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NFL, NCAA, other leagues respond to 'meritless' claim in sports betting case

Monmouth Park

Lawyers for the five sports leagues that lost the Supreme Court sports betting case have responded to a legal claim filed last week seeking $3.4 million and other damages stemming from the lawsuit.

According to court documents, attorneys for the NFL, NCAA, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball describe attempts by the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association (NJTHA) to recover money from a 2014 bond and other alleged damages as "meritless, if not frivolous."

"NJTHA is entitled to no recovery as a matter of law," wrote attorneys for the five leagues in a three-page letter dated May 29. The letter suggests the leagues will also oppose any efforts to conduct additional depositions of various commissioners and other league executives. Judge Michael Shipp -- the same judge who first heard the lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court -- will preside over the renewed dispute.

Last week, the NJTHA, a group associated with the Monmouth Park racetrack and casino that had previously built out a sportsbook on-site, filed a 45-page brief in support of its motion "for judgment on $3.4 million injunction bond plus interest and damages."

Lawyers for the NJTHA informed Shipp via an accompanying letter that the motion would also seek a judgment "declaring that the Leagues acted in bad faith by wrongfully blocking the NJTHA from operating a sports betting venue at Monmouth Park."

NJTHA attorneys requested that Shipp order an evidentiary hearing, too.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is not part of the NJTHA's claim against the five leagues.

Shipp has set June 18 as the tentative date for a ruling on the issue.