Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has officially approved the rules to allow casino gambling in the state but the new form of gambling is still months away for local residents.
Last week, the rules and regulations seeking to allow casino gambling in Nebraska were approved. After they take effect on May 16th, gambling operators that are willing to operate a casino in the state will be given the chance to file an application for an operating license about a year and a half after local voters gave their approval to the proposed gambling expansion by the addition of casino operations at horse racing tracks across the state.
According to expectations, it will take a few weeks before any licensed gambling company can file its application for a casino operating permit.
Earlier in 2022, the licensing procedures for casino operators and key staff members were approved by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC). At its latest meeting, which took place on May 13th, the state’s gambling regulatory body postponed its vote on the fee structure that is set to apply to the aforementioned applications. According to the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association’s executive vice president, Lynne McNally, the delay basically means that none of the gambling companies seeking to operate a casino in Nebraska will be able to file their applications until the NRGC approves these fees, which is likely to happen at the Commission’s next meeting scheduled for June 2nd.
The Association has joined forces with Ho Chunk Inc., an economic development company owned and operated by the Winnebago Tribe, to establish casino venues under the WarHorse branding in Lincoln, Omaha and South Sioux City.
Nebraska’s Gambling Regulator Will Need between 30 and 60 Days to Process Casino License Applications
If the expected fee structure is officially approved on June 2nd, potential casino operators would be given the opportunity to file their license applications as of June 3rd.
The executive director of Nebraska’s gambling regulator, Tom Sage, shared that the state would be able to finally open the application window next month, if commissioners give the green light to the fee structure at their next meeting at the beginning of June. Mr. Sage further noted that he is currently hiring investigative and enforcement staff and has received the commissioners’ approval to explore contracting with third-party individuals and operators to do background checks and take the necessary steps to review the applications of potential casino operators.
According to the Nebraska gambling watchdog’s executive director, commissioners will need between 30 and 60 days to process the applications before voting on their approval as part of the Commission’s agenda. If this is true, any work on the future casino operations is likely to start in the late summer or early fall of 2022 at the earliest.
As CasinoGamesPro previously reported, casino gambling will be allowed at the horse racing tracks in Nebraska. Currently, there are six of them across the state. Other casinos are also planned at new locations in Columbus and Hastings.