Major players in the online sports betting arena, including FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars, are eyeing a potential shake-up in Nebraska’s gambling landscape. Their aim? To pave the way for online sports betting by pushing for a constitutional amendment that would grant Nebraskans the freedom to place bets from the comfort of their screens.

Teaming up with Ho-Chunk Inc., these industry giants are currently canvassing public opinion to gauge interest and support for the initiative. Come November, Nebraska residents might have the opportunity to cast their votes on the legalization of online gambling.

Unlocking the Gates to Greater Revenue Potential Presently, Nebraskans can dip their toes into the world of sports betting, but the waters are shallow. Betting is confined to brick-and-mortar casinos like WarHorse Gaming in Lincoln and Omaha. The vision? To democratize sports betting, making it accessible to all, CEO Lance Morgan of Ho-Chunk is banking on public backing to propel the initiative forward.

While Morgan remains tight-lipped about early polling results, he emphasizes the demand for convenience: “Sports betting has become legal, and if you’re gonna do it, people really — they don’t want to drive if they can help it. They’d much rather do it from their phone. It’s a natural sort of expansion.

The coalition isn’t just eyeing convenience; they’re forecasting a windfall for the state coffers. With an estimated annual industry worth of $1.5 billion, Nebraska stands to pocket a tidy 20% share—a prospect that fuels their push for legalization.

Navigating Obstacles on the Road to the Ballot Box Despite their ambitions, the coalition faces formidable hurdles. Nebraska’s legislative session for introducing new legislation has closed, and prospects for reviving the issue in 2024 seem bleak. However, there’s still a glimmer of hope for legalizing online sports betting this year.

Enter the petition drive—a potential lifeline for the coalition. To secure a spot on the November ballot, they must rally over 120,000 valid signatures by July 2024. But such endeavors don’t come cheap, with the price tag potentially soaring to $1 million, not to mention additional expenses for advertising, legal counsel, and petition management, which surpassed $7 million during the push for legalized casino gambling in 2020.

Adding to their woes, opponents like Pat Loontjer, executive director of Gambling With the Good Life, are gearing up for a fight against the expansion of gambling in Nebraska.

Amidst the fray, Nebraska’s Racing and Gaming Commission remains neutral, preparing to adapt if voters get their say come November. As the clock ticks down, the stage is set for a showdown over the future of gambling in the Cornhusker State.

Good luck and have fun!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top