New Omaha casino expected to open in 2024, support state with tax revenue

An update on the progress on an Omaha casino
Published: Dec. 25, 2022 at 5:42 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - We are getting a better idea about when the new casino at Horsemen’s Park in Omaha will start taking your money or doling it out.

Nebraska voters approved the project two years ago.

Even on a cold, snowy, winter day in Omaha, construction equipment has been buzzing about and crews are hard at work at Horsemen’s Park at 64th and Q in Omaha.

The Winnebago Tribe’s Ho-Chunk Incorporated is partnering with Horsemen’s Park to bring the casino to Omaha.

The casino will open in early 2024, with 2023 being a big year for the construction.

There will be 800 slot machines and some table games to start. That is expected to lead to big money coming in.

Operators estimate $150 million a year. Some of that money will go to the state of Nebraska.

Here’s a breakdown according to Ho-Chunk: 20% of all gaming revenue will be taxed which will generate an expected $30 million per year in tax revenue. Of that, 70% will go to property tax relief. Omaha and Douglas County will then split 25% of the revenue.

“I think everyone agrees with that. The taxes are high and if we can get any help with that it will be beneficial,” said Mark Ordway with Milt’s Golf Center across the street on Q.

Milt’s is a driving range and golf course that’s been in his family since 1969. He says the construction, right in from of his entrance, is a bit of a nuisance.

But he hopes a new casino, along with the existing horse racing, will eventually lead to more visibility and exposure for his business.

“The live racing has kind of gone downhill from when it first started, but with the casino going in and live racing at the same time, sports betting, it’s going to be gigantic.”

It’s a gamble that he believes the state is wise to take chance on, at a place that’s been synonymous with Omaha and horse racing for decades.

The state has agreed that some of the revenue from the casino will be used to fund a problem-gamblers program.