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Casino gambling regulations passed in Legislature

WarHorse Casino rendering
WarHorse Casino rendering(Warhorse Gaming)
Updated: May. 20, 2021 at 9:03 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Nebraska casinos, previously stalled at the start, can soon begin applying for essentials like gaming licenses.

The legislature signed off on the final bills to get it all regulated.

Those bills will now push multiple massive projects forward, like the one planned for the Lincoln Race Course.

LB561 creates Nebraska’s Racing and Gaming Commission, the last major piece to getting casino gambling up and running in the state.

“They’ll be the ones that will be vetting all these companies in order to get a gaming license so they have a very serious job,” said Lynne McNally, executive vice president of Nebraska Horseman.

The Lincoln Race Course is starting its transition into becoming WarHorse Casino. It will start bringing new machines in as soon as possible to start integrating new gambling options during the construction process.

“We’re looking at opening temporary operations,” McNally said. “Once the license to that is issued, we’re putting machines in temporarily until the full-blown casino is available.”

One of the stipulations of the original ballot initiative is that part of the money made in those casinos will go towards property tax relief.

“We’ve estimated that with the current race tracks who are eligible to be licensed it’ll be roughly $100 million annually going into that property tax relief fund,” McNally said.

It will be about 18 months until the casino is fully completed.

“It’s going to be the crown jewel of the WarHorse properties,” McNally said. “We’re going to have an indoor pool; we’re going to have a five-story hotel with nearly 200 rooms.”

WarHorse Casino in Lincoln has also gotten the green light from both the Lincoln City Council and the planning commission.

The measure will head next to Governor Rickett’s desk for approval or veto.

A spokesperson for the governor said that he traditionally takes his full five days to consider bills before taking action.

WarHorse Casino rendering
WarHorse Casino rendering(Warhorse Casino)

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