Progress is finally being made in the effort to launch legalized sports betting in the state of Nebraska. This is a process that has been going on for over two years, and it started after voters officially legalized games of chance in the state.
When sports betting does finally launch in Nebraska, bettors will only be able to place wagers in person as mobile sports betting will not be offered. This automatically limits the potential for growth in the market, but Nebraska has never been a state with a strong gambling background.
The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission has finished up its work, and it has sent the final rules and regulations to the Attorney General’s office. If they are approved at that level, then they will go to Governor Laura Ricketts for the final stamp of approval.
An official launch date has not been set for Nebraska, but it won’t be long to get retail sports betting up and running. Some potential retail sports betting sites have already started to work behind the scenes to ensure that they are ready when given the opportunity to go live.
Where Can Bets Be Placed?
Bettors are going to have to do some traveling if they wish to place bets in Nebraska, and there might only be one option when the industry goes live. The state is currently limited to just one casino location, and that is where the first bets are going to be placed.
The War Horse Casino-Lincoln recently opened in Nebraska to become the first legal wagering location in the state. This is clearly going to give the War Horse Casino a huge advantage when it comes to being the first option, but it might not be long before it’s joined by others.
Ho-Chunk Inc. is currently looking to get a couple of different casinos up and running in the state, and sports betting will be offered at those locations. Most of the retail betting is expected to be done at small windows or self-serve kiosks, regardless of the location.
Money Left on the Table
The sports betting regulators in Nebraska looked to other states for guidance when establishing rules and regulations. Colorado and Wyoming are two states that are near Nebraska, and they provided the framework for the final set of rules in Nebraska.
There was one major area where Nebraska chose to go a different direction, though as the state has banned betting on in-state college sporting events. Without a major professional team in Nebraska, both the state and the sportsbooks are leaving some serious money on the table.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers football team and the Creighton Bluejays basketball team would have brought in plenty of betting action. This is a rule that could ultimately be revisited at some point, but the launch will happen with professional sports only.
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