In a rather convoluted lawsuit, several sports leagues are waiting to see what a Supreme Court ruling will be. The lawsuit involves several sports leagues and the NCAA, who are locked in a legal battle with a New Jersey Horse Racing Association over sports betting issues.
According to a letter drafted by the sports leagues and the NCAA, they have been trying to negotiate a settlement to keep this issue out of court. However, according to the letter, all negotiations have been stalled due to each side not being able to agree to terms.
The sports leagues and the NCAA have been ordered in the past to pay the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association millions of dollars in damages. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear from both sides of the argument next week.
In December of 2019, there was a decision by a federal appeals court that ruled in favor of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The dispute between the two sides stems from the Supreme Court ruling of 2018 that overturned a national ban on sports betting.
Horse Racing Association Represents Monmouth Racetrack in New Jersey
The Horse Racing Association claims in the suit that the leagues and the NCAA owe Monmouth Racetrack in Oceanport, NJ, in excess of $150 million. A judge put out a restraining order against the track in 2014 to not allow them to offer sports betting.
The leagues and the NCAA put up a bond in the amount of $3.4 million, pending a ruling from the Supreme Court. Lawyers representing the leagues and the NCAA have said in court filings that this lawsuit lacks “any kind of merit.”
The racetrack is trying to blame the leagues and the NCAA for a restraining order that was lodged by a judge against the racetrack that did not allow them to offer sports betting from 2014 to 2018, when the Supreme Court ruled that all sports betting was at that point not banned and could be made legal in all the states.
The track says they lost over $150 million from 2014 to 2018 when they were not allowed to offer sports betting. The Supreme Court has not given a definitive answer regarding if they will hear the dispute, but they are supposed to let the parties know next week.
Lawsuit In Court System Since 2018 With No End In Sight
The major issue by the racetrack is that the sports leagues and the NCAA were in collusion with the judge that ordered the restraining order, not allowing the track to take any sports bets. The racetrack said they were given permission to offer sports betting in 2014, and at the final hour, the leagues tried to exert their power and block the racetrack’s ability to offer sports betting.
The move, said the racetrack, was vindictive, and cost the track over $150 million in sports betting revenue. A lawyer for the leagues said the claims being made by the racetrack and the horse racing association are ludicrous at best.
League lawyers in their legal filing said there is no evidence at all to back up the claims being made by the racetrack, that it is speculation, and they have no real evidence to back up their claims.
Ronald Riccio, a lawyer representing the track, said that the track had a right from the very beginning in 2014 to offer sports betting, and they would have done it, “if not for the unnecessary and malicious interference of the leagues and the NCAA. That act cost the track millions of dollars, and they should be held liable for it.”