LINCOLN, Neb. (KMTV) – Voters have agreed, now legislators are considering how it will all work.
Casino gambling will take place on the Nebraska racetracks at some point in the future.
State Senator Tom Briese of Albion examines how casino games are regulated.
His bill describes what is legal and what is not, and penalties for breaking the law.
Most controversial is allowing sports games that Briese believes to be a game of chance, not a game of skill, and something that voters approved in November.
“For me it’s black and white,” says Briese.
Others like Brendan Bussman, a native Nebraskan who now lives in Nevada and acts as a consultant for games around the world, agree, saying that the players on the field are usually the ones with the appropriate skills.
“People tend to bet more with their heart than with their mind. That makes it much more likely than sitting there that I control the fate of what is going to happen, like in a game of poker, ”said Bussman, partner at Global Market Advisors.
One of those people who doesn’t see it that way is Senator Justin Wayne, who represents parts of Northern Omaha. He believes it is a game of skill and should therefore be regulated outside of casinos on racetracks.
“The industry itself excludes people,” says Wayne.
He is pushing for a separate bill that will open sports betting outside of the racecourse casinos yet to be built.
“The local bar in Kearney can never attend and potentially generate more revenue for their community because they can’t attend when they see Denver against whomever,” Wayne says.
Lance Morgan, CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., which is said to operate three of the state’s racecourse casinos, supports casino sports games because he believes the Nebraskans voted on them last year.
“I was absolutely serious about setting some kind of limitation and measured approach to games and add-ons, and we promoted that, and we said it for years, and we’re sticking to it,” says Morgan.
But there have been opponents who don’t want sports betting at all in Nebraska. They say voters never approved of sports games. Former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne fears the impact on college athletes.
“Your gamble on guys who are 18, 19, 20 and 21 years old. And if they don’t agree with what some players should have done, social media will go over them and be brutal,” says Osborne, a longtime veteran Opponents of gambling.