A  judge has cleared the way for the battle between New Jersey and the four major professional sports leagues and the NCAA over possible sports gambling in the state to continue.

PNC, Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp agreed Friday that the leagues have standing to sue the state because expanding legal sports betting to New Jersey would negatively affect perception of their games.

Shipp cited studies that showed fans' negative attitudes toward game-fixing and sports gambling.

A nationwide poll released Friday found that 51 percent of Americans support making sports gambling legal everywhere.

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

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