News & Events

Lawsuit against the major sports leagues could be a tough case to prove – SBC Americas

Butler Snow gaming and licensing attorney Sean M. McGuinness was recently quoted in the SBC Americas article Lawsuit against the major sports leagues could be a tough case to prove by Chris Murphy expounding on the possibility of New Jersey suing major sports leagues that fought to maintain PASPA’s (The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992) place on the statute books.  The following column appeared in the SBC Americas and contains excerpts from the interview.

Adding fuel to the fire was a similar statement from Dennis Drazin, operator of New Jersey’s Monmouth Park racetrack who has reportedly said that the Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association is preparing a federal lawsuit seeking more than $100m in damages from the leagues.


But according to one senior legal figure in the US, New Jersey has a difficult case to prove. Sean McGuinness, a partner in Butler Snow‘s Gaming Industry Team, told SBC Americas:  “As far as New Jersey suing the leagues for damages, I think that specific monetary damages would be very difficult to prove or calculate. In addition, suing the leagues for taking a legal position in support of, what was at the time, a legal federal statute also is problematic in my view.”


McGuinness also believes that the case would in all probability be deemed too toxic for the court to take on board. “Even if New Jersey was able to make such a claim and prevail, that then could open the floodgates for other states to file similar actions. This would be bad public policy and I wouldn’t think a court would rule in such a manner. New Jersey ought to focus their efforts on getting their sports betting offerings to the public as soon as possible and just move forward with that.”

To read Mr. Murphy’s column, please click here.