It would seem that the scrapping of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) by the US Supreme Court is going to make many a wave yet in the world of sports and sports betting, both good and controversial.
The operator of Monmouth Park, the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, recently instituted legal action against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), as well as the four major sports leagues. The NJTHA alleges that the NCAA and the leagues’ litigation during August of 2012 to enjoin New Jersey’s Sports Wagering Act cost the association’s thoroughbred horseracing track that is situated at Oceanport, $150m in revenue. Revenue, it claims, that is now lost for good.
The five leagues opposed the 2012 Act, which allowed sports betting at New Jersey’s racetracks and casinos, by instituting litigation under PASPA. The leagues successfully prevailed in two separate actions, dubbed Christie I and Christie II, in 2012 and 2014 respectively. After this, their luck of the draw ran dry when the US Supreme Court eventually declared the federal law banning the wagering on sports, as being unconstitutional.
The problem, it seems, lies with the fact that at the very same time that the leagues were actively opposing sports betting at venues like Oceanport, they were also actively promoting sports betting in many shapes and forms throughout the United States, behind the back of the Court that it had approached to affect the opposite, in the first place. The leagues were benefiting directly from all sorts of sports betting activities, including wagering on fantasy sports as well as on the direct outcomes of games and match statistics.
The legal action that has now been instituted by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association also refers to the so-called integrity fee that the leagues have been lobbying for, which would in effect force Monmouth Park to share its sports betting spoils with the leagues. The action refers to this as being shameful and nothing short of hypocritical.
The legal representation for Monmouth Park is insisting on a round-table meeting during which the total damages suffered by the institution can be calculated. Damages, it says, that have been a direct result of the actions of the leagues. According to a cost consultant, when the revenue that has been lost is added up, it comes to almost $200m.