LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – As Nebraska-licensed horse racing tracks begin preparations for their casinos, state lawmakers are introducing bills to allow sports betting on them.
Albion Senator Tom Briese introduced Bills 560 and 561 to regulate and allow sports betting in the state’s casinos. Omaha State Senator Brett Lindstrom has draft legislation to include sports betting in the next election.
Senator Briese said he spoke out against gambling from the start but would change his mind after the November elections.
“Here in November the voters spoke and they spoke loud and clear,” said Sen. Briese.
Senator Briese said his bills would allow online and mobile gambling, but within licensed establishments. He also said sports games would be allowed if his bills matched.
“This would make it clear that it is in the nomination, and that is my argument, that voters approved sports betting when they legalized gambling,” Sen. Briese said.
These games of chance could be played as early as next spring at the Warhorse Casino in Lincoln. According to the city, a facility with an area of 165,000 square meters is proposed. In addition, 196 hotel rooms and up to 1,500 park sports are proposed.
Senator Lindstrom has a so-called backup plan in a legislative resolution to bring sports betting on the 2022 ballot.
“Given the 2-1 vote last November, and obviously with overwhelming support, it seemed like a natural development,” said Senator Lindstrom.
He said his resolution added to Senator Briese’s bills and hoped the state can begin collecting the bets Nebraskans are already making.
“It’s being done, it’s just that the state is losing, which could help offset tax reform,” Senator Lindstrom said.
Both senators are confident that one of them will bring the state the revenue the casinos expect.
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