Regulations for the new casino gambling sector of Nebraska are slowly but steadily moving forward.
In February, the local Racing and Gaming Commission gave the green light to an authorized gaming operator application, as well as background check applications for its managers and other major operators. These steps are among the key ones that entities willing to operate casino venues at Nebraska-based horse racing tracks need to take, although they cannot be allowed to do so until the official rules for operating a casino are eventually approved by state officials.
The process, however, is not moving forward as quickly as one may want to.
The executive director of Nebraska’s Racing and Gaming Commission, Tom Sage, shared that, at the beginning of the month, the state Attorney General’s Office returned a draft of proposed casino regulations to his office with the recommendation for some minor revisions and corrections to be made. Mr. Sage also shared that the suggested changes should be implemented before the rules are sent back to the Attorney General’s Office this week.
The 67-page regulations package of proposed rules was approved by the state’s gambling regulatory body at its meeting on December 17th, 2021. After that, on January 12th, 2022, the package was sent to the Attorney General’s Office.
Proposed Casino Gambling Rules Subject to Lengthy Consideration and Approval Process
Now, the executive director of the state’s racing and gaming regulator noted that he was not given a time frame for how long it will take for the Attorney General’s office to finalize the ongoing review. He, however, shared expectations that the completion would not take too much time.
A spokesperson for Nebraska’s Attorney General Dough Peterson refused to make any comments on the review.
Once Mr. Peterson’s office brings the proposed regulations package to an end, the rules will be forwarded to Nevada’s Governor Pete Ricketts whose review and approval are necessary in order for the rules to become law. Then, if they receive the necessary approval, the rules will be sent to the Secretary of State and will come into effect about a week later.
Taking all of the remaining steps into account, horse racing tracks in Nevada will probably be able to get a casino operating permit in the summer of 2022.
The approval of the local Racing and Gaming Commission for the suggested gaming operator license framework would make it possible for race tracks across the state of Nevada to apply for a casino operating license as soon as the competent authorities finalize the work on the proposed rules. Mr. Sage, however, explained that the process of reviewing applications and the background checks will probably take up to 60 days. Then, the state’s gambling regulator would have to vote on the applications for casino operation permits.