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Leagues poised to challenge NJ over sports betting

Leagues poised to challenge NJ over sports betting

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) Four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA are poised to move forward with their legal fight over New Jersey's plans to allow sports gambling.

That comes after a judge on Friday rejected arguments that the leagues couldn't prove they would be harmed if the state proceeds with the plans.

In denying the state's request to dismiss the lawsuit by the NBA, NHL, NFL, Major League Baseball and the NCAA, U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp agreed that they have standing to file the suit because expanding legal sports betting to New Jersey would negatively affect perception of their games.

In his ruling, Shipp cited studies offered by the leagues that showed fans' negative attitudes toward game-fixing and sports gambling.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy declined to comment on the ruling, telling The Associated Press on Saturday that ``the decision speaks for itself.''

Stacey Osburn, director of public and media relations for the NCAA, said the association was ``pleased with the court's ruling. The NCAA has long maintained that sports wagering threatens the well-being of student-athletes and the integrity of college sports.''

Phone messages left Saturday for officials with the NBA and NHL were not immediately returned. A voicemail for a MLB spokesman was full and would not accept messages.

New Jersey also has argued in court papers that a 1990s law prohibiting sports gambling in all but four states is unconstitutional, and Shipp ordered that a date for oral argument on that issue will be set after Jan. 20.

The federal law prohibited sports gambling in all states but Nevada, where bettors can gamble on single games, and three other states that were allowed to offer multi-game parlay betting. New Jersey has argued the law usurps the authority of state legislatures and discriminates by ``grandfathering'' in some states.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., D-N.J., who has worked in the House to change the federal law, decried Shipp's decision.

``It is absurd for the professional sports leagues and the NCAA to claim that they will suffer injuries as a result of the legalization of sports betting in New Jersey,'' Pallone said Saturday.

``That these organizations claim that the sports they represent will somehow have their reputation impacted is naive at best and assumes that illegal gambling is not currently occurring in lieu of legal sports betting,'' he added. ``The fact is that the presence of illegal betting and the crime that goes with it has a far greater impact on the legitimacy of sports organization.''

The leagues filed suit in August after Gov. Chris Christie vowed to defy a federal ban on sports wagering. The Republican governor signed a sports betting law in January, limiting bets to the Atlantic City casinos and the state's horse racing tracks.

New Jersey has said it plans to license sports betting as soon as January, and in October it published regulations governing licenses. But the state agreed to give the leagues 30 days' notice before it grants any licenses and hasn't done so yet, the state attorney general's office said last week.

The state, represented by former U.S. Solicitor General Theodore Olson, had argued before Shipp last Tuesday that the leagues are as popular as they've ever been despite the existence of legal gambling in Nevada and more widespread illegal gambling.

The NCAA has said it will relocate several championship events scheduled to be held in New Jersey next year because of the state's sports gambling push.

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D.C. Congresswoman will propose bill for RFK Stadium site as soon as Redskins change name

D.C. Congresswoman will propose bill for RFK Stadium site as soon as Redskins change name

D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton is prepared to bring a bill to Congress to buy the federal land that houses RFK Stadium in an effort to get a new facility built for the Washington football team. 

As soon as the Redskins change their name. 

"I certainly will. This is unused land. Unused Federal land. And the District can’t afford, because we have a height limit, to have any land go that goes unused. I couldn’t get this bill through even when Republicans controlled the House," Norton said Monday. "So I now believe I can get it through only after the name is changed for the good of the District of Columbia."

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Speaking exclusively with the Redskins Talk Podcast, Norton explained that a new stadium on the RFK site will make a tremendous economic impact for both the citizens of D.C. and for Redskins owner Dan Snyder.  

"Everybody wants to come to the nation’s capital. Events benefit tremendously by coming to the nation’s capital," the congresswoman said. "But you’ve got to have a place to hold those events. There was only one place to hold those events. And [not having] that place has - for no good reason - cost all those involved, including the District of Columbia, but above all Dan Snyder, a boatload, indeed a fortune, in revenue.”

The Redskins haven't played in D.C. since the late 1990s and, coincidental or not, the team has experienced barely any postseason success in that same time period. Norton might not be the biggest football fan, but she knows what's good for Washington football fans. 

"The time has come, it’s way overdue."

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Orioles' 60-game 2020 season begins with Opening Day on the road in Boston

Orioles' 60-game 2020 season begins with Opening Day on the road in Boston

Baseball is coming.

Major League Baseball announced its 2020 schedule on Monday evening, as each of the league's 30 clubs found out their 60-game slate for this year's pandemic-shortened season. For the Baltimore Orioles, that means an away date with the Boston Red Sox when the sport returns.

Baltimore will travel to Boston for a three-game series with rival Red Sox, starting on Friday, July 24, to begin its 2020 season. After a quick two-game series with the Miami Marlins following their weekend series in Boston, Baltimore returns home for an eight-game homestand beginning with the team's home opener on July 29 against Miami.

The Orioles are scheduled for a 10-game homestand from August 14-23, hosting series with the Washington Nationals, Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

However, the O's will head on the road for over a week immediately after, as Baltimore will play seven consecutive games away from Camden Yards from August 25-31.

RELATED: WHAT HAPPENS IF THE O'S ARE IN PLAYOFF CONTENTION?

The New York Yankees, arguably Baltimore's toughest opponent this season, first come to Baltimore on August 3 for a three-game series. Baltimore will have an extended stay in New York from September 8-13, as they are scheduled for a two-game series with the Mets before a four-game set with the Yankees.

Baltimore's season will conclude with two road series, beginning in Boston from September 22-24 before traveling to Toronto from September 25-27.

You can see the full schedule below:

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