CBC News has learned the McGuinty government wants to more than double the share the province is paid from professional prizefights.
The government currently gets two per cent of the gross receipts from ticket sales for prizefights, like boxing or kickboxing.
But now that the province is moving to add mixed martial arts to the list of legalized sports, the government also wants a bigger take of all professional prizefights — more than doubling the share to five per cent.
Conservative critic Lisa MacLeod said the move is nothing but a cash grab.
"Dalton McGuinty is only allowing mixed martial arts in Ontario for one reason and one reason only — he knows he can make money off it," she said.
"I think this is why we've seen this very cynical move of Mr. McGuinty wanting more money from other regulated sports as well as mixed martial arts."
MacLeod accused McGuinty of viewing mixed martial arts as a "cash cow" for the provincial government.
"It's just unfortunate that he looks at everything through the lens of a piggybank," she said.
However, the provincial government argues the current two per cent take from ticket sales does not cover the costs of regulating professional fights, and raising it to five per cent would bring it in line with other jurisdictions.
"Well, we're talking about a more complex undertaking here which requires significant oversight," McGuinty said.
"There are additional measures that you have to take given the nature of the sport, they tell me, so there are more costs for government and I understand it's in keeping with the Canadian norm."
Events on the mixed martial arts circuit known as the Ultimate Fighting Championship typically gross about $2 million each.
If the province raises its take to five per cent, the government's share would be an estimated $100,000.
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