax on gate and a 3% tax on broadcasting rights sold (this includes Internet broadcasts)

I’ve had an opportunity to review the legislation in full and, in addition to the above highlights, there are two other noteworthy points –

  • Not only are gyms regulated, but the legislation sets our a host of requirements for these.  All training facilities ‘providing contact sparring maintained either exclusively or in part for the use of professional combative sports participants‘ will need to meet the following criteria –
 
     AT A MINIMUM, ANY SUCH REGULATION SHALL REQUIRE:
       (I) FIRST AID MATERIALS TO BE STORED IN AN ACCESSIBLE LOCATION ON  THE
     PREMISES  AND  FOR  THE PRESENCE ON THE PREMISES OF A PERSON TRAINED AND
     CERTIFIED IN THE USE OF SUCH MATERIALS AND PROCEDURES FOR  CARDIO-PULMO-
     NARY  RESUSCITATION  AT  ALL TIMES DURING WHICH THE FACILITY IS OPEN FOR
     TRAINING PURPOSES;
       (II) CLEAN AND SANITARY BATHROOMS, SHOWER ROOMS, AND LOCKER ROOMS;
       (III) ADEQUATE VENTILATION AND LIGHTING OF  ACCESSIBLE  AREAS  OF  THE
     TRAINING FACILITY;
       (IV)  ESTABLISHMENT  OF A POLICY CONCERNING THE RESTRICTION OF SMOKING
     IN TRAINING AREAS, INCLUDING  PROVISIONS  FOR  ITS  ENFORCEMENT  BY  THE
     FACILITY OPERATOR;
       (V) COMPLIANCE WITH STATE AND LOCAL FIRE ORDINANCES;
       (VI)  INSPECTION AND APPROVAL OF SURFACES ON WHICH TRAINING FOR COMBA-
     TIVE SPORTS WILL BE HELD; AND
       (VII) ESTABLISHMENT OF A POLICY FOR  POSTING  ALL  COMMISSION  LICENSE
     SUSPENSIONS AND LICENSE REVOCATIONS RECEIVED FROM THE COMMISSION INCLUD-
     ING  PROVISIONS  FOR  ENFORCEMENT OF SUCH SUSPENSIONS AND REVOCATIONS BY
     THE FACILITY OPERATOR.
       (B) A PROSPECTIVE ENTITY LICENSEE SHALL SUBMIT TO THE COMMISSION PROOF
     THAT IT CAN FURNISH SUITABLE FACILITIES IN WHICH THE TRAINING IS  TO  BE
     CONDUCTED,  INCLUDING  THE  MAKING OF SUCH TRAINING FACILITIES AVAILABLE
     FOR INSPECTION BY THE COMMISSION AT ANY TIME DURING WHICH TRAINING IS IN
   45  PROGRESS.
  • The legislation also mandates that the State conduct a study aimed and arriving at options for providing ‘medical and rehabilitative care’  for combative sport participants that sustain ‘repetitive head injuries’ in their career with the relevant section of the Bill reading as follows:
The department of state, with the assistance of the state athlet-
      ic  commission, medical advisory board, departments of health and finan-
      cial services, state insurance fund, division of budget and  such  other
      state  entities as appropriate, shall carefully consider potential mech-
      anisms to provide  financial  resources  for  the  payment  of  expenses
     related  to  medical  and rehabilitative care for professionals licensed
     under article forty-one of  the  general  business  law  who  experience
     debilitating  brain  injuries  associated  with repetitive head injuries
     sustained through their participation in combative sports.  The  depart-
     ment  of  state may consult and contract with third parties for services
     in the course of this review. The department of state shall  report  its
     findings and recommendations to the governor, temporary president of the
     senate  and speaker of the assembly within eighteen months of the effec-
     tive date of this section.
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3 thoughts on “New York Overhauls MMA Bill as Deadline Looms

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