Lawmakers could allow more gambling under proposed amendment - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Lawmakers could allow more gambling under proposed amendment

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By: Ashley Harding

We may have horse racing and a lottery, but we don't have casinos. That all could change under a proposed constitutional amendment. According to Senator Paul Schumacher, Nebraskans are gambling millions in other states, thus, giving them our money.

"I think that maybe the people of Nebraska are sharp enough to say we should keep the money in Nebraska," said Sen. Schumacher.

Schumacher says during the 2011-2012 fiscal year, three Iowa casinos made more than $400 million. He says that was largely due to Nebraskans crossing the border and hitting the slots. Glen Andersen opposes the amendment. He says keeping that money in the state may be a benefit to several businesses, but it could lead to other serious problems.

"It will certainly increase the amount of money loss by elderly on Social Security. It will certainly increase the losses by mothers and fathers of children. It will certainly increase crime resulting from gambling losses," said Andersen.

Also under the amendment, the legislature would also determine how the taxes are split. Schumacher says some could go to education, healthcare programs , and the Medicaid expansion.

Before lawmakers could make any decision, the people would have to vote to give them that power.

"It'd simply ask us to let the people vote. Let the debate go forward," said Sen. Schumacher.

 The amendment is now being considered by the committee. If it is approved, it will then go the floor for debate.

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