New Casinos Are Coming To Nebraska

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Gamblers Could See casinos in Lincoln and Omaha

Gamblers in Lincoln and Omaha could be in for a treat with the news that voters have ended Nebraska’s ban on the gambling industry. This means that gamblers could see new casinos as early as next year. 

Lance Morgan, the president of Ho-Chunk Inc., said its firm is making plans to spend close to $300 million to add casinos at certain horse-racing tracks in and around the cities. 

“We want to come out swinging with a high-quality, competitive product,” Morgan said. “We’re not going to slow down. We’re going to press down on the gas a little bit.”

Morgan said casino backers are happy with the news, and the state’s horse racing industry is open to the idea of having casinos within their structure in addition to restaurants, hotels, and so on. 

More than 66% of the voters approved the amendments to legalize casinos at Nebraska’s licensed horse racing tracks. 

Big News For Gambling Fans 

Gambling measures have come out triumphant in the past week. Three states have made sports betting legal, and three additional conditions are either approving or expanding casino gambling. 

Louisiana, South Dakota, and Maryland have legalized sports betting. Just like Nebraska, Virginia has given the green light to casino gambling in four locations. In addition, Colorado expanded the number and type of casino games it can provide. 

Morgan said Ho-Chunk is ready to open Nebraska’s casinos. Although plans still require approval from regulators, Morgan insists they have what it takes to get the casinos ready. 

Opposition to the party 

The gambling measures have faced lots of opposition, most especially from Republican Gov Pete Ricketts, who donated a lump sum of his money to form an anti-casino group. 

“I have tasked my team with reviewing the ballot initiative and to ascertain the next steps. Nebraska will respect the will of the people and the decision they made on Election Day,” Ricketts said in a statement.

Gambling opposition said they were expecting to lose, given the amount of money spent on various pro-casino events and ads. They expect the casino projects to move forward quickly, but they didn’t rule out any potential lawsuit in the future. 

“We got clobbered,” said Pat Loontjer, executive director of the anti-casino group Gambling With The Good Life. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they started construction today.”

Some of the voters said they supported the gambling measures because they would rather keep the money in the state rather than going to other states to gamble.

“I supported those to help out with taxes, so our money is not going across the border to Iowa for their gambling,” said Adam Byrd, a 29-year-old semi-truck driver from Omaha.