NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - Two Utah men are suing a New York road race organization, alleging it operates a chance-based lottery that violates New York state law.

Charles Konopa and Matthew Clark, individually and for all others similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against New York Road Runners Inc., alleging violations of the New York state Constitution.

According to the complaint, New York Road Runners organizes the New York City Marathon, which has far fewer spots available than the number of runners who wish to compete. Because of excess demand, the defendant conducts a random, chance-based drawing, or lottery, for runners to qualify into the marathon.

The suit says the defendant charges prospective runners a non-refundable fee of up to $11 to enter the lottery. From 2010 to 2015, the defendant grossed millions of dollars from this lottery, during which time fewer than 18 percent of lottery entrants qualified to run in the marathon, the lawsuit states.

The complaint alleges the defendant's lottery violates the New York state Constitution, which prohibits any lotteries that are not operated by the state.

Konopa and Clark and others in the class seek more than $5 million in compensatory and/or statutory damages, injunctive relief, attorney fees and other costs of the suit. They are represented by attorneys Judith L. Spanier and Nancy Kaboolian of Abbey Spanier in New York City, and by attorneys Phillip E. Lowry and Bryson R. Brown of Christensen & Jensen in Salt Lake City.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Case number 1:16-CV-00450-KBF

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