Looks like the Las Vegas gamers lost a few quarters trying to play the NY slot machine.
That's because Zuffa, the parent company of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), reportedly gambled upwards of $75,000 as a campaign contribution for New York's newly-elected Governor Andrew Cuomo, who repaid the world's largest fight promotion by omitting mixed martial arts (MMA) sanctioning from his 2011-2012 budget proposal.
New York is one of just six states that (still) does not regulate MMA.
UFC held a public press conference at Madison Square Garden (MSG) just last month with New York assemblyman Dean Murray and MSG Sports president Scott O'Neil to present an independent economic impact study indicating the "Empire State" would generate about $16 million from the UFC alone based on just two pay-per-view (PPV) events per year, split between "The World's Most Famous Arena" and Buffalo's HSBC Arena.
And that doesn't include the jobs and additional income from regional or independent promotions also throwing their hat into the New York fight scene.
Money talks and Andrew Cuomo walks.
"I am not really sure what to make of this proposal, but it seems like a bad sign for all combative sports, not just MMA, and may shed some light on the Governor's view of the 'economics' of these sports in New York in general... Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget makes clear, he is tackling a $10 Billion dollar budget deficit and MMA with an estimated $23 million in 'economic impact' is simply not compelling. Zuffa has pumped $74,600 into Cuomo's campaign and hoped the Democrat would work towards approving MMA in the state. It seems that Zuffa's money has fallen on deaf ears, and that MMA will still be at least another year away from New York."
Former New York Governor David Paterson first proposed MMA legislation in early 2010 to help reduce the state's $9 billion deficit; however, Assembly Democrats stripped approval from the budget bill shortly thereafter.
And it wasn't the first time MMA came oh-so-close to becoming legal.
It appeared to be on the verge of sanctioning back in 2008, but some eleventh-hour concerns from uneducated members of the Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Sports Development scuttled its passage.
Another session on the matter began in the state capital on Jan. 7, 2009, and was voted on later in the year, indicating that the pendulum was perhaps finally swinging in a positive direction.
Unfortunately, progress was stymied once again.
In particular, the efforts were targeted by detractors like Democratic Assemblyman Bob Reilly, who referred to the sport of MMA as a "glorification of brutality and violence" and continues to do everything in his power to sabotage the process.
For now, it looks like he may be winning.