Nebraska may vote on casinos in 2020 ballot

Voters in Nebraska may have the power to approve casinos if a referendum reaches the 2020 Presidential election ballot.

US.- The 2020 Presidential election may be huge for gambling as many questions are moving closer to states’ ballots. In Nebraska, voters may decide whether to approve casinos as a group is pushing to set a referendum next year.

Nebraska is one of the few states to have a very restricted gambling segment. However, that may change as casino supporters are pushing for a referendum. 

“Hundreds of millions of dollars go across the border every year,” said Lance Morgan, the CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., the corporation pushing the measure on the tribe’s behalf. “For a Nebraskan to do gaming, you have to go half a mile. It’s the height of paternalism to try to restrict it.”

There are still several anti-gambling groups, but they start to see a potential loss in the future. “It’s going to be hard,” said Pat Loontjer, executive director of Gambling with the Good Life. “We’ve been doing this for 24 years, and, well, the atmosphere in the state has changed.”

“We’ve learned from our mistakes in the past,” said Bob Moser, president of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. “We have a really good plan and great partners, and we’re very optimistic about our chances this time.”

Estimations say that Nebraska misses US$500 million in taxes and proceeds that residents wager annually in neighbouring states. Petition sponsors said that expanded gambling would generate US$50 million in new tax revenue. This money would help fund property tax relief, education and the Nebraska Gamblers Assistance Fund.

However, the Legislature still needs to approve the referendum.

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