The book of Acts tells the story of a recovering sorcerer by the name of Simon, who, shortly after his baptism, saw people receive the gift of the Holy Spirit when the disciples prayed for them. Accustomed to performing tricks for money, Simon begged the disciples to share their secret. Offering them what one can only assume was a considerable sum of money, he said, "Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit." (Acts 8:19)
It would seem that "pay to play" is a very ancient practice indeed.