Nebraska Sports Betting • LegalSportsbetting

When will Nebraska Legalize Online Sports Betting?

Any potential day of release for legal online sports betting in Nebraska continues to be unknown, as the state does not have any rules allowing for online sports betting.

For the time being, there are only two sites in Nebraska where bettors can legally wager on sports. All other state-licensed casinos that want to provide regulated sports betting have to request and be given vendor licenses.

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What is Going On in Nebraska Sports Betting Right Now?

October 25, 2023: The opening of a second WarHorse Casino in Omaha has been approved for October 25, 2023. The facility will be the state’s third retail sports betting site.
September 23, 2023: WarHorse Casino Lincoln will celebrate its one anniversary. WarHorse serves as one of just two retail sportsbooks in Nebraska.
August 23, 2023: The Grand Island Casino Resort opens in Grand Island on August 23, 2023. The casino is the state’s second location to allow sports betting.
June 22, 2023: WarHorse Casino Lincoln is pleased to announce the opening of their new sportsbook on June 22, 2023. For the launch, WarHorse collaborated with the Kambi Group. Bettors can place their bets at the betting window or through one of ten betting kiosks.
June 1, 2023: Nebraska has extended its go-live date to June 1, 2023, after missing its intended Memorial Day debut. The most recent stated probable launch date for regulated sports betting is June 24, the opening of the College World Series.
May 5, 2023: WarHorse Gaming has revealed plans to develop a second facility in Omaha alongside its Lincoln location.
February 1, 2023: Nebraska Racing and Gaming Executive Director Tom Sage says sports betting became technically authorized in Nebraska on February 1, 2023, when the Secretary of State’s Office released recently approved guidelines. However, the state currently lacks the infrastructure to allow casinos to accept wagers.

Nebraska Sportsbook Apps

As of present, Nebraska’s sports betting rules and regulations prohibit online or mobile betting. If that changes, a few online books may attempt to stake their claim in the state and start providing online sports betting promotions. Here are a few of the leading contenders:

DraftKings: Already a daily fantasy sports service in Nebraska, DraftKings is usually to be the first to launch in states where online sports betting is legal.
FanDuel: A DFS provider that is also operational in Nebraska and is frequently quick to begin in areas where sports betting is permitted. 
Caesars: A Harrah’s Services in Columbus is one of the potential racinos to be built in Nebraska. Caesars Entertainment owns Harrah’s, giving the gambling conglomerate a presence in the state. 

Nebraska Sports Betting Legislation

For the time being, sports betting will only be offered in approved racinos, and bets must be placed in person at sports gambling kiosks at the authorized sites.

Bettors can place wagers on professional, international, and college sports, as well as individual sporting awards, sports drafts, esports, and simulation games.
Prop bets on individual college athletes or wagers on Nebraska-based college teams competing in the state are not permitted.
Bettors will also be unable to wager on minor league or high school sports. 
Nebraska will levy a 20% tax on casino gaming proceeds.

Nebraska Legal Sports Betting Options

There are now two legal sports betting choices in Nebraska: the WarHorse Casino in Lincoln and the Grand Island Casino Resort in Grand Island. Some offshore sportsbooks may claim that sports betting is allowed in Nebraska on their websites. Still, these platforms operate outside of US law, and bettors have no legal recourse to reclaim unpaid wins or account balances if the sportsbook closes.

DFS platforms such as DraftKings and FanDuel allow Nebraska citizens to participate in daily fantasy sports games. 

Nebraska Casino Gambling

Nebraska has five tribal casinos on Native American reserve territory, as well as one racetrack and casino, WarHorse Casino at Lincoln Race Course. When the WarHorse debuted in September 2022, it became the state’s first racino. 

WarHorse has 433 slot machines, horse race simulcast betting, and, as of June 2023, gambling on sports at a sportsbook window or kiosks.

Nebraska Horse Racing Betting

Nebraska allows horse racing and horse betting. Bettors can place bets live at the track, via simulcast betting, online, or via an app.

Nebraska has six tracks with live dates in 2023. Each of these racetracks apparently plans to become a racino and incorporate sports betting facilities as soon as they are able:

Atokad Downs in South Sioux City
Fairplay Park in Hastings
Agricultural Park in Columbus
Fonner Park in Grand Island
Horsemen’s Park in Omaha
Lincoln Race Course in Lincoln (home of the recently opened WarHorse Casino)

Fonner Park, Horsemen’s Park, and Lincoln Race Course all provide simulcast betting.

Daily Fantasy Sports and Nebraska

All of the prominent daily fantasy sports companies accept entries from Nebraska residents. The state’s daily fantasy sports market is a legal gray area, as state law does not clearly prohibit or authorize daily fantasy sports.

Companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel accept paid entries throughout the state and may pursue retail sportsbook licenses in the future. Several attempts have been made in recent years to regulate and tax daily fantasy sports within the state, but none of those bills have passed.

Nebraska is Surrounded by Legalized Sports Gambling

While consumers in Nebraska do not currently have a legal way to place online sports bets, five of the six states adjacent to Nebraska allow some type of sports betting, including online betting.

Omaha, which has over a quarter of Nebraska’s population, is located on the Iowa border. Iowa approved sports betting in 2019, with online and retail betting following shortly after.

Nebraska is bordered by Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas, all of which have authorized online sports betting. South Dakota, to the north, allows sports betting as well, but exclusively at casinos in Deadwood.

Missouri is the only bordering state where sports betting is still banned, but it is not because of a lack of effort. Missouri had four active sports betting measures at the start of 2022, but lawmakers couldn’t agree on any of them.

Most Popular Sports to Gamble on Nebraska

Allegiances to sports teams in Nebraska are second to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Huskers football team is the most popular in the state and would likely bring in the highest betting handle of any event headquartered in Nebraska, but under the state’s sports betting restrictions, in-state bettors cannot legally bet on their beloved Huskers. 

Because there are no professional teams for sports in the state, supporters of professional teams prefer to gravitate toward teams in surrounding or close states.

The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are two of Nebraska’s most popular NFL clubs. Both teams are from adjacent states and have recently had considerable success. The Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, and Chicago Cubs are three of Nebraska’s most popular Major League Baseball clubs. 

The family of former Nebraska governor and current US Senator Pete Ricketts also owns the Cubs. The Denver Nuggets and Chicago Bulls are two of the greatest popular teams in the NBA.

Author: Sean Washington