A long as the governor signs on sports betting should become legal in the state of Nebraska before the end of the month.
The Nebraska legislature passed LB 561 late last week by a vote of 44-3. The gaming expansion not only legalizes sports betting in the state, but also includes a constitutional amendment to allow casino gaming at the state’s six commercial horse racing tracks, updated regulations and tax laws.
How sports betting bill passes in Nebraska
After passing the vote in the legislature the bill will go to the desk of Governor Pete Ricketts to be signed into law. Ricketts has show opposition to casino gambling in the state in the past but is expected to respect the wishes of the Nebraska voters who approved gambling expansion at the ballot box last year.
One amendment added to the bill that will impact sports bettors is a ban on in-state betting on college sports. The ban will prohibit Nebraska residents from betting on their beloved Cornhuskers whether it be in college football, basketball or any other collegiate sports.
Supporters of the ban believe allowing betting on in-state college sports causes negative impact on athletes, while those against the ban say bettors will simply go to neighboring states to make these wagers.
The newly established Nebraska State Racing and Gaming Commission will be charged with creating other regulations around sports betting. This would include any future regulations around online sports betting, if it were to become approved. LB 561 only allows sports betting to take place at brick and mortar sportsbooks, which could hamper the growth of sports betting in the state since some neighboring states already have online sports betting.
Revenue from casino gaming and sports betting will be taxed at 20 percent. Estimate produced by the legislator believe that gambling expansion in the state could generate up to $245.3 million annually.