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Future of Nebraska casinos waiting on governor’s approval, millions in property tax relief expected

Lincoln is expected to receive about 3.5 million dollars a year from their race track after the gaming license is approved, and Omaha seven million dollars a ye
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 7:47 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - The push for casinos in Nebraska has continued into the new year, and 10/11 spoke with representatives from the Nebraska Horsemen organization on where those plans currently stand.

The 678 rules have officially been passed by the Racing and Gaming Commission in December 2021. Those rules are now waiting to be approved by the Attorney General and Governor’s office, but Nebraska Horsemen Chief Executive Officer, Lynne McNally expects this to happen sooner than later.

She said Lincoln is expected to receive about $3.5 million a year from their race track after the gaming license is approved and Omaha $7 million a year.

“I don’t think that the governor is going to take an extraordinarily long time to approve them. I think he recognizes and understands that when he approves them, all six facilities will be able to return money to the state of Nebraska in the form of property tax relief,” McNally said.

On top of the revenue expected from the casinos, the property tax relief fund is expected to receive about $100 million a year.

Even though the timeline is unknown, that hasn’t stopped the blueprint for Lincoln’s Warhorse Casino.

More: 3D rendering of future Lincoln casino released

Construction can’t officially begin until the governor’s final approval, but right now they’re finishing renovation plans, completing drawings and improving roads, including the addition of a roundabout in Lincoln.

Even though construction for the full casino will take roughly 20 months, Lincoln residents will still reap the benefits after the license is approved.

“The day that we receive our gaming license we will be open for a transitional facility,” McNally said