Gambling in Nebraska


Posted: March 5, 2016

Updated: May 25, 2017

Once a card game mecca, Nebraska gambling laws are rather prohibiting now. Let’s discover the current state of casino gambling, online gambling, lotteries, and daily fantasy sports in Nebraska.

Casino Gambling and Betting in Nebraska

The state, which contributed to the world of gambling with the immensely popular Omaha Poker, follows a rather strict approach towards gambling. Until 1934, all forms of gambling were outlawed in Nebraska. As in many other states, this fact did not discourage mobs to build an underworld gambling paradise. The line of legalization started with pari-mutuel betting in Nebraska. This is still a legal form of gambling in Nebraska, though its steady decline seems irreversible.

In the 20th century, Nebraska gambling laws constantly evolved, providing more gaming opportunities. However, those opportunities are still limited, when compared to other US gambling laws. Table games are illegal, so consequently there’s no legal poker in Nebraska. Nebraska has four Indian casinos, which offer only bingo-type games and video slot machines for fun.

In the new millennium, there were many attempts to expand Nebraska’s casino industry but none of them came to fruition. Currently, there’s an initiative petition downloadable from the site of Nebraska Secretary of State. It is for a future statute that would allow “all games of chance and gaming devices at permitted racetrack locations.” At the same time, anti-gambling organizations are constantly lobbying against expanding legal gambling in Nebraska.

Gambling-related endeavors in 2016:

  • Authorize voters to decide about the legalization of casinos through ballot measures
  • Allow casinos in Nebraska and establish a regulating body
  • Casinos should pay USD 1 million for a license and 20% in taxes

Online Gambling in Nebraska

There are no laws on the topic of online gambling in Nebraska. This is due to the fact that Nebraska gambling laws were crafted before the age of internet casinos. However, this does not mean that online gambling in Nebraska is a grey area. Nebraska gambling laws can be applied to internet gambling as well, despite the lack of specification. Therefore, we might conclude that there’s no legal online gambling in Nebraska. Considering the state’s current stance on gambling, this won’t change in the future.

Lotteries in Nebraska

Unlike casino games, players can enjoy numerous lotteries in Nebraska. The state lottery, Nebraska Lottery, is run by the government and is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Therefore, Powerball and Mega Millions are both available for Nebraskans. There are also keno-style jurisdictional lottery games in Nebraska, independent from the state lottery. According to US gambling news, online lottery tickets are not available in Nebraska.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Nebraska

On January 11, 2016, Senator Tyson Larson introduced LB862, a bill that would allow for conducting and participating in daily fantasy sports in Nebraska. Larson, chairman of the General Affairs Committee, said that they’re exploring whether daily fantasy sports breach the strict Nebraska gambling laws. There are many parties that oppose the bill, saying that online daily fantasy sports are illegal in Nebraska. While the Nebraska legislature discusses daily fantasy sports, major operators like DraftKings and FanDuel are still available for Nebraskans.

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