Nebraska lawmakers approved a bill Thursday that would allow machine bets on old horse races, which supporters cast as a job-saving measure and opponents assail as expanded gambling.
The measure won final approval by a 26-18 vote. It now heads to Gov. Dave Heineman.
The bill would allow machine bets at licensed Nebraska race tracks from a library of tens of thousands of races chosen at random. The screens do not do not identify the horses or say when or where the races took place.
Nebraska's horse racing industry has struggled for years and a critical lease for a track at State Fair Park in Lincoln is set to expire this year. Omaha Sen. Scott Lautenbaugh says he introduced the bill to help the industry.