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Nebraska Gambling Expansion Legislation Now Includes Sports Betting At Racinos

Cornhuskers Mascot At Nebraska Sportsbook

It seems that the crest of the sports betting wave has broken and is now crashing down upon the states that have yet to regulate it, as one by one, new territories approve of legislation to allow for in-person, mobile, and online domestic sportsbooks.

If any state was struggling prior to the onset of COVID-19, then you can bet that those regions are struggling even more so now. The sports betting revenue reports from each state are likely the reason for the burgeoning interest from districts that have historically been in opposition to gambling in general.

Now it seems that Nebraska sports betting is not only on the table, but on the fast track for approval following last year’s endorsement of racetrack casinos.

“In November the voters spoke and they really delivered a mandate, and that mandate is that they want to see casinos at racetracks, and they want the property tax relief that that will provide.”

NE State Senator Tom Briese – Chair of Nebraska’s General Affairs Committee

To pave the way for legal sports betting in Nebraska, the activity first needs to be affirmed as a game of chance. LB 560 includes language that declares betting on sports to be a game of chance, which allows the act to be included among other casino games that have already been legalized.

Residents and visitors to the area may soon be able to bet on sports in downtown Omaha, but only if you are in a geofenced casino that features a sportsbook that has been licensed by the state of Nebraska.

Geofencing allows for sports betting and gambling to take place via smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but only if they are within the boundaries of the licensed racetrack casino (racino).

These geography-based restrictions are part of the legal landscape in a few of the US States that have regulated sports betting, and do not allow for wagers to be placed on popular sports from the comfort of bettors’ homes.

The absence of free-range mobile sports betting apps in Nebraska creates a massive hole in the market that offshore sportsbooks are able to fill by accepting wagers from bettors in the area over the Internet.

Federal and state laws make no attempt to govern these internationally-based sports betting sites, and therefore, Nebraska gamblers won’t get into any trouble by becoming a customer and risking some of their bankrolls on the Cornhuskers or on Super Bowl 55 odds.

Unfortunately, there is still quite a long road ahead for Nebraska sports betting to receive the green light, as legalization will not activate until 90 days after the legislative session concludes.

When that happens, there’ll be another round of regulation in the 2022 session required before any vendors can apply for a sportsbook license in Nebraska.

Because sports betting will be lumped in with games of chance in LB 506, if it passes with that language included, then a minimum age of 21 will be required to wager on athletics.

The racinos in Nebraska are being built now and are scheduled to open their doors to customers in 2022. With some luck and a little cooperation in the state legislature, sportsbooks could be in place by that time as well.

Source: KMTV CBS News – Omaha 

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