Earlier this week, United States District Judge Freda L. Wolfson approved an agreement signed by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and professional and college sports leagues. For years, the case has been ongoing, even though the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was invalid.
While the case led to the US allowing sports betting to take place in individual states where lawmakers had legalized the option, there was still a question as to if the horsemen deserved damages in its case. In 2014, the leagues filed a suit to try and stop the horsemen from operating a sportsbook in northern New Jersey at Monmouth Park. The issue went back and forth for quite some time until a final ruling was made this week.
Details of the Case
After the initial filing in 2014, a judge in the NJ federal district court ruled in favor of the plaintiff. A $3.4 million bond had to be put in place after a restraining order was issued against the Horsemen’s Association. The bond was created to cover the projected revenues the property would gain from sports betting.
With the Supreme Court ruling, the court claimed that the case brought on by the leagues cost the horsemen $150 million. This amount was determined based on the more than three years the sports betting facility was not allowed to function. The leagues did not agree.
The argument continued in federal court and by the time it got to the Supreme Court, they ruled to not consider the case.
Now, it seems, those involved have come to an agreement. Based on the deal, any outstanding motions in regard to the full bond and interest of the horsemen along with excess damages will be dismissed. In general, this means that the association will not be able to refile its claim.
Both sides must also take the next thirty days to dismiss the case with prejudice and release the bond by filing a proposed order. The two groups can also choose to submit a joint letter to the court indicating why they cannot do so.
Both sides have also agreed to cover the cost of fees and legal charges on their own.
The case is certainly one that has been ongoing but also one with historical significance. Sports betting was basically stripped down to only Nevada. Now, after the change involving PASPA, a total of 19 states offer sports betting along with the District of Columbia. An additional six states have legalized the option as well but have not launched services yet.
An additional five states have legislation on file to start offering sports betting. New York is considering mobile sports betting, something they did not offer initially.
It is interesting to note that everything regarding the boom of sports betting in the US began in New Jersey. The connection of this case as well as all efforts to fight for the right for every state to be able to offer such services.
New Jersey has seen its own success when it comes to sports betting. Hundreds of billions are wagered each month via online and land-based venues. In November, the state hit a new record, bringing in over $931 billion in handle.
As 2021 begins, we expect the sports betting industry in the US to continue to grow to new heights with each passing month.