- The Constitution in Nebraska prohibits games of chance but what if sports betting was seen as a game of skill?
- A new bill suggests that wagering on sporting events takes skill which would make it legal in the state.
- Currently, sports bettors in Nebraska place their wagers with offshore sportsbooks or visit Iowa where gambling on sports is legal.
LINCOLN, Neb. – The Cornhusker State could see legal sports betting in 2020 if lawmakers categorize it as a game of skill rather than one of chance. A member of the Nebraska Legislature, Justin Wayne, has introduced a new bill for the legalization of the wagering on sports, among other forms of gambling mentioned within the bill.
NE LB990, the bill sponsored by Wayne calls for daily fantasy sports, sports betting and poker to be legal under the condition that these are all games of skill which would make them legal.
If the state agrees that they are in fact games of skill rather than games of chance, any revenue made from the market would go toward funding the education system in Nebraska as per the bill’s stipulations.
Chance Or Skill?
In order for Wayne’s bill to become a law, those voting on it would have to agree on what constitutes a game of chance and a game of skill. Under the Constitution of Nebraska, all games of chance are deemed illegal to engage in.
However, games of skill are considered legal vices. Their neighboring state of Iowa has legalized sports betting and Nebraskans are flocking to the state in order to place their legal wagers on sporting events.
All of this is revenue lost by Nebraska is gained by Iowa. Residents of Nebraska can access mobile sports betting through Iowa as well. They first must sign up at a retail location in the state and then they only need to be within state lines to use the mobile sportsbook applications.
“Iowa’s going to continue to profit off Nebraska,” said Brendan Bussmann, the former director of football operations at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
The Cornhusker State’s best bet at getting NE LB990 to become a law is to prove their case to the lawmakers in charge. When broken down, sports betting is very much a game of skill that is thinly veiled as a game of chance because the bettor is taking a chance on their choice of wager.
But to come up with that choice, they have to be knowledgeable and to be knowledgeable means they have a skill set for the game, therefore making it a game of skill.
It could be a while before that point gets across and Nebraska sports betting is signed into law, but it can be interpreted as a true explanation of what sports betting entails.
Gamblers must acquire the proper strategies and study up on their wagers before making them. And while yes, they may not have control over each team’s performance when the game starts, they have control over their bankroll and deciding which games to put action on and which ones not to based on research and strategy.
Until that has been realized, Iowa will continue to benefit from Nebraska’s lack of legal sports betting. Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has firmly stood against gambling expansion in the past, however, he has not commented on NE LB990 quite yet.
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.