NYRA Wants Lien Games Lawsuit Dismissed

Attorneys for the New York Racing Association have asked a federal bankruptcy judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Lien Games Racing that seeks immediate distribution of winning wagers the North Dakota wagering outlet claims it is owed.

The motion, which was filed March 12 in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Southern District of New York, in part refutes Lien Games Racing’s charges that winning wagers are in effect trust funds, and shouldn’t be considered part of a debtor’s estate property.

In addition to claiming Lien Games Racing has no legal precedent to declare winning wagers trust funds, the filing also rebukes the Fargo-based company for what NYRA feels is continued attempts to circumvent standards of bankruptcy proceedings.

“No provision in the Bankruptcy Code distinguishes Lien Games from the hundreds of other pre-petition creditors, each of whom may be suffering from financial hardships as a result of NYRA’s Chapter 11 case,” the dismissal motion said.

The filing claims that Lien Games was twice denied separate consideration in previous legal overtures made to the court.

“Each frivolous attempt has … forced NYRA to expend a significant amount of valuable time and energy that would better be spend in furtherance of reorganization efforts,” it said.

New York-based attorney Philip Pierce, who filed the original complaint on behalf of Lien Games, indicated in a brief interview with The Blood-Horse March 14 that he intended to vigorously challenge the dismissal motion.

With a claim of $1.6 million, Lien Games Racing is among more than 700 unsecured creditors who are owed money by NYRA, which filed for bankruptcy reorganization last November. NYRA claims Lien Games is one of about 150 entities that receives simulcast signals from the three racetracks it operates.

The New York Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association also has a separate lawsuit filed in the bankruptcy action, which, in part, claims that certain withheld purse monies are not part of NYRA’s estate property.

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