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AGO 1950 No. 231 - March 02, 1950
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Smith Troy | 1941-1952 | Attorney General of Washington

STATE ATHLETIC COMMISSION -- LICENSES --TAX ON GROSS RECEIPTS -- CONTESTS FOR CHARITABLE PURPOSES

Any person, club, corporation, organization, association or fraternal society conducting boxing or wrestling contests, regardless of the fact that the proceeds of the matches will be used for charitable purposes, must obtain through the Washington State Athletic Commission a license, and pay the fee therefor, and must pay to the commission a tax equal to 5% of the gross receipts from the sale of tickets.

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                                                                   March 2, 1950

Washington State Athletic Commission
305 Harrison Street
Seattle 9, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 49-51 No. 231

Gentlemen:

            We have your letter of February 14, 1950, in which you ask our opinion on the following question:

            Can the State Athletic Commissioners individually or collectively exempt an individual, club or association from paying the license fee and 5% tax due the State on a boxing or wrestling contest where attendance is by paid admission, whether the contest is held for profit or charity.  I have in mind particularly the Golden Gloves contests and contests for the benefit of the March of Dimes and other charitable benefits.

            Our conclusions may be summarized as follows:

            Any person, club, corporation, organization, association or fraternal society conducting boxing or wrestling contests must obtain through the Washington State Athletic Commission a license, and pay the fee therefor, and must pay to the commission a tax equal to 5% of the gross receipts from the sale of tickets.

             [[Orig. Op. Page 2]]

                                                                     ANALYSIS

            Chapter 184, Laws of 1933, as added to by chapter 54, Laws of 1939 (Rem. Rev. Stat. Supp. 8276-1 et seq.), creates the State Athletic Commission and sets forth the laws for the regulation of boxing, sparring and wrestling contests.  Section 7 of the 1933 act empowers the commission to issue licenses for the conduct of boxing contests, or sparring or wrestling matches or exhibitions, and § 8 provides for the application for such a license accompanied by an annual license fee of $25.00.  Section 22 provides as follows:

            "Any person, club, corporation, organization, association or fraternal society conducting within this state boxing, sparring or wrestling contests or exhibitions without having first obtained a license therefor in the manner provided by this act shall be guilty of a misdemeanor excepting such contests excluded from the operation of this act by section 6 hereof."

            Inasmuch as § 6 of the act was vetoed by the governor, § 22 has the effect of requiring all who conduct boxing or wrestling matches to obtain a license.  Our conclusion is further emphasized by the fact that the terms of § 6 would have, if allowed to stand, provided an exemption of the contests mentioned from the license requirement.

            Section 11 provides that all licensees shall pay to the commission a tax equal to 5% of the gross receipts from the sale of tickets.  Inasmuch as we have already determined that all who conduct boxing or wrestling matches must become a licensee, it follows that all must likewise pay this tax.

Very truly yours,

SMITH TROY
Attorney General

C. JOHN NEWLANDS
Assistant Attorney General

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