Nebraska casino bill receives positive initial response
In the U.S. federal state of Nebraska, a bill dealing with casino construction has received first-round approval from legislators. Earlier this week, a first-of-its-kind measure was approved in a voting session.
If finally accepted, the bill, which still requires two votes, will allow six counties in the state to operate land-based gambling facilities far into the future.
Nebraska bill to ease transition to gambling
In the U.S., and more specifically in Nebraska, the state’s casino bill aims to ease a slow and steady transition to gambling. In this centrally located state, legislators have not no desire to saturate the landscape with huge gambling complexes.
For the time being, the purpose of the law would be more to grant racetrack operators the right to offer casino-type games. Some areas of the state that are already home to horse racing facilities (including Adams, Dakota, Douglas, Hall, Lancaster and North Platte counties) would be likely to offer casino gaming in the future.
Legislators’ measure would satisfy developers’ desire for casinosThe legislators’ measure would satisfy the desire for casinos of developers, operators, and existing communities, while avoiding the clutter of natural areas, a point that worries political and environmental opponents.
Recall that since late 2020, a public vote in favor of casino gambling in Nebraska allows racetracks to offer more than just horse betting. However, they cannot yet offer bingo, electronic blackjack or slot machines to players because it took more than a year for the regulations to be put in place.
Under the current system, operators are required to pay $1 million to obtain a license to operate in the industry for twenty years.
Hard-core land-based casinos may also be coming
Because the casino bill is limited to racetracks, the number of properties offering gambling as found in Las Vegas will be limited. However, several legislators want to see casino gambling offered in other parts of the state.
As a result, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission plans to conduct a comprehensive study on the impact of opening full-scale land-based casinos in the state. The commission has the authority to approve or deny licenses based on what, if anything, the study reveals.
As it stands, Nebraska is not expected to be able to offer casino gaming outside of racetracks until 2025. However, once the strict nature of the state’s gambling regulations is relaxed, it is likely that new operators will be able to offer their services in what is the most rural region of the US.