Plans for Harrah’s Nebraska Casino Approved by Columbus City Council

Nebraska State Seal With Gavel And Casino Background

The city of Columbus, Nebraska could be opening a new casino by the end of the year. City officials approved redevelopment plans for a new Harrah’s casino and racetrack. The redevelopment plans will cost over $70 million. Harrah’s brand recognition and extensive member rewards system were motivating factors behind its selection for the project.

Caesars Entertainment, the company that owns the Harrah’s brand, selected Columbus for the project last year. To build and operate the casino, Caesars partnered with local organizations. Convergence, LLC will oversee the construction of the new casino. Columbus Exposition and Racing (CER) will assist Caesars will operating the new Harrah’s casino.

City and casino officials are hopeful that the casino will make Columbus a new entertainment destination in the Midwest. When completed, the casino will offer Nebraskan bettors plenty of new gaming options. Plans for the project include hundreds of slot machines, over a dozen table games, and a new horse racing track. There will also be a hotel on-site. Officials hope that the Harrah’s brand helps to attract new tourists to the area.

Residents in Nebraska voted last year to expand gaming options in the state. The support from locals made Columbus an obvious choice for Caesars. Once it is up and running, the new Harrah’s casino should also act as a catalyst for the local economy. The building of the project creates new construction jobs in the short term. Once it is open, the casino and surrounding operations will create long-term employment options.

How the Caesars Brought the Harrah’s Brand to Nebraska

Last year, voters approved the expansion of gambling in the state of Nebraska. The measure allowed racetracks to begin operating casino gaming machines. With the expansion approved, the CER began looking for a casino developer to build a new gaming operation in Columbus. The CER chose Caesars Entertainment, specifically their Harrah’s brand.

Harrah’s is just one of many brands operated by Caesars Entertainment. Its widely recognized name should help the casino attract business quickly. The project itself carries a hefty price tag of $75 million. Due to Nebraska gaming laws, the project will include a racetrack in addition to a casino.

To build the new Harrah’s project, Caesars has partnered with Convergence, LLC. For funding for the project, Convergence is seeking support through tax increment financing (TIF). The casino and racetrack are expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The new casino will be the first of its kind in Nebraska. Horse racing has been part of Nebraska’s gaming community for over 75 years. However, the new Harrah’s casino will mark the first true casino-style retail gaming operation in the state.

A Closer Look at the Features of Harrah’s Nebraska Casino

Caesars Entertainment does not throw around the Harrah’s name lightly. To be worthy of the prestigious brand, plans for the new casino had to be top-notch. The location for the new project will be conveniently located off of Highway 81.

Harrah’s Casino in Columbus will include 40,000 square feet of gaming space. Guests will be able to access 400 slot machines and 20 table games. There will also be a 1-mile horse racing track on the grounds. Officials from Caesars have noted the importance they place on honoring the horse racing tradition in Nebraska.

Bettors will also be able to wager on sports at the new casino. There will be a retail sportsbook on-site. Nebraska gaming law does not allow for online sportsbooks. The new Harrah’s location will give bettors in Columbus easier access to one of the fasting growing sectors of the gaming industry.

In addition to the wide range of gaming options, guests will also be able to access a variety of other features. Plans for the project include space for several retail shops and restaurants. There are also plans to build a hotel on the property.

Columbus is Welcoming of New Harrah’s Casino

The prospect of a Harrah’s casino in Columbus is exciting for both the city and Caesars Entertainment. Caesars has been expanding to several new states across the US. Establishing operations in Nebraska will help Caesars secure a foothold in the Midwest.

Columbus should also benefit from the new casino. A first-class operation will help make the city a tourist destination. It will also help stimulate the local economy. Building the new casino and racetrack will create new construction jobs. Once complete, the Harrah’s casino will employ dozens of new staff in order to operate.

Part of the reason CER decided on Caesars Entertainment for the new casino project is because of the rewards program they offer customers. At the Harrah’s casino, guests will be able to access Caesars’ rewards, which they can use at casinos across the country.  Caesars also has an experienced marketing team that can help get the new casino off the ground quickly.


The gaming industry in Nebraska should be getting a new player by the end of this year. Officials in Columbus approved redevelopment plans for a new Harrah’s casino off of Highway 81. The project will also include a racetrack, hotel, and several retail and dining options.

City officials decided to partner with Caesars Entertainment, Harrah’s parent company, to help bring retail casino gaming to the state. Nebraskans voted last year to allow racetracks to operate casino games. The new Harrah’s project will be the first of its kind in the state.

When it is complete, the new casino should create increased economic opportunities in the state. In addition to employing dozens of new employees, the casino hotel will hopefully attract new tourists to the area. Caesars’ plans for the project will also honor Nebraska’s long history of horse racing by creating a first-class racetrack.