The expansion of retail casino gambling has been approved by Nebraska’s unicameral legislature. LB 561 was passed by a vote of 44-3. It was signed into law by Gov. Pete Ricketts on June 2.
Voters in the state-approved gambling expansion through a ballot referendum in November 2020 and that included commercial casino gambling. This industry was banned up until that point, and Nebraska sports betting will also now be allowed as well.
While LB 561 will open the door to legal casino gambling and sports betting at Nebraska’s six commercial horse racing tracks, there are no provisions that add legal online casino games and sports betting mobile apps.
NE Online Casino Rules
Nebraska’s rules and regulations covering casino gambling and sports betting will take more than a few months to complete. While both gaming verticals could still launch in 2021, it now appears the approval process including licensing could carry over into early 2022.
Commercial casinos will be looking to offer a wide range of slots and table games. In time, the same opportunities could eventually be available online. If that were the case, online casino rules would most likely be similar to what is approved when the commercial industry launches.
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NE Casino Regulations
The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission will now go to work on establishing NE casino regulations. This detailed process will most likely impact the push for legal online casino gambling at some point in time. LB561 is the piece of legislation that has been signed into law by the governor. It creates up to six new commercial gambling sites in the state tied to Nebraska’s horse racing tracks.
Since commercial casino gambling will be entirely new for the state, there are plenty of casino regulations that need to be established. The tax rate levied on casino and sports betting revenue has been set at 20%. Exactly how the added tax revenue is distributed is part of the regulation process.
The finalized casino regulations could still take several months to be approved since gaming officials in the state want to get this right. Setting up the proper regulatory process for the retail casino industry could help establish the potential for an online industry down the road.
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Nebraska online casino gambling is likely years away from becoming a reality, but it is definitely on the radar screen in light of the recent passage of LB 561. Online casinos won’t be a major focus until sports betting and commercial casino gambling are launched and established.
Nebraska online casino gambling may be off the table with lawmakers at this time, but it would be the next logical step. Demand could be boosted if casino gambling is a big hit in the state. The US online casino industry is going to continue to grow in the future, and Nebraska could potentially be a part of that growth.