Nebraska casinos could harm Iowa gambling industry

Casinos in Council Bluffs are particularly vulnerable to revenue losses.
Casinos in Council Bluffs are particularly vulnerable to revenue losses.

Nebraskans voted in favour of three initiatives to amend the constitution and allow racetracks to offer casino-style gambling.

US.- Officials in Iowa have raised concerns over the potential impact on revenue when Nebraska opens casinos-style gambling at racetracks.

Casinos in Council Bluffs are particularly vulnerable to revenue losses since it sits close to the Nebraska border. Four casinos currently operate in the city.

President of the Iowa Gaming Association, Wes Ehrecke, said “We’re still trying to rebound in all the markets because of Covid-19. To have something like this coming online could have a ripple effect.”

Nearly 65 per cent of Nebraska citizens voted in favour of the expansion of gambling on the November 3 ballot. The change will permit table games and slot machines at racetracks, generating more revenue for the state of Nebraska.

Michael Newlin, general manager of Nebraska’s Horseman’s Park and Lincoln Race Course, said the state hopes to benefit from the $500m its residents spend every year gambling in neighbouring states.

Newlin added: “Racing will flourish and grow. In three to five years, I think we will start seeing trainers and owners in Iowa finally come back home to Nebraska.”