Nebraska Nears Sports Betting Launch Following Commission Approval of Rules


Nebraska state regulators approved the latest sports betting rules on Friday to put the state closer to launching sports wagering at racetrack casinos or “racinos.”

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No Launch Date Yet for Nebraska Sports Betting

Despite the progress, it remains uncertain when Nebraska residents will be able to start betting on sports. 

It could take as long as several months for sportsbooks to open, according to media reports. The rules now head to the Attorney General’s Office to be reviewed before needing approval from Gov. Pete Ricketts.

According to the Lincoln Journal Star, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission approved rules that mirrored the framework from the Nebraska Legislature. The rules state all sports betting must take place in person at casinos located at horse racing tracks. 

They also prohibit betting on local teams when they are competing within the state. This means bettors would not be able to bet on home Nebraska football games and home Creighton basketball contests. 

The rules also lay out technical aspects of sports betting, including what contests people can wager and what types of bets they can make. There is currently one casino in operation where sports betting could debut, at WarHorse Casino at Lincoln Race Course. WarHorse recently opened last month.

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WarHorse to Feature Sports Betting

WarHorse announced it will offer sports betting at its temporary casino facility once the rules are finalized. Officials are working out how the venue will prepare for the sports betting release, according to Lynne McNally, CEO of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. 

“We are really excited to see the sports betting regulations pass out of the gaming commission yesterday,” director of marketing Pete Graziano said to KLKN. “It’s a great milestone to give the voters in the state what they asked for, which is casino gambling in Nebraska, including sports betting.”

Currently, only WarHorse would be permitted to go live with sports betting. Two or three more racinos are expected to launch at a date to be determined.

“If any of you think you’re going to be able to do some sports wagering in the relatively near future, that’s not really accurate,” Commission Chairman Dennis Lee said to the Journal Star. 

 

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