Nebraska Casino Bill Gains Momentum

The dream of a commercial casino in Nebraska is one step closer to reality. Lawmakers in the Cornhusker State approved a measure that would allow for casinos at the state’s racetracks. It was the first of three votes the bill must pass before becoming law. For now, bettors will have to rely on Nebraska’s online casino options.

In its current form, the proposed casino bill would allow commercial casinos in six Nebraska counties. Casino licenses would be limited to licensed racetrack operators. To obtain a license, prospective licensees would have to pay a hefty seven-figure price tag. Once approved, the license would be valid for two decades.

Opponents of commercial casinos have expressed concerns about the market becoming oversaturated. The current casino bill would help address that by limiting the number of potential licensees. It would allow for the commercial casino market to develop slowly. However, some proponents of the bill are hoping it is just the first step in expanding commercial casinos statewide.

Casino Bill Progressing Through Nebraska Legislature

Commercial gambling in the US, especially sports betting, has been one of the fastest-growing industries in recent years. However, legislators in Nebraska have been hesitant to join in on the action. Bettors in the Cornhusker State are hopeful that will change soon.

Proponents of commercial gaming have put forth a Nebraska casino bill that would allow for commercial casinos in six counties. The same counties, located in central and eastern Nebraska, currently have racetracks. Under the current bill, licensed racetrack operators could apply for a casino license. The casinos themselves would be limited to the racetrack venues.

To get the license, operators would have to an initial fee of $1 million. The casino license would last for 20 years. So far, the casino bill has passed the first of three votes by Nebraska lawmakers. It would also appear to have the support of Nebraska residents. A public vote in 2020 approved casino gambling at the state’s racetracks.

Nebraska’s Slow Transition to Casino Gambling

Proponents of commercial gaming in Nebraska still have a long road ahead of them. While other states have been quick to embrace commercial betting options, Nebraska lawmakers have been hesitant. Opponents of commercial casinos cite fears of market oversaturation.

Currently, gambling options in Nebraska are mostly limited to racetracks and tribal gaming options. The lack of widespread competition makes Nebraska a prime location for commercial gaming entities. The current Nebraska casino bill appears to offer a fair compromise for both sides.

If passed, Nebraska racetracks would be allowed to casinos at their venues. However, limiting casinos to racetracks would prevent a large number of casinos from flooding the market. The compromise should help it pass through the remaining legal steps.

Will Nebraska Casinos Always be at Racetracks?

The current casino bill would limit Nebraska casinos to the state’s racetracks. However, many supporters of the bill would like to see casinos move beyond the confines of those venues. Despite the support, it will likely be years before casinos in Nebraska are able to branch out.

Part of the reason for the delay is that the current bill still needs to be passed. Also, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission announced it will be conducting a study on the effect of casinos. The study could provide valuable evidence to either side in the commercial casino debate. However, it is not expected to be completed until 2025.

The delay could work in the favor of racetracks if the current bill is passed. With a monopoly on commercial casinos, racetracks would be able to build up the necessary infrastructure for a casino. Also, they would have time to build a stable client base before any out-of-state casino developers moved into Nebraska.

Conclusion

A proposed casino bill in Nebraska has passed its first test in the state’s legislature. While the reality of commercial casinos may be far off, it is closer than ever before. With one vote down, the casino bill is beginning to build momentum among the state’s lawmakers.

If passed, the casino bill would allow Nebraska’s licensed racetracks to also operate casinos. Currently, there are no commercial casinos in Nebraska. However, that could change in the near future. The bill still has to pass two more rounds of voting by lawmakers. However, it appears to include enough compromises to get both sides to approve it.

Even if racetracks are approved to operate casinos, the commercial gaming fight does not end there. Proponents of commercial gaming want to see casinos expand beyond Nebraska’s racetracks. However, any possibility of expanded commercial gaming will likely depend on an NRGC study that will take years to complete.

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

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.

Conclusion

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.

