At the time when the residents of Nebraska went to the ballot in 2020 and voted in favor of the legalization of private betting, they were fully aware they were taking the local gambling sector a step forward. However, in reality, one disturbing condition may in fact cause more harm than good, although the state has managed to push through a working private gambling legislative and regulatory framework.
For the time being, there are 5 tribal casinos in the state of Nebraska but all of them are situated in remote areas, so local citizens are still forced to travel long distances in order to be able to gamble. However, on the other hand, the quick expansion of the market without taking the actual market conditions into account could bring much more difficulties, according to some analysts.
Local lawmakers were willing to make sure that in the “horse racing state” that Nebraska is, as the majority of residents are greatly interested in the sport, local horse racing tracks would be the ones getting a big share of the market. Some experts now believe that such an approach might have been quite short-sighted considering the effects that are likely to follow, including rapid development in the sector that still lacks all viability considerations needed.
Many Questions Arise Despite the Expansion of Legal Gambling in the State
Currently, Columbus and Grand Island are considered the two most prominent horse racing tracks in the state. There are hardly any other venues across Nebraska where horse racing lovers would be willing to gather but the local Government will still provide them with an ever-growing choice of new racetracks where casino gambling will be available.
Logically to the expansion of the sector, new tracks will have to be built, since Grand island and Columbus racetracks will not be enough. This, however, is not necessarily good news because the construction of such venues would require an investment of millions of dollars in order for the construction work to start. There is even a more controversial issue – the fact that the demand for horse racing is not as big to sustain the rapid growth of the new horse racing tracks.
Apart from that, there are hardly enough trained professionals in the industry for the time being. According to analysts, building a racetrack to provide casino operators with more customers is a self-defeating purpose. Experts have noted that the real challenge for the sector will be ensuring the participation of enough exercise riders, jockeys, and veterinarians in the races.
On the other hand, the number of horserace spectators in Nebraska is also under question. The last few years have seen a significant decline in the number of horse races nationally, and the state is no exception to this trend, with groups defending animal rights and general customer-conscious groups also leading to the aforementioned decline.
Casino operators are aware of the fact that all verticals, such as horse racing and sportsbooks, should be launched as a separate service, so it is not yet clear why they would be willing to mix a couple of different activities together. In fact, Nebraska will be part of a very small club, because only four US states currently tie their casinos to local horse racing tracks. Despite all the questions that have occurred as a result of the legalization of private betting in casinos situated on horse racing tracks, some racehorse owners still hope for the best, saying that the newly-licensed activity could help them survive.