Supreme Court Sends Case Involving Pro Leagues Back to NJ

Supreme Court Sends Case Involving Pro Leagues Back to NJ
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The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it was declining to hear a dispute between professional sports leagues, the NCAA and the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association. The case now goes back to federal court in New Jersey.


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A federal judge, after hearing testimony from both sides, will determine the amount of damages the horsemen’s association — which has said it lost as much as $150 million in sports betting revenue — will receive, according to the Associated Press.

Though the case involves sports betting, it has no effect on legalized sports betting in the state. Just over two years ago, the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, the federal ban on sports betting.

The determination by the Supreme Court to not hear the case involving the pro leagues, NCAA and horsemen was included in a list published Monday with decisions by the court from Friday’s conferencing session.

A ruling in favor of the horsemen by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in December was appealed by the leagues, according to AP. The horsemen sued on behalf of Monmouth Park Racetrack in 2018.

The original suit alleged the leagues and NCAA owed Monmouth Park a $3.4 million bond, plus interest, according to AP. The leagues put the bond up in 2014 in case losses were suffered during the month that a judge’s restraining order blocked the track from offering sports betting, the AP reported.

Ruling Comes Two Years After PASPA

The PASPA case also involved the state of New Jersey and went before the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Jersey and then-Gov. Chris Christie had challenged the act because it banned sports gambling across in the U.S. The ruling paved the way for New Jersey and other states to offer sports betting.

A month after the ruling, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy made the first official bets at Monmouth Park, the racetrack involved in the current case. He placed $20 bets on Germany to win soccer's World Cup and on the New Jersey Devils to win the Stanley Cup in 2019.

What’s Next in the Case?

The horsemen’s association is seeking millions from the leagues because it was “wrongfully enjoined” in the original lawsuit.

"A party is wrongfully enjoined when it turns out that that party had a right all along to do what it was enjoined from doing," the 3rd Circuit wrote in its ruling in December, according to AP.

With the case now returning to New Jersey, a judge will determine how much the horsemen’s association and Monmouth Park potentially will receive.

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