Nebraska Legislature considers allowing bets on Husker home games
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – On Monday afternoon, a legislative committee heard thoughts on LB 168, a bill that would allow betting on home Husker games.
As it currently stands, you can place a bet on Nebraska games played outside of the state, but not when they’re played within the state.
In 2020, Nebraskans voted to expand gambling, and the Legislature decided to include sports betting in that expansion.
But it made collegiate home games in Nebraska off-limits.
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Supporters of LB 168 want you to be able to bet no matter where the team is playing.
“The only thing this accomplishes is that it pushes bets to Iowa,” Lynne McNally of the Nebraska Horsemen told the General Affairs Committee. “Frankly, the weight is going to fall on that poor clerk that’s taking the bet, and somebody is going to bet angry about why they can’t place a bet.”
But opponents, including Tom Osborne by email, argue there will be more pressure on coaches and players to produce the result the gambler desires.
“When Tom came last year, he felt very strongly,” said Pat Loontjer, director of Gambling with the Good Life. “He still feels strongly. He feels that the players are going to be influenced. If we could at least protect our Nebraska athletes, the young teens, and try to protect them from all the pressure that they’re going to have already that’s going to be coming at them. We would just like to urge you to leave that amendment in place.”
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The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission also made an appearance at the hearing to speak neutrally.
The commission said that the capacity is there for Nebraskans to bet on home games and that it would be prepared for it.