November 15, 2021 Casino, Legal, Land Based

Nebraska proposes rules for legalized casino gambling

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Recommendations to be discussed at a hearing next month.

Preliminary rules and regulations surrounding Nebraska’s casinos have been outlined in a 67-page document released by the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission. These regulations are a follow up to a measure passed by Nebraska voters in November 2020 which approved casino gambling at six of the state’s horse racetracks.  

A number of regulations and strictures were laid out in the document.  

Companies that hope to open a casino will have to pay a flat fee of $1m, the payment of which will grant them a license for 20 years. Other actors, such as vendors at the casino, will also be expected to purchase three-year licenses to the tune of $5,000. This does not include annual fees, which for important operators could be as high as $10,000-15,000.  

Other rules stipulate that Nebraska casinos must be smoke-free zones and that the carrying of firearms will be forbidden by everyone except security officials and law enforcement officers.  

Reportedly, these regulations – which at this point are only recommendations – were made in consultation with an industry player who has experience in ushering forms of legalized gambling to new markets. 

The proposed rules are now in the reviewing process. A hearing will be held by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission on December 17 to discuss the proposed rules. Then they are to be sent to governor Pete Ricketts for approval. There is no timeline for how long this subsequent process could take.  

Of the state’s six licensed horse racetracks – in Lincoln, Omaha, South Sioux City, Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings – all have announced that they will seek to add casinos to their offerings.  

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