Casino Bill Rolls Snake Eyes

By: Chris Hunt
By: Chris Hunt

Lincoln Senator DiAnna Schimek has worked for years to get casino gambling in Nebraska.

In years past, she's wanted to let Indian tribes decide whether to allow casinos on their tribal land. The Santees have argued with the state over a casino in Knox County. But Schimek expanded her proposal this year to a maximum of eight casinos in Nebraska.

Every county with a casino would be allowed to vote. Going into Monday’s vote, Schimek thought she had the 33 votes needed to end debate and put the measure on the unicameral floor for a final vote.

Lawmaker Adrian Smith of Gering is a long time opponent of gambling. He led a filibuster that dragged the debate through the afternoon, offering amendment after amendment. "With Las Vegas lobbyists trying to push something through Nebraska for their own benefits, I think, absolutely, Nebraskans and enough members of the legislature see through that," he commented.

So, Smith started to filibuster Schimek's vote. He was successful. Only 32 lawmakers voted for cloture, putting the bill on the floor. That's one vote short. Schimek says it’s unlikely she'll try to reintroduce the bill this session.


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