‘A new animal’: Sports betting remains in the works for Nebraska

It could still be months until you can put money on the spread, the over-under, or the moneyline in Nebraska.
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 9:26 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2022 at 10:44 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Bringing gaming to Nebraska has been a bit of a slow burn. The state’s first non-tribal casino opened in September and now many are wondering when they’ll finally be able to place a bet on their favorite team.

Two years ago Nebraskans voted to bring sports betting and gaming to the state. But it could still be months until you can put money on the spread, the over-under, or the moneyline.

Right now, Nebraskans can gamble on hundreds of slot machines at Lincoln’s Warhorse Casino but many are waiting in anticipation to place their bets at the sports book.

“We just look forward to continuing to broaden our offering and our entertainment options,” said Pete Graziano, director of marketing for Warhorse. “And you know, give the people, the state what they voted for.”

The Racing and Gaming Commission said there isn’t a set timeline for when sports betting could be available in the state but it’s nearing the end of a lengthy process.

The final draft of rules and regulations, which includes sports betting, was approved by the commission on Oct. 21 and now, it’s onto the next step.

“They’re in the Attorney General’s hands now for vetting for constitutionality, making sure they meet the statutes, then those go to the governor’s office,” said Tom Sage the executive director.

After the AG and governor sign off on them they are sent to the Secretary of State and after five days, the sports book can open if operators comply with all the finalized regulations.

“Sports betting is going to be a new animal,” Saige said. “Sports betting, I really would like to stress that sports betting is at brick-and-mortar casinos only. It’s not mobile.”

In Nebraska, sports betting can only be done through a teller or kiosk inside the casino. Betting on Nebraska college or university teams will also not be allowed unless they are on the road in another state.

Warhorse Casino said they’re still in the early stages of figuring out how to offer sports betting at the casino but are hopeful it’ll be operational soon.

The Attorney General’s office said it could take four to six weeks to sign off on the rules and pass them to the governor.