Others try to ease concerns about a burgeoning gambling industry in their state by emphasizing the potential benefits of consistency and tax revenue.
Limited College Football Sports Betting
The proposed legislation would legalize sports betting on games involving college and university football teams from the home state. However, according to existing law, it is strictly prohibited to wager on any sporting event outside of the state.
Lincoln Senator Eliot Biostar introduced the bill. He also suggested lottery ticket vending machines in Legislative Bill 1268, so his name is synonymous with the growth of gambling in Cornhusker State. Nonetheless, he made it crystal clear that the current campaign was not intended to increase size.
According to the Omaha World-Herald, he explained that the real goal of Legislative Bill 168 was to create more uniformity amongst state laws. On top of that, the plan would provide some funding for the Nebraska Opportunity Grant program, which is the state’s post-secondary college and university scholarship fund and is now supported by lottery revenue.
The primary goals of the proposed legislation are to modify the current law’s restrictions on sports betting and the locations in which it is legal. Despite the fact that sports betting is allowed in Nebraska, no one has yet placed a wager on a sporting event at one of the state’s casinos within its racetracks due to the state’s stringent regulations.
Nebraska’s Evolving Gambling Scene
The Lincoln, Nebraska-based WarHorse Casino and the Grand Island, Nebraska-based Fonner Park casino are available to gamblers in Nebraska. The latter brought in close to $286,000 in tax revenue in its first week, indicating promising prospects for that market segment. Revenue figures were not disclosed, although casinos in Nebraska pay a 20% tax. What this shows is that the casino made at least $1.4 million.
The permanent casino is expected to open at the end of 2024, with significantly higher numbers due to the increased appeal of its additional amenities. A legitimate casino may soon be able to provide sports betting as new regulations are set to be ratified and implemented in the coming months.
The state is looking into methods to increase the industry, and while it may be challenging to avoid the narrative of growing gambling with Sen. Bostar’s Bill 168, they are looking into it anyway. It plans to increase the number of casinos in the area by authorizing the development of new horse tracks and, most recently, Harrah’s Nebraska casino in Columbus.
Besides that, the state is considering taxing skill games because they have become so popular among Nebraska residents. Since so many businesses rely on these games, some worry that taxing them will spell doom for them, while others, like WarHorse Casino, see it as inevitable and helpful because it will let the state reduce its property taxes.