Nebraska discusses casino regulations and revenues

Nebraskans voted to legalise casinos at racetracks in November.
Nebraskans voted to legalise casinos at racetracks in November.

Lawmakers have begun to debate regulation of casinos in the state following their legalisation.

USA.- After the legalisation of casino gambling in Nebraska, state lawmakers have developed a framework of regulation and clarified how revenues will be used.

In November, Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow casinos at the state’s six licensed horseracing tracks, but the state still has no framework of regulation.

Members of the Legislature’s General Affairs Committee began discussing details at a public hearing this week.

One of the supporters of the November ballot was Ho-Chunk Inc, a company owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, which is now working to open casinos at tracks in Omaha, Lincoln and South Sioux City.

Lance Morgan, the president and CEO of Ho-Chunk, said the industry needs regulations to clarify issues that couldn’t be placed on the ballot, such as sports betting.

He noted that casinos will help Omaha and Lincoln by providing jobs for residents.

Senator Suzanne Geist of Lincol, pushed for a bill that would divert some of the Lincoln casino’s tax revenue to the group that organises the Lancaster County Super Fair in her district. Cities and counties opposed the idea, saying it takes away their discretion to use the money for other needs.

Geist pointed to the Nebraska State Fair, which receives some of its funding from the Nebraska Lottery.

Senator. Tom Briese, chairman of the General Affairs Committee, said it was important for lawmakers to move quickly to set clear rules for the casinos, although he personally opposes gambling.

Committee members took no immediate action on the bills.

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