NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey horse racing association sued the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA Thursday, claiming the leagues cost one of the state's racetracks more than $130 million in lost revenue by blocking legal sports betting.
New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney urged elected officials in all 50 states to not pay "integrity fees" to sports leagues as part of any sports betting bills they enact.
Nearly as soon as their battle against sports wagering ended in defeat at the U.S. Supreme Court, the National Collegiate Athletic Association and four professional sports leagues are facing a claim for gambling revenue that was lost due to the lengthy battle.
Between Oct. 26, 2014 and May 14, 2018 when the Supreme Court issued its ruling, Monmouth Park could have made $139,749,842 on its sportsbook. The injunction against Monmouth was granted in November 2014.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell "falsely swore" in court to the truth of statements about the evils of sports betting, including his statement that "the core entertainment value of fair and honest competition between teams and athletes that is reflected in NFL games will be replaced by the bettor's interest, based not on team or player performance, but on the potential financial impact of each on-the-field event". "During the intervening years the Leagues' actions almost put Monmouth Park out of business, inflicted significant financial and emotional hardship on hundreds of innocent Monmouth Park workers, and jeopardized the continued viability of New Jersey's entire equine industry, including its many horse farms and related open spaces", the brief says. "In doing so, the Leagues knowingly caused tremendous damage to Monmouth Park".
The leagues claimed that sports betting would result in the fixing of games and would suffer damages if expanded sports betting was allowed.
Sweeney (D-Gloucester) detailed how New Jersey spent more than $10 million in legal fees fighting the leagues in court to bring sports betting to the state's casinos and racetracks.
The association's motion is scheduled to be heard on June 18.