Sports

PA Regulates Professional Wrestling Just To Extract Taxes

You can never smack down the tax man

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The Wrestling Act portion of the state athletic code is a three-page document and very little of it actually concerns wrestler safety. The portion of the code governing boxing is more than six times as long.

The key provision of the Wrestling Act is the imposition of a 5-percent tax on the face value of all tickets sold to a wrestling performance, which is turned over to the Athletic Commission. The commission boasts on its website that is is financially self-sufficient, a fact made possible by the state's strong pro wrestling culture. …

After all, Santorum had argued, professional wrestling is not a sport and should not be treated as such.

The General Assembly agreed and granted his wish. Lawmakers eliminated most of the health restrictions on wrestling, but kept the ticket tax, maintaining a healthy stream of tax revenue. Many other states followed suit and eliminated regulation.