Big Red Keno suing Lincoln Race Course over expanded casino gambling

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 9:45 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Big Red Keno is looking to throw its hat into the ring of bringing casinos to Nebraska after it says they’re under contract to do so at the Lincoln Race Course.

Mattson Ricketts, who represents Big Red Keno, said in the lawsuit Big Red Keno has a contract with the racecourse to do so through 2018 but is automatically renewed for three 5-year terms. This means the contract technically would expire in 2033.

In the lawsuit, it states if the Lincoln Race Course wants to expand casino gambling, Big Red Keno agrees to make it available to the racecourse on mutually agreed terms.

They wrote Lincoln Race Course a letter trying to work on this in mid-February.

In a statement from Steve Mossman from the law firm Mattson Ricketts, he said “Big Red Keno filed a lawsuit to protect its gaming rights at the Lincoln Race Course facility, in Lincoln, Nebraska. Big Red Keno is the lottery operator for the City of Lincoln and Lancaster County and has a contract with Lincoln Race Course to provide keno at their premises. As part of that contract, Lincoln Race Course agreed that Big Red Keno would have the first right to provide any expanded gambling at the track. Despite Big Red Keno’s efforts to discuss the matter with Lincoln Race Course, Lincoln Race Course refused to honor the contract and has proceeded to breach the contract by moving forward with services from another provider”

The lawsuit states Big Red Keno was told it could still have its own kiosks within the racecourse during construction.

The legal team from Omaha Exposition said in the suit they lease the property from the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protection Association and the racecourse is not the ones operating or expanding casino gambling.

Mattson Ricketts filed a civil suit as they believe Big Red Keno deserves some form of compensation.

The defense team was called but did not get back to 10/11 Now.

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