Nebraska Sports Betting Bill Officially Signed Into Law
Nebraska sports betting has come to fruition following Governor Pete Ricketts signing a gaming expansion bill last week. The bill includes a constitutional amendment to allow for legal sports wagering.
This is exciting news for bettors in Nebraska. However, the framework is very restricting, which is going to cost the state some tax revenue.
The Legislative Process
State voters in passed Nebraska sports betting in November of 2020. This favoritism for sports betting allowed the legislature to construct a bill authorizing the form of gambling in the state. Governor Pete Ricketts has previously stated that he is against sports betting, but the leader was compelled to sign the bill.
The bill, LB 561, was introduced in the legislature by Senator Tom Briese. Briese based his bill on the resident’s desires and the foundations of the state. The legislator spoke to the media following the passage of LB 561.
“I introduced LB 561 to clarify what the voters approved and provide some parameters that are both consistent with what the voters mandated and consistent with Nebraska values.”
The final legislative vote passed by a 44-3 margin, proving the craving for sports wagering revenue in the NE legislature.
Details of LB 561
LB 561 is more than a sports betting bill. Horse racing tracks will now be able to offer table games and slots for visitors. This was the primary emphasis of LB 561, and sports wagering was secondary.
Sports betting was given a minimalistic framework in the state. There will only be retail sports betting, and it will be limited to state casinos. Casinos will be taxed at 20% for adjusted gross revenue.
States that do not offer mobile wagering do not perform like other areas that have mobile betting. The lack of mobile betting will likely cause residents to travel to neighboring states to place mobile bets or utilize offshore sportsbooks. The State Racing and Gaming Commission is the governing body over sports betting in Nebraska.
Two Big Mistakes
The legalization of sports betting in Nebraska is exciting, but the legislature made a few massive mistakes in LB 561. Not having mobile betting is a significant problem, but there are retail options available.
The other problem with LB 561 is that a portion of the bill bans in-state college wagering. This means that people in the state cannot wager the Nebraska Cornhuskers on a college football Saturday at home.
The legislature claimed that it was in the best interest of the student-athletes. Nevertheless, you can bet on the Huskers when they are on the road.
This measure was established so the bill would pass. Some legislators were going to vote against the bill if bets were allowed on in-state home games. This would have caused the whole gaming expansion package to suffer, costing the legislature tax revenue.
Nebraska sports betting’s lack of in-state college wagering and the 20% tax rate is expected to cost the state 15% of what they could make if these measures were not implemented.
Tanner Kern is a writer for Knup Sports and the Sports 2.0 Network. He is the host of Between the Lines, the official show of Baseball Spotlight, and the main contributor for the website. Connect with Tanner on IG @tannerkern and Twitter @tannerkern_.