New Jersey race track sues NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL and MLB over $150m in lost revenue

A lawsuit filed Thursday by the operator of Monmouth Park, the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA), against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the four major sports leagues alleges that the leagues legal action [Murphy v NCAA] in August 2012 to enjoin New Jersey’s Sports Wagering Act cost the thoroughbred horse racing track in Oceanport $150 million in lost revenue.

The five leagues countered the “2012 Act” allowing sports wagering at New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks by suing under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). After two lawsuits, Christie I in 2012 and Christie II in 2014, in which the leagues prevailed in both, on May 14, 2018, their [leagues] luck ran out when the Supreme Court declared the federal law banning sports betting unconstitutional.

Asbury Park Press reports that the documents filed Thursday by attorneys for the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Inc. ask that the leagues be sanctioned because from October 26, 2014-May 18, 2018, the NJTHA was prevented from operating a sports betting venue at the Oceanport race track resulting in what Monmouth Park estimates is $149,977,173 in lost revenue.

The sports betting lawsuit specifically states: “At the very same time as the Leagues were co 7BALL nvincing this Court of the “imperative” need to stop the spread of sports betting they were doing the exact opposite by actively fueling and profiting from the rapid expansion of sports betting throughout the United States and internationally. Behind this Court’s back, the Leagues have aggressively promoted and facilitated the spread of betting on both the outcome of the Leagues’ games as well as the statistical performances, via fantasy wagering, of the Leagues’ own players in the Leagues’ own games.”

The suit also makes mention of the so-called “integrity fee” the leagues are aggressively lobbying the State of New Jersey for, which would require Monmouth Park to share its sports betting revenues with the leagues, along with the sports betting revenue of others, calling it “hypocracy” and its [leagues] conduct “shameless.”

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Lawyers for Monmouth Park want an evidentiary hearing to be scheduled by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Shipp so that the total damages, including lawsuit costs and attorney fees, can be determined.

According to Asbury Park Press, NJTHA consultant Dennis Drazin, said, “When you add up the numbers it comes to $150 million to $200 million, and it may be more.” Drazin goes on to say that “It’s pretty clear we are entitled to damages.”

Sports betting remains on hold in the Garden State in spite of the Supreme Court ruling, however, state lawmakers reportedly said that they expect on June 7 to approve legislation to tax and regulate the gambling.