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Pro Sports Leagues Target of NJ Racetrack Sports Betting Lawsuit

The courtroom battles that broke down the US ban on sports betting began in New Jersey, but they’re not over yet. The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) just got the go-ahead to continue its lawsuit against the professional sports leagues (NFL, NCAA, NBA, MLB, NHL) for their role in prolonging the legal battle they ultimately lost.
While the story of the NJSTHA and Monmouth Park’s lawsuit may sound like a case of Tony Soprano-style Jersey revenge, it’s actually about the tens of millions of dollars the racetrack allegedly lost more than $100 million in revenue while the leagues unnecessarily stalled the effort to revive Garden State sports betting. According the to lawsuit, Monmouth alleges they were ready to implement sports betting back in 2014 but that the leagues’ legal actions stalled that effort by almost four years. In the process, Monmouth lost $130 million in potential revenue and nearly went out of business.
Not surprisingly, the leagues have been fighting the lawsuit tooth and nail, alleging that it is frivolous and entirely without merit. Last month, a New Jersey judge quashed that effort and allowed the suit to go forward. Furthermore, they allege that the leagues knew they could be responsible for the track’s lost revenue and legal costs saying:

The leagues had a choice to either abandon their request for an injunction against the NJTHA or run the risk of paying damages if the injunction proved to be improvidently granted. In essence, the leagues and their surety made a $3.4 million bet and confirmed it in a contract that the injunction would be sustained.

For their part, the leagues are defending their actions and plan to vigorously fight the case.