The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association.

  • The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen Association is seeking millions in damages caused by sports leagues implementing a restraining order during the PASPA Lawsuit.
  • The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was a federal ban on sports betting that was ruled unconstitutional in May of 2018.
  • The NJTHA case against the professional sports leagues has been vacated and remanded by the Third District Court.

PHILADELPHIA – The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NJTHA) secured a victory via a ruling by the Third District Court on Tuesday. The NJTHA is pursuing millions in damages caused by the professional sports leagues involved in the PASPA case, and the court found that the association is entitled to more than $3 million.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was a federal ban on sports betting. In 2014, New Jersey signed a bill into law that would allow sports wagering to be conducted in the state’s casinos and racetracks.

The NCAA along with other professional sports leagues filed a lawsuit against former NJ Governor Chris Christie and the state of New Jersey for violating this law. The case eventually made its way to the US Supreme Court and in May of 2018, PASPA was ruled unconstitutional.

During that four-year stretch, the NJTHA was not allowed to conduct legal sports betting at any of its racetracks. The NJTHA has claimed that the sports leagues cost the association $139 million in lost revenue during that time period.

However, the Third Circuit ruling on Tuesday was only focused on the $3.4 million bond that the leagues posted in 2014 as a way to secure any losses the NJHTA may incur during the time of the original PASPA case.

“Here, PASPA provided the only basis for enjoining NJTHA from conducting sports gambling, and the Supreme Court ultimately held that that law is unconstitutional. Therefore, the NJTHA had a right to conduct sports gambling all along. We conclude that NJTHA was wrongfully enjoined and should be able to call on the bond,” wrote Senior U.S. Circuit Judge, Marjorie Rendell.

The Horsemen’s Association has been trying to claim their lost revenues from the leagues since May of 2018. In November of 2018, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp rejected the NJTHA’s original filing against the leagues. The NJTHA has been appealing that ruling ever since, and Tuesday’s decision was their first victory. The group may still seek more in damages in the future, as their arguments detail substantial financial losses.

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