NJTHA Reached Settlement with NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB and NCAA

The years-long lawsuit between the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) and the professional sports leagues is coming to a conclusion after an announcement from the attorney representing the leagues signaled a resolution for the legal dispute.

“The NJTHA, NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB have resolved all disputes arising out of their litigation concerning the legalization of sports gambling in the State of New Jersey. The parties are pleased to conclude this matter.”

Anthony Dreyer, Attorney, NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB

Settlement Agreement Reached

The major sports leagues reached a settlement agreement with the NJTHA for an unnamed amount, a court order entered Monday by US District Judge Freda Wolfson also confirmed.  The exact amount of the settlement is expected to get finalized within the next 30 days.

In December, Wolfson rebuffed the claim from the NJTHA for additional damages to the amount of $150 million related to a lawsuit which started back in the old days of sports betting in New Jersey, when state legislators approved a bill to legalize wagering despite it was forbidden under a federal law.

Deep into preparations to open a sports betting site in partnership with William Hill at Monmouth Park Racetrack, the NJTHA was forced to abandon its plans due to the legal actions the leagues undertook to prevent the association from launching, namely to file a lawsuit against then Gov. Chris Christie, NJTHA and William Hill USA, which initially led to a 28-days restraining order.

Scrapping for the Bond

The leagues had to put up a $3.4 million bond as damage compensation for the losses suffered by the NJTHA during the period of the restraining order. After the order expired, the judge ruled against the state law on the grounds that it violated the federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

But after PASPA was overturned by the US Supreme Court in 2018, NJTHA filed a lawsuit against the leagues claiming they acted in bad faith while at the same time participated in promotion of businesses which generated millions from individual player performances through daily fantasy sports games.

Judge Wolfson last month left the impression she was not convinced that the NJTHA suffered losses for the period of the restraining order to the full amount of the bond, and that the horse association did not demonstrate it clearly. The leagues stated firmly they would challenge the association’s calculation for the damages.

There is no official confirmation from the NJTHA after the attorney representing the association declined to comment, yet both sides have 30 days to finalize the settlement amount.

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