Nebraska has some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. For years, lawmakers here have worked to ban casinos from operating inside the state. Next year, voters may have the opportunity to decide whether or not to allow casino gambling in Nebraska.
A new ballot is being considered to finally open this state’s casino industry. Today, we’re going to look at why officials here are looking to open the industry.
Nebraska’s Laws on Gambling
As we already mentioned, Nebraska has some extremely strict rules when it comes to both online and land-based gambling. Right now, Nebraska bans almost all forms of casino gambling and is one of the few states to show no interest in legalizing sports betting. The state is also against almost all forms of online gambling.
As of now, lawmakers here have taken no steps to regulate internet gaming. There are a number of online casinos in Nebraska currently operating, yet none of them are regulated by the state.
There are four “casinos” operating here, yet they are only allowed to offer bingo and card games. Unlike most states, Nebraska does not allow slot machines.
This may all change soon. Supporters of casino gambling are launching a petition to place the issue on 2020’s ballot. If approved, voters here will have the ability to fully legalize casino gambling. It’s an exciting time for gaming fans throughout the state.
Is Casino Gambling in Nebraska Going to Become Legal?
Despite the harsh laws against it, many people in Nebraska love to gamble inside casinos. In order to legally do this, Nebraska residents need to visit nearby states such as Colorado, Iowa, or Kansas, where a number of casinos operate. Kansas, in particular, has grown to become one of the most popular casino gaming destinations for Nebraska residents.
Many in this state realize the revenue earnings they are missing out on. Right now, Ho-Chunk Inc is pushing for casino gambling in Nebraska to become legal. CEO Lance Morgan is working with the Winnebago Tribe to finally open this industry.
“Hundreds of millions of dollars go across the border every year,” he said. “For a Nebraskan to do gaming, you have to go half a mile. It’s the height of paternalism to try to try to restrict it.”
Morgan feels that Nebraskans will vote to legalize casino gambling if it appears on next year’s ballot. Will this measure be approved?
Pushback From Nebraska’s Politicians
There will clearly be some opposition from the state’s politicians. Governor Pete Ricketts has repeatedly claimed he is against gambling. Nate Grasz, policy director for the Nebraska Family Alliance, is already pushing against new laws on casino gambling in Nebraska.
“Casinos are bad for families and bad for business,” Grasz said. “All men and women deserve an opportunity to build the best lives for themselves, and state-sanctioned gambling robs them of that opportunity.”
The new push for legal casino gambling in Nebraska will require some major changes. First, there will need to be a constitutional amendment that allows casino gambling. Next, there will need to be a set of industry regulations and tax laws on the market.
A call for legal casino gambling failed to pass in 2016. Hope is that this time around, voters will see the potential revenue earnings associated with the industry. Stay tuned for updates on Nebraska’s gambling laws as they come out!