Casino Laws in Nebraska Are About to Expand

Casino Roulette Table

The state of Nebraska is known for having some strict laws towards the gambling industry. Interestingly, things are beginning to change here. With approval from the majority of state residents, casino laws in Nebraska are finally set to expand.

It’s exciting news for gambling fans here. Not everyone is excited to see things change, though. Today, we’re going to take a look at how casino laws will be expanding in the state.

Let’s get into it!

US Casino Companies Face Biggest Difficulties to Date

Prior to 2020, the US had one of the most successful casino industries in the world. Many states had either tribal casinos, commercial casinos, or even both operating. Unfortunately, this industry is now facing its toughest test to date.

For months, all of the country’s casinos were completely shut down. Different states then began setting regulations for these gambling venues to reopen. Today, nearly all of the casinos around the country are accepting guests again.

This industry still has a long road to recovery, though. Revenue figures remain significantly lower than they were in 2019. We’re also seeing major spikes in Covid-19 cases around the country. This had led some major casino companies to change their venue’s operating hours.

More of these companies are now changing their focus. Many are beginning to offer more online gambling options to players. Some are also working hard to cut down on rates in order to bring more visitors into their hotels.

Gambling revenue figures around the country are extremely low right now. Some believe the upcoming winter months will make things even worse. Sports betting revenue is helping to make up for some of this lost revenue, yet it’s not enough to completely turn this situation around.

It’s an unprecedented situation for the casino industry. Gaming companies have never been forced to deal with the kind of regulations set in place right now. Interestingly, one state has just decided to expand its casino laws.

Voters Approve Measure to Expand Casino Laws in Nebraska

Lawmakers in the state of Nebraska have been considering expanding gambling laws for years. Nebraska is known for having very strict laws towards the gaming industry. Many, however, feel that expanding regulations here will help to bring the state valuable revenue each month.

Not long ago, news broke that several measures to finally expand the casino laws in Nebraska would appear on November 3rd’s ballot. Many were torn on whether or not the state would approve these measures. As we mentioned earlier, there are many here that have been vocal against allowing casino gambling in the state.

It’s now been confirmed these have all been approved. Initiative 429, 430, and 431 have all been approved. It’s the biggest change to the gambling laws here ever made. Below is a description of these measures.

Initiative 429: Allows casino table games to appear inside race tracks in Nebraska. This would amend the state constitution to state that laws may be enacted to provide for the authorization, regulation and taxation of all forms of games of chance to be conducted by licensees within licensed racetrack enclosures in Nebraska.

Initiative 430: This allows games of chance to be offered at state race tracks. It also establishes a Nebraska Gaming Commission to license and regulate these gambling activities. 

Initiative 431: Imposes a 20% annual tax rate on all gross gaming revenue from games of chance. Also sets rules on how this tax money is distributed to the state. 

These have all been approved. It’s an exciting time for gambling proponents here. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation over the next few weeks.

When Will Nebraska Legalize Sports Betting?

It’s incredible to see casino laws in Nebraska finally change. It seemed like this state would never choose to expand its gaming regulations. Many are now asking questions about when Nebraska will choose to legalize sports gambling.

It’s still not entirely clear which games will be allowed inside race tracks. Some feel that the passed initiatives allow for sports gambling. Others claim a completely new piece of legislature will need to be passed here in order for sports gambling to become available.

This seems more possible now than ever before. Lawmakers here are clearly seeing the benefits of regulated gambling industries. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a new sports betting bill appear here sometime in the near future.

Many are now calling for online and land-based sports gambling to become available here. The states with online sports betting options are earning a huge amount of money from the industry. That includes New Jersey, which continues to see record-high sports betting handle figures.

It’s not clear when lawmakers will begin working on this. There are obviously more pressing matters at hand. Stay tuned for more information!

Are you surprised to see casino laws in Nebraska finally change? When do you expect sports betting to become available here? Let us know in the comments section below!

