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Judge sets date for New Jersey, sports leagues to argue sports betting temporary ban

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TRENTON, New Jersey — The federal judge who temporarily stopped New Jersey from allowing legalized sports betting last weekend has set a court date for the state and the professional sports leagues and NCAA to argue whether the ban should be extended.

The parties will convene Nov. 20 in Trenton in front of U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp, whose temporary restraining order that stopped New Jersey from allowing legal sports betting is set to expire the day after.

Shipp issued the order last Friday, derailing Monmouth Park racetrack's plans to start accepting sports wagers last Sunday.

The leagues and NCAA are seeking a preliminary injunction to extend that ban while the case proceeds in court. The state has until Monday to file its brief opposing the preliminary injunction, and the plaintiffs have until next Friday to file a response.

The two sides disagree over whether New Jersey can repeal its prohibitions against sports gambling without violating a 1992 federal law. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act bans state-sponsored sports betting in all but Nevada and three other states.

If Shipp issues the injunction, New Jersey is likely to appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. The 3rd Circuit rejected New Jersey's constitutional challenge to PASPA last year, but the panel provided an apparent opening when it wrote that PASPA didn't expressly stop New Jersey from rolling back its sports gambling laws.

On Tuesday, Shipp also increased the amount of a bond the leagues and NCAA have to post from $1.7 million to $3.4 million. The bond would cover estimated losses by Monmouth Park because of the temporary restraining order.

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