Betting on in-state Nebraska games could be on the table with proposed bill

A Nebraska legislator is pushing to allow sports betting in the state
Published: Jan. 29, 2023 at 5:45 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - If you’re wanting to bet on in-state Nebraska college teams like the Huskers, a new bill could make that happen.

Nebraska State Sen. Eliot Bostar of Lincoln says LB168 is about creating consistency with sports betting legislation.

“You can bet on Nebraska teams when they’re playing away, for example,” said Bostar. “And out of state, you can bet on Nebraska teams when they’re playing here in Nebraska. But you can’t bet on teams when they’re playing here in Nebraska if you’re doing the betting in the state. And that just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

He says instead people are crossing the state line to press their luck.

“People are just simply driving across the border to Iowa to place their bets if that’s something that they participate in.”

According to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services, overall calls and texts to their problem gambling helpline (1-800-BETS OFF) have increased since the legalization of sports betting. But Sen. Bostar does not believe that his bill will increase problem gambling in Nebraska.

“This is simply clarifying that we shouldn’t vase these types of statues on the simple geography,” he said.

While sports betting was legalized in Nebraska casinos in 2021, you can’t bet just yet. Rules for sports betting must first be approved by the governor, followed by adding infrastructure in casinos to place the bets. Wagering on most sports is allowed, but in-state matches were nixed from the 2021 bill.

“That was done as a way to ensure that we could get the votes needed to pass the overall package of legislation,” said Bostar.

There’s still some time before the next hearing to include in-state college matches through LB168, as that date has not yet been set.

If passed, money made from the new provision would go to the Nebraska Opportunity Fund for college scholarships.