Warhorse Casino is first of its kind in Nebraska
LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Friday afternoon the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission gave approval for a brand new industry to operate in the state.
On a unanimous vote, commissioners gave Warhorse Casino in Lincoln a license to operate.
Commissioners recognized the moment and made sure to mark the day for the record.
“My motion today is to approve and have Warhorse Gaming in Lincoln to be the first casino operator in the history of Nebraska,” said Dennis P. Lee, the Chairman of the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission.
That motion was approved on a six-to-nothing vote.
President and CEO of Ho-Chunk Incorporated Lance Morgan has been waiting a long time to hear the applause.
‘We’ve worked on it for years and to see it come to fruition is almost surreal like I’m having trouble believing it,” Morgan said.
But it’s true, and Morgan’s Warhorse Casino in Lincoln has not been wasting time. They’ve been preparing for this day.
Crews have been working for about a year to set up the temporary location.
“This is a temporary building,” said Pete Graziano with Warhorse Casino. “It will be our casino for the next 18 months or so and we’re building the full facility around this building, so it will be great. Our customers will be able to see it go up.”
Warhorse Casino in Lincoln will start with 433 slot machines. Saturday morning is when casino gambling in Nebraska will begin.
For now, the only bets made here will be on the slot machines and Simulcast horse racing, but this place will grow.
“When the full facility is open we’re going to have 1,200 total positions,” said Lynne McNally, the CEO of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association.
Officials believe it will take about 18 months for this temporary casino to grow into a permanent location, but for now, organizers will enjoy the moment in history and bet on the future of casino gambling in Nebraska.
“So I think it’s something that people are going to realize is a valuable form of entertainment that’s going to be good for the state and the economy.”
Warhorse officials estimate that sports betting in Nebraska won’t begin for about another year.
Warhorse Casino in Lincoln will open for business at 10 a.m. Saturday as they start their 24-hour, seven-day-a-week run.
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