The Apex Court of the US has refused to hear against the NJTHA (The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association). For the uninitiated, NJTHA sued the sporting organizations including the names like NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA for their alleged role in stopping the sports betting in the US. The lawsuit also was filed for backing out on a $3.4mn bond that had been issued to New Jersey Monmouth Park Racetrack.

A Federal Appeal Court has already decided that NJTHA was entitled to the repayment of the bond. However, the organization wants the leagues to cover the losses incurred by the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. However, the sporting leagues went against and asked the Supreme Court to look into the matter. However, the Supreme Court has now refused to hear the plea.

Supreme Court said that it does not want to get involved and handed over the judgment. The court has also issued a writ of certiorari or ‘the rule of four’ without offering any explanation for the decision. This has now made the Federal Court Judge of New Jersey, the final authority to decide whether the NJTHA has the rightful claim to $150mn as a result of PASPA.

Under the writ of certiorari, four of the judges need to reach a common decision on a case, this is less than half of the nine judges that sit on the bench. This simply means, Supreme Court said to Sporting leagues that they did not sufficiently justify their case or the claim has no merit. This decision is rather a disappointment for the leagues.

Ronald Riccio, one of the attorneys for NJTHA has filed a notice with the US District Court of New Jersey in which the organization has exercised the right to renew the motion for immediate judgment of the full amount of the bond and interest. It also says that it has the right to partial summary judgment or the liability for damages in excess of the bond amount.

It is expected that NJTHA would walk away with the initial amount of the bond. However, if the NJTHA could provide evidence that the losses incurred due to the action of the leagues, then the damage could increase. PASPA was a Federal Law and was repealed by the Supreme Court couple of years back. It would be hard to prove that sports organizations are responsible for the loss.


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