Nebraska Senator looks to add regulations for future casinos

Before some even open, restrictions could soon be coming for Nebraska casinos.
Gaming initiatives on ballot come November 3rd.

Lincoln, Neb. (KLKN) —Before some even open, restrictions could soon be coming for Nebraska casinos. A number of businesses looking to capitalize on the new law in the state. One Senator is looking into just how many casinos would be too much?

“Those are five new applications, there are six existing racetracks in the state. So, if all five were approved, that would bring the total to 11,” Lynne McNally with Nebraska Horsemen said.

It’s been a whirlwind for those in the casino and racetrack industry since voters took to polls to approve gaming in Nebraska.

With the potential for 11 racetracks within the first year, senators are looking at the potential for limitations on how many casinos the state should have.

“There really are multiple avenues that, that I could take in that regard. It could be an outright cap on the number, we could limit the number of casinos based on geographical proximity to existing casinos, or we might require a minimum number of races to be conducted at the tracks before they could be issued a license,” Senator Tom Briese of Albion, said.

Senator Briese, who also sits on the General Affairs Committee, is looking into introducing legislation that would look into potential regulations for casinos.

It’s an idea even officials with Warhorse and Nebraska Horseman agree with.

“Part of our commitment during the campaign was not only to keep the money in Nebraska, but that these facilities, were not going to be next to every church and school in every county of the state. So, we feel strongly that they should be limited,” McNally said.

Briese and McNally said finding the perfect balance of what those regulations will look like, could be tough but it’s something that needs to be done.

Briese said while he hasn’t always been a proponent for gambling in the state, he knows it’s what voters have asked for, so they’ll work to see everything runs smoothly.

“They want the property tax relief that provides and it’s really incumbent on us to see that the voters will is respected. And, so any cap or limitation in here, we want to make sure that that also is consistent with what the voters demanded. But again, also consistent with Nebraska values,” Sen. Briese said.

Legislation would be introduced at the start of the legislative season in January.

Categories: Nebraska News, News