Secretary of State holds public forum for gambling initiatives

Public input for gambling at the capital
Published: Oct. 8, 2020 at 10:52 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - In three-and-a-half weeks, Nebraskans will know if gambling will be legal within the state. Voters had the chance to voice their support or oppose gambling at the state capitol.

The Secretary of State Bob Evnen said the goal of the event is to inform voters and provide public input. Attendees had varying opinions on gambling and had passionate claims behind their stance.

Gambling initiatives 429, 430 and 431 will all be listed as separate issues on the ballot, but essentially it all starts with 429.

“If 429 does not pass than 430 and 431 have no meaning because they all depend on the expansion of gambling in Nebraska," said Secretary of State Bob Evnen. "But that expansion can’t take place unless Initiative 429 passes.”

Initiative 429 allows for that expansion, amending the constitution to say laws may be enacted to authorize and regulate games of chance.

Initiative 430 says those games of chance would have to be at licensed race tracks, and it establishes a Nebraska Gaming Commission.

Initiative 431 imposes a 20% annual tax on gaming revenue sending most of it to the property tax relief fund.

“It’s very important that they vote for all three measures," said Lynne McNally, Representative of Keep the Money in Nebraska. “They must vote for all 429, 430 and 431 because they all work collaboratively together.”

“Vote no for God’s sake, stand up and do something about this," said Robert Fitzgerald who is in opposition of legalizing gambling. "Do not be apathetic. Get out there and do something about it.”

We’ve heard a lot of confusion from viewers. If this passes, casinos with slots and cards could only be at race tracks. There are six licensed race tracks in Nebraska, including one in Lincoln.

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