- Two bills that have been introduced in Nebraska would allow for mobile and retail sportsbooks to become legal in the state.
- The racetracks that would be eligible for casino games would also be allowed to open sports betting venues to patrons with a mobile component that could only be accessed inside the venue.
LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska voted to legalize casino gaming in November through Initiative 429, where 65% of residents were in favor of games being incorporated at racetracks and now Senator Tom Briese (R-Albion) wants to add sports betting to the mix before the industry has even launched.
Two new bills have been filed and introduced to the Nebraska Legislature that discusses the rules and regulations for the casino gambling market of the state and has added “sports wagering” as a game of chance that would be considered legal through the initial vote that took place in November.
“In November the voters spoke and they really delivered a mandate, and that mandate is that they want to see casinos at racetracks, and they want the property tax relief that that will provide,” said Briese, Nebraska’s General Affairs Committee Chairman.
The Introduction Of The Bills
Legislative Bill 560 and Legislative Bill 561 each discuss different rules and regulations to go along with the gambling industry of the state. Through NE LB 560, the horse racing tracks would be allowed to have slot machines, table games, and sports betting at their facilities.
The one stipulation in this is that all gambling be done on the grounds, inside the establishment itself. Briese has said that geofencing technology would ensure that mobile gaming platforms were used only within the facility as would be stated in the law should the bill pass.
NE LB 561 is more about the actual rules set forth by the industry rather than the addition of sports betting as a game of chance. Under this bill, Briese is requesting an increase in the gambling age from 19 to 21 in order for any resident to be able to play slot machines, table games, wager on sports, or participate in parti-mutuel betting.
This proposal turns the Nebraska Racing Commission into the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission where seven individuals would be overseeing the entire industry, five of them being racing commissioners.
Combining the racing and gaming commissions into one entity not only streamlines the market but provides a more efficient manner of getting things done as they each have to work alongside one another anyway.
What’s Next For Nebraska?
These will not be the only bills on the topic of sports betting legalization to be heard by the Nebraska Legislature in the 2021 session. However, this provides the safest and easiest way to allow for legal sportsbooks in Nebraska to open.
And the added revenue with a tax rate of 20% on all GGR would go toward helping the economy that has been so greatly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.
The Legislature has until June of this year when they will adjourn to decide on these two bills and any others that would see sports betting become a legal pastime in the state. The casino gaming aspect in Nebraska is set to launch in 2022 and sportsbooks may just be included.
News tags: Albion | Coronavirus pandemic | COVID-19 | Initiative 429 | Legislative Bill 560 | Legislative Bill 561 | NE LB 560 | NE LB 561 | Nebraska | Nebraska Legislature | Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission | Nebraska Racing Commission | Nebraska's General Affairs Committee | Tom Briese
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.