Nebraska will not be getting any legislation regarding the future of casinos in the state after lawmakers and gambling opponents have wielded the axe, citing an increase in crime and overblown statistics as their primary reasons for the rejection of the bill, which was meant to shake up the states own rules following recent revelations about the American gambling laws federal wire act.
Columbus Senator Paul Schumacher – who had originally proposed the bill – had stated that the law change would see the preservation of jobs and generate millions of revenue for the state, possibly siphoning off some of the vast amount that goes into neighboring Iowa and South Dakota casinos every year.
Mr. Schumacher, who has stressed the need for the extra revenue, as Governor Dave Heineman’s tax cutting proposal means extra funding for child welfare, medical payments, nursing homes and additional costs will have to come from elsewhere, commented: “The state is bleeding, and opponents are persistent, while the ordinary people who support it don’t have lobbyists out in the rotunda. But this issue is not going away.”
The opponents Mr. Schumacher speaks of, say that economic statistics provided by Schumacher are overblown at best, and that the bill is nothing more than a ploy disguised to open the doors to all forms of gambling in Nebraska. They claim that the report does not mention any hidden costs, or potential criminal addiction statistics which take precedence over economic benefit.
The staunch opponents of the bill have also cited religious reasons and misinformation as two more reasons that they are against the bill, in a time when four of Nebraska’s neighboring states, Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Missouri all allow casino gambling, and have a range of casinos built with poker rooms and slot machines fully equipped inside.
Mr. Schumacher is incensed as he feels that roughly $430 million a year goes into Iowa’s pockets from Nebraska border gamers that could be readily available tax revenue for his own state in a much needed time. In a balmier move, some lawmakers are continuing to try to push through another bill that would allow horse race betting on hold races through a video set.
The daft proposal comes at a time when Nebraska’s horse racing future in doubt following the expiring lease of the track on the Nebraska State Fair Grounds, which expires in September. A third bill dealing with Keno, which would allow betters to play twenty times an hour with no pause, instead of the current five minute waiting period between games this too may be voted down if United States gambling news is to be believed.
Nebraska has long turned down any chance to improve their gambling laws with several recent amendments being quickly shut down, and this latest one is another to add to the pile. Mr. Schumacher hasn’t given up yet though, and he feels that in time, as more and more states adjust their own casino laws and the wealth of gambling floods their cities coffers, Nebraska might get a clue, for it would be better he feels, for the state to join the party late, than never.