Could sports leagues end up paying for losing wager against sports gambling?

College and professional sports leagues lost their bet against legalized sports gambling. Now, New Jersey may make them pay up, reports.
State Senate President Steve Sweeney told NJ Advance Media he’s exploring a lawsuit against the leagues so the state can recoup legal fees and back tax revenue now that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in New Jersey’s favor, according to an article by Brent Johnson.
The leagues include the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and the NCAA.
The state has spent $9 million in taxpayer money on the court case since 2011, Sweeney said. That’s in addition to what he estimated at about $700 million in revenue legalized sports betting could have brought in during that time.
“I think we should be pushing back: ‘Look, you cost us a lot of money,” Sweeney told NJ Advance Media. “There’s a potential for the state of New Jersey to recover some real funds.”
Sports betting could be a major source of revenue for Atlantic City, said Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality at Tourism of Stockton University.
“The market nationwide is supposedly somewhere in the $150 billion in terms of illegal sports betting,” Pandit said in an interview with BreakingAC shortly after the ruling was announced last week.
Atlantic City could easily estimate getting about 2 percent to 3 percent of that multi-billion dollar pie, he said.
He estimated it could take a month to three months to get everything up and running, but said that is just speculative.
The Legislature must first approve it, which officials have said would be done as quickly as possible. Then the regulations go into effect with the Division of Gaming Enforcement, who will work closely with gaming houses to implement it, Pandit said.
“I think several casinos are looking to do this sooner rather than later,” he said.
Being able to place bets on sporting events opens up a whole new customer base, since many may not be current casino gamblers.
“I think it’s very exciting looking forward to implementation of this within the area,” he said.
The New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, the group that oversees horse racing in the state, is also preparing a lawsuit, NJ Advance Media also reported.
Dennis Drazin, the operator of Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport, said they will seek at least $100 million in damages from the league dating to 2014.

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