LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – As Nebraska licensed horse tracks begin preparations for their casinos, state lawmakers are introducing bills to allow sports betting at them.
Sen. Tom Briese of Albion introduced Legislative Bill 560 and 561 to regulate casinos in the state and allow sports betting in them. Omaha State Senator Brett Lindstrom has a legislative resolution to get sports betting in the next election.
Sen. Briese said he has opposed gambling from the beginning but is changing his mind after the November election.
“Here in November the voters spoke and they spoke loud and clear,” Sen. Briese said.
Sen. Briese said his bills would allow for online and mobile gambling, but within licensed facilities. He also said sports gambling would be allowed if his bills pass.
“This would clarify that it is included in the ballot proposal and that’s my argument that the voters did approve sports betting when they legalized games of chance,” Sen. Briese said.
Those games of chance could be played at the Warhorse Casino in Lincoln as early as next spring. According to city documents, it’s proposing a 165,000 square foot facility. It’ll also propose 196 hotel rooms and up to 1,500 parking sports.
Sen. Lindstrom has what he calls a backup plan in a legislative resolution to get sports betting on the 2022 ballot.
“In light of the 2 to 1 vote last November and obviously with overwhelming support, it just seemed to be a natural progression,” Sen. Lindstrom said.
He said his resolution complements senator Briese’s bills and hopes the state can start collecting on the bets Nebraskans are already making.
“It’s being done it’s just the state is losing out on what could help offset some tax reform,” Sen. Lindstrom said.
Both senators are hopeful either one will pass giving the state the revenue dollars expected from casinos.
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