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The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association has appealed a panel of jurists to deliberate over whether they should come together and involve themselves in a restitution dispute between the horsemen and the NCAA, NBA, NFL, and MLB. A conference is expected to be held on May 15th.
New Jersey’s horsemen are seeking damages from the top four major sports leagues and the NCAA, as they received an injunction to keep them from taking bets for four years. The horsemen believe they are owed for being unable to operate their own sportsbook at Monmouth Park while the case was being passed through the system.
In 2014 New Jersey passed a law allowing sports betting, despite courts previously stating that the law was invalid. The law triggered the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NCAA to seek an order which barred the state from accepting bets. Sports betting did not become fully legal in New Jersey until 2018.
After seeking an injunction and putting up a $3.4 million bond in 2014 by the leagues, a federal appellate court stated that the horsemen were entitled to that money and interest generated. It will take four of the nine justices to agree for a panel to hear the case.
The horsemen argue that since the injunction kept them from being able to take bets, the plaintiffs are responsible for paying about $150 million in damages, which is the estimated amount the track would have made over the timeframe in question.
The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association cited research by a partner at research firm Eilers and Krejcik that stated the sportsbook would have earned approximately $10.2 million through the month of the restraining order.
From 22 November 2014 to 14 May 2018, sports betting at Monmouth Park would have generated an estimated $139.7 million. Thus meeting the $150 million they seek.
Not content to declare victory, respondent demanded millions of dollars in damages on the theory that it was ‘wrongfully restrained’ for 28 days by the 2014 TRO,” the leagues’ March 9 petition stated.
Bound by precedent, the major leagues argue that the district judge who made the 2014 injunction made the correct ruling. The leagues filed their request to the Supreme Court to review the lower court’s decision.
An argument has been made by the New Jersey horsemen that the Supreme Court’s involvement is unnecessary at this point in time. The horsemen statement read:
The mere ‘fact’ that a judgment of the lower courts is not a final one is ‘itself alone’ ‘sufficient ground for the denial’ of the petition.
The horsemen claim that the next step for the district court is to determine an award amount, and for that amount to pass through the appeals process to the Supreme Court.
Christian Jope is a writer, social media strategist, and data analyst. A Queen’s University Alumni, Christian is an author and social media strategist with Raptors Cage, while also working closely with MLSE and Canada Basketball through community-driven events.
Email: [email protected]More info on Christian Jope
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