if you wanna play, you gotta pay

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if you wanna play, you gotta pay

1. You must pay some sort of fee or wager in order to participate in something. Hey, whoa, if you wanna play, you gotta pay—it's a $20 entry fee for this game. Come on, Tom, ante up. If you wanna play, you gotta pay around here.
2. By extension, if you want to participate in some activity, then you must be prepared to face the inevitable negative consequences associated with it. In the criminal world, everyone knows that doing time in prison is just a natural part of the gig. If you wanna play, you gotta pay. You're a bit hurt? Well if you wanna play, you gotta pay! I don't want a sissy on our team who can't handle getting injured.
See also: gotta, if, pay, wanna
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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