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Nebraska Horse Racecourses Go Full Throttle toward Gambling, Live Racing Wagering

In two year’s time a gaming expansion might be seen at racetracks located in cities across Nebraska state thanks to the newly established arrangement between Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Ho-Chunk Inc. Starting next year signatures would have to be collected in support of casino gaming and horse races betting introduction to race courses throughout Lincoln, Omaha, Columbus, and Grand Island.

Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska is among the leading developers in the field, overseeing the management of Ho-Chunk Inc, teaming up in order to bring more to the field. On the other hand, the state HBPA works towards the protection of horsemen rights and makes sure they have their voices heard by the local lawmakers. It is no secret to anyone that wagering on horse racing is among the preferred gaming activities throughout the states where such is regulated by the state framework. Introduction of live horse racing betting throughout Nebraska could prove to be beneficial for both players and horse racing tracks management.

This week brought the news that in a collaboration which had been considered for some time, the two organizations would make an attempt to accomplish their joint goal and launch horse racing betting and gambling at race courses. Thoroughbred tracks would welcome them once approval has been granted. In order for this to happen, a statewide petition would have to happen, collecting tens of thousands of signatures from individuals supporting the idea. In the meantime, the exact wording of the regulation would be refined in order to provide an all-encompassing experience for players.

Starting at the very first days of 2019, the two entities would aim to attract as many supporters as possible, guaranteeing smooth progress for the project. Once the local authorities have witnessed the potential community positive response, the project would be introduced to the ballot in 2020. Officials such as Lance Morgan, heading Ho-Chunk Inc. have stated their confidence that this time change would be made, unlike previous attempts ending up in flames. It could be recalled that a couple of years back there has been another attempt in casino gaming regulation, but not enough supporters placed their signatures when they had to do so.

Signature Collection Set to Commence Next Year

November 2016’s ballot failed to witness the issue being added. A lawsuit was also filed against the petitions company. However, the reason was very simple – signature collection for three separate petitions at once makes up for a considerable amount of work at the end of the day, leading to the project failure. At the moment state race tracks provide their residents and tourists with the opportunity to wager on races broadcast being conducted at racecourses across the states defining them as simulcast ones.

According to estimations in the field, residents of Nebraska prefer the gaming activity and over the span of a single year manage to place bets in neighboring states amounting to some $500 million. This amount could be better utilized by the local authorities and reinvested in the community if only horse racing betting is regulated and provided by state racetracks. In this sense, states to the liking of Iowa and Wyoming are able to rake in a considerable amount of gaming revenue thanks to Nebraska’s inactivity.

While the state could witness an economic boost due to the legalization, local households could suffer the devastating impact of problem gambling. In addition to this announcement, it was also confirmed that the HBPA is already expanding operation at the Lincoln Race Course, teaming up with Gana Excavating and Trucking based in Martell. As a result, the track would be extended and widened, providing the race course with the opportunity to host live horse races. Once the state framework allows it, betting on them could also be realized.

According to projections issued, the improved racetrack would be finished by June 2019 as work on site commenced this week. Simulcast is the primary operation of the race course, but there is at least one live horse race per year, bringing excitement to players. In order to remain competitive in the US sports gambling field and capitalize on the surging interest towards this gambling offering, the state would have to make a move. Support towards casino gambling has also been demonstrated back in 2015 further proving the point.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.