Crews working to ready WarHorse Casino for start of sports wagering

Construction on the new Warhose Casino in Omaha is on schedule.
Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 5:46 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A lot of activity is going on outside the former Horsemen’s Park at 63rd and Q Streets in Omaha. Crews are working hard to turn what was years ago a landfill into a brand-new gaming facility.

“You’re taking something that was a literal dump and turning it into the highest property tax-paying site in the state,” said Drew Niehaus with Ho-Chunk. “That’s huge.”

More than 1,400 deep pilings that are 65 feet deep each are in place to expand the building. Panels are being placed for a parking garage to accommodate over 700 vehicles.

“There’s going to be a skywalk taking folks right from the parking structure into the casino,” Niehaus said. “There’s plenty of places for people to be.”

There’s also plenty of work happening inside. The former Horsemen’s Park structure had to be completely ripped out -- everything inside WarHorse is all brand new, as workers prepare to install slot machines and table games. Every day, 100 to 150 people are working to get this place open, and once the gaming begins, there will be hundreds more working here.

“When all is said and done, Omaha will have, probably, in the neighborhood of about 800 employees with this full buildout,” Niehaus said.

WarHorse officials remind us not only will the casino generate jobs -- but also some property tax relief.

“I live in Omaha personally, so I got one of those nice green postcards a couple of weeks ago, and I know what my property tax is going to do come next year,” Niehaus said. “Frankly, even if it’s a dollar, it’s going to help. We’re talking tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis that’s going to go into property tax relief, not just for Omaha, but for all of Nebraska.”

Right now, WarHorse is getting ready for sports wagering. If you want to place a bet, you’ll have to do it on-site. Remote betting is prohibited, and Husker fans can’t bet on their team unless they’re on the road.

“There’s two away games left for the remainder of the Husker season,” Niehaus said. “People will be able to bet on those away games, (but) cannot bet on home games in Nebraska. That is state law.”

WarHorse officials say sports betting should begin by Nov. 1. 10 kiosks will be set up in the temporary building in the race track infield. A permanent sports betting facility will be completed as part of phase two of the project.