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Nebraska Legal Sports Betting Faces Growing Public Pressure

Nebraska legal sports betting has yet to arrive and the public is growing impatient with the state's gaming commission.

News surrounding the upcoming Nebraska legal sports betting launch has been kept on the quiet side for several months. More than a year has passed since residents voted to authorize a limited form of domestic betting and regulators have yet to announce a timeline for the debut.

Discomfort In Patience

The lack of information has left many with a sense of unease. With so many major sporting events slated for the fall, bettors fear that they may miss out on thousands in winnings. 

Some operators have stepped in to defend the shortcomings of Nebraska’s Racing and Gaming Commission. Chris Kotulak, CEO of Fonner Park in Grand Island added this to the conversation:

“The pace to get where we are might not be what some wanted, but there were and are many important things to cover. The Racing and Gaming Commission needed to create an entire collection of casino regulations and that takes time,”

Nebraska’s newly legal sports betting format is very bare bones and excludes the use of mobile sports betting apps. With the state’s limited setup, it is easy to understand the disappointment of such a delayed debut.

Fortunately, we don’t expect the wait to take very much longer.

Lengthy Legal Betting Procedures

Upon the arrival of state-licensed sportsbooks, patrons will be able to place their wagers at the state’s tribal and commercial racinos. Many of the state’s prospective operators already have fully established casino locations. 

Meanwhile, others have been given the green light to host temporary sportsbook services while permanent casinos are in development.

Still, nothing is promised until the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission executes its licensing and approvals. On the bright side, this action is expected to arrive in the coming months.

Public pressures have certainly caught the attention of commission officials. However, some think that the upset is unwarranted—or at least misplaced. 

Commission executive director Tom Sage responded to the criticisms with the following:

“I understand people’s frustration. They think, ‘It was on the ballot, approved by the people. Why isn’t it happening now?’ It’s a long, detailed process and with sports wagering, we’re starting from scratch.”

At this point, the commission finally has a set of rules and guidelines for sportsbook operation. Pulling measures from other legal sports betting states, officials can now move forward with background checks and licensing applications. 

Nebraska Betting Benefits

When domestic sportsbooks enter the Nebraska market, bettors can look forward to perks beyond the casino floor. State sports betting revenue collections will be fixed at 20%, a much higher margin than is found in the rest of the Midwest. 

Once the cash does start flowing, 70% of the total taxes will be used to provide homeowners with property tax relief with 25% dedicated to supplemental funding for cities and towns with authorized gambling.

The remaining money will be split between the General Fund and problem gambling prevention. 

For more information on sports gambling in Nebraska, head to our state pages. There, you can find the legal ins and outs of all things betting.

Source: Lincoln Journal Star

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