Lincoln, Grand Island casinos brought in $2.8 million in tax revenue in 2022

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – Nebraska keeps raking in the tax dollars from its two casinos.

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission on Tuesday released its final monthly gaming tax report for 2022.

The report was the first that included the Grand Island Casino & Resort, which opened on Dec. 27.

In just five days of operation, the Grand Island casino earned $97,157.27 in tax revenue, according to the report.

That money was divided up:

  • 70% to the Nebraska Property Tax Relief Fund: $68,010.09
  • 2.5% to the Nebraska General Fund: $2,428.93
  • 2.5% to the Compulsive Gaming Assistance Fund: $2,428.93
  • 12.5% to the City of Grand Island: $12,144.66
  • 12.5% to Hall County: $12,144.66

Vince Fiala, general manager of the Grand Island casino, has been in the business for over 15 years and said the numbers are where he’s expected them to be.

“Obviously, the first day or two are big because we are new in town,” he said. “Then we had New Year’s Eve.”

He said the start of horse racing at Fonner Park, the track where the casino is, on Feb. 10 will be another moneymaker.

“I think this is a good start, and this is what I am anticipating for the next few months,” Fiala said.

The Lincoln WarHorse Casino, which opened in September, made $2,709,400.07 in less than four months of operation.

That money was divided up:

  • 70% to the Nebraska Property Tax Relief Fund: $1,896,580.05
  • 2.5% to the Nebraska General Fund: $67,735
  • 2.5% to the Compulsive Gaming Assistance Fund: $67,735
  • 12.5% to the City of Lincoln: $338,675.01
  • 12.5% to Lancaster County: $338,675.01

Between the two casinos, Nebraska brought in $2,806,557.33 in tax revenue, the report shows.

More than $2 million of that went to property tax relief.

Tom Sage, executive director of the commission, said the casinos will continue to make “significant” contributions to property tax relief.

Fiala agreed that the property tax relief has only just begun.

“I mean that’s the goal,” he said. “A couple years from now, it’ll be a different story. It’ll be more significant than it is now. Once we get a hotel, restaurants, spa, that’ll make a big difference, and a bigger area for table games as well.”

With the casino being open only a few weeks, and just offering slot machines, officials say there’s more to look forward to.

Fiala said that growth will help both Fonner Park and taxpayers.

“Whatever money that we make, some of that goes back toward the horsemen here and will help the racing here at Fonner Park and that’s a big thing,” he said. “Same with the state, the property tax relief, and with the city and the county.”

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