Lawsuit Against NJSEA, TVG Dropped by Horsemen

The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey said it has “amicably resolved differences” with the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and TVG regarding interstate wagering on harness racing from Meadowlands.

As a result of an agreement signed by all parties, the SBOANJ’s lawsuit against the NJSEA and TVG will be dropped without prejudice and preserves horsemen’s rights, including approval or disapproval of the acceptance of interstate off-track wagers on Meadowlands races under the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978, the SBOANJ said in a Feb. 14 release.

The lawsuit was filed after the NJSEA, which operates Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, awarded an exclusive, one-year contract to TVG. One of the major concerns of the SBOANJ about the contract was the availability of the Meadowlands harness signal to the Racetrack Television Network, which is watched by thousands of harness fans and bettors.

Under the signed agreement, TVG will allow RTN to broadcast the races. In addition, TVG has agreed to use reasonable efforts to enter into sublicensing agreements for NJSEA races with other licensed U.S. account wagering providers recommended by NJSEA.

In a statement, TVG said it looks forward to working with the NJSEA and its horsemen.

The NJSEA also will give a title sponsorship to TVG for an existing Standardbred stakes valued at a minimum of $500,000 at Meadowlands. TVG has agreed to meet with the SBOANJ and discuss the marketing of Meadowlands racing and an affiliates program for SBOANJ members to receive TVG programming.

“The horsemen are not giving up any legal rights,” SBOANJ president Tom Luchento said. “If anything comes up in the future, the SBOANJ will still have its full rights.”

The dispute over the one-year deal had nothing to do with the Monmouth signal. The NJSEA put the contract for Monmouth and Meadowlands out for bid, and TVG was the winner.