The NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB and NCAA are asking for $3.4 million from the Courts for the bond they placed on New Jersey’s Monmouth Park Racetrack to prevent them from offering sports betting this fall.
“Pursuant to the Federal Rules, the purpose of the bond was to “pay the costs and damages sustained by any party found to have been wrongfully enjoined or restrained,” writes attorney Anthony Dreyer.
“But the ruling confirms that the [Temporary Restraining Order] was properly entered. Therefore, Defendants can no longer make any claim on the bond and it should be discharged.”
Dreyer adds in his statement that the “Defendants no longer have any right to recover on the bond posted by Plaintiffs, and the bond should therefore be discharged and returned as soon as possible.”
U.S. District Court Michael Shipp issued a ruling late Friday evening on whether New Jersey’s biggest racetrack, Monmouth Park, might begin taking bets on sports after an injunction was entered in early September.
Shipp wrote that New Jersey's latest efforts -- the 2014 Sports Wagering Law -- violates the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
The fight to bring sports betting to the Garden State continues nevertheless.
State Senator Raymond Lesniak co-sponsored legislation to allow sports betting in NJ
"We continue to believe that New Jersey has the right to allow sports betting in the state and we will keep up the fight in court," State Senate President Steve Sweeney said in a statement. "We are going to continuing pursuing every legal option available. The economic impact that sports wagering can have on New Jersey is far too important to simply shrug our shoulders and move on."
State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, who has led the push for sports betting in New Jersey, called it "important for our entire state, but especially for Atlantic City," where four casinos have closed this year.
Next stop, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled against New Jersey by a 2-1 majority decision in September 2013. But that ruling did come with one important caveat that resulted in New Jersey’s heightened pursuit for legalized sports betting.
The Third Circuit Court judges said states are free to repeal sports betting laws and decide "the contours of the prohibition."
That resulted in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signing the newly drafted 2014 Sports Wagering Law last month. The law requires sports bets only occur at the state’s racetracks and/or casinos.
Regardless of the ultimate outcome, Monmouth Park will miss out on this season's NFL and College Football wagering, which to date has resulted in huge wins for sportsbooks located outside the state both online and in locales such as Nevada. Super Bowl Weekend is typically among the busiest in Las Vegas.
"Obviously we're disappointed, but not terribly surprised," said Dennis Drazin, adviser to Darby Development LLC, operators of Monmouth Park Racetrack. "After analyzing the rationale expressed by the Court in granting a temporary restraining order last month, today's action was rather expected. We will once again return to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and ask that they order strict adherence to their 2013 decision, which established the roadmap for New Jersey to begin offering sports wagering.
"For now, it's status quo. Nevertheless, we remain confident that the Third Circuit will render a favorable result for Monmouth Park."