Nebraska is known as the Cornhusker state and has a population of close to two million residents. It is ranked as the 38th largest state in terms of people, and though the population is on the smaller side, there is a great deal of land here as the state is ranked 16th in terms of dimension, having more than 70,000 square miles.
Nebraska is right in the middle of the map near Colorado and Kansas with other bordering states as well. This is the birthplace of Cool-Aid in Hastings way back in 1927! The gambling presence is on the smaller side, but it is fitting for those who live here.
Gambling History and Scenario
In the 1850s Omaha, Nebraska was settled and had saloons, prostitution and gambling, namely poker, which was so big that there is a poker variation called Omaha. With time, live poker was made illegal and still remains so these days, so those that want to play need to go to North Dakota or Iowa, unless they want to play charity poker at free tournaments.
The first gambling form to be legalized in Nebraska was pari-mutuel gambling, being approved by the voters in 1934. Until 1958 there was no other legal way to gamble in the state, but in this year charity bingo was legalized too.
Today there are 4 racetracks in Nebraska: Lincoln Race Track, AgPark, Horseman’s Park and Fonner Park Casino, and all of them have simulcast wagering available, something that was legalized in 1988.
The lottery in Nebraska was approved in 1992, which includes in-state and multi-state lotteries and games like Powerball, Mega Millions, Pick 3, 2by2 and MyDay. Nebraska is actually the only state that has set the lottery age limit to 19 years old, as most states set if for 18, while others to 21.
Charitable gaming in the state is held at the bars and restaurants with the necessary licensing. Once they are licensed, they can offer lotteries, pull-tabs, bingo, and raffles. This is the type of gambling that has the highest revenues, $280 reported for 2016, which meant $6.2 million in taxes for the state.
The lottery sells close to $180 million in tickets, from which $40 go directly to state programs, and makes the state ranks 39th from the 44 states with the lottery, being one of the lowest states per capita in what lottery is concerned.
In 2017 Daily Fantasy Sports were debated in order to become regulated in the state, under the bill 469. Fanduel and DraftKings, industry-leading sites, have been backing this bill and further support might come from the fees and tax paid by those operators. So far, the bill is not close to becoming approved though.
There are 4 tribal casinos in Nebraska: Lucky 77, Ohiva Casino, Native Star Casino and the Iron Horse Bar & Casino, which can offer slots, bingo, and keno. Nebraska is a conservative state and that is why commercial casinos weren’t approved yet. The appeal of a claimed $100 million in taxes is making lawmakers seriously consider the option though.
Currently, these tribal casinos are operated by the Winnebago Tribe (2), Santee Sioux Tribe and Omaha Tribe, and aren’t taxed by the Nebraska state. As they also don’t have to report earnings, their success is not clear, but given the lack of gambling culture in the state and the under 2 million residents, their success might not be huge.
Summary of Types of Gambling Found in Nebraska
In Nebraska, there aren’t many casinos. One is the Rosebud Casino which welcomes players who are 21 and over. This casino offers most kinds of gaming with Keno, Slots, and Tables. One of the more popular kinds of gambling found in Nebraska is Pari-mutuel betting. This type of gaming is found for players who are 18 and over.
The pari-mutuel betting here has five racing tracks for horses. Those racetracks include names like; Horsemen’s Park and Fonner Park. The largest form of gaming in Nebraska is the Lottery which allows players at an odd age to participate. Players must be 19 or older to purchase tickets for the popular games of Mega Millions, Pick Five, Powerball, 2by2, Pick 3 and others.
The online gambling situation is similar to what happens in most other states, it’s not declared illegal, but it doesn’t appear either on the exceptions listed by the law as legal. No one was ever arrested for online gambling, so it seems to be safe to do it, considering players do it discreetly.