Nebraska’s Casino Industry May Soon Open Up

The state of Nebraska is known for having some of the strictest gambling laws in the country. Here, all commercial gambling venues are completely prohibited. Interestingly, a new measure has just been approved here that could help to finally expand Nebraska’s casino industry.Nebraska Casinos

Many feel that it’s time for this state to update its regulations towards the gambling industry. That’s particularly true now, at a time when the state is in serious need of revenue. Today, we’re going to look at how the state’s casino laws may change.

Let’s get into it!

Most States Have Now Reopened Their Casino Industries

For the past few years, the casino industry in the United States has been thriving. Several states quickly grew to become major gambling destinations. That includes several states in the midwest such as Ohio and Oklahoma.

This past March, things took a major turn. State leaders around the country began ordering their casinos to shut down as the global pandemic took hold. This proved to be devastating for states like New Jersey and Nevada.

As the weeks went on, officials in these states began to see that these regulations could not remain in place forever. Casinos employ a huge number of people around the country and are necessary for bringing states revenue. Finally, Nevada’s leaders announced that casinos would be allowed to open back up in June.

Other major casino destinations took notice. Eventually, news broke that New Jersey was set to allow its major casino-resorts to open their doors in July. We’re now in September, and almost every single state has decided to open its casino industry.

New York was the last state to allow its commercial casinos to reopen. This state was hit extremely hard by the pandemic early on. As a result, the state’s leaders have been very hesitant to allow crowded venues such as casinos to open their doors again. Fortunately, Governor Cuomo has confirmed that casinos here will reopen next week.

Many are now looking at whether or not it’s time for Nebraska to change its casino laws.

The Public Will Soon Vote On the Future Of Nebraska’s Casino Industry

As we said earlier, Nebraska is known for having an extremely tough set of gambling laws. Here, most traditional gambling venues are completely banned. Tribal casinos are allowed here, yet commercial casinos are illegal.

Many of the state’s lawmakers have complained that these regulations are outdated. Most states around the country now allow and are profiting massively off their casinos. This week, several gambling proponent groups have succeeded in getting a measure to allow casino gambling in state race tracks on November’s ballot.

Residents in the state will now have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to allow Class III casino games inside Nebraska’s race tracks. Omaha, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Columbus, Hastings and Grand Island all have tracks that could offer these casino games. Many analysts predict the measure will be approved by a wide margin.

Not everyone is pleased with this decision, though. Governor Pete Ricketts has condemned this decision and is calling on Nebraskans to push against this move.

“While I respect the judgment of the Court on the gambling initiatives, I urge Nebraskans to keep gambling out of the Good Life when they head to the polls in November,” he said. 

The supporters of this bill believe that opening Nebraska’s casino industry will help the state generate some much-needed revenue. Many residents here make the trip to neighboring states to gamble. Legal casinos would help to keep money inside Nebraska.

We’ll need to wait and see how state residents respond to this measure in November.

Sports Betting Could Soon Become Legal in Nebraska

Nebraska’s Supreme Court made a historic decision to allow a gambling measure to appear on November’s ballot. For the first time ever, commercially-run casinos may finally be allowed in the state. Interestingly, sports betting could finally come to this state, as well.

Back in May of 2018, the Supreme Court decided to strike down PASPA. Doing so gave every state in the country the ability to legalize and regulate sports gambling. 24 states around the country have already passed bills to allow sports gambling and most are seeing huge revenue jumps from this industry.

Nebraska’s casino industry may open up after November’s ballot. Many now feel that a measure to allow sports betting should appear on the ballot, as well. It will almost certainly help to bring the state a huge amount of money each year.

Sports betting revenue is up around the entire country. That’s particularly true in areas of the country that allow online sports gambling. Many states, even those with harsh laws towards casino gambling, are now choosing to allow this form of gambling.

It’s a very interesting time for the gambling industry in Nebraska. Things are clearly changing here. Stay tuned for more updates as November rolls around.

Are you excited to see Nebraska’s casino industry open up? Should sports betting be legal here? Let us know in the comments section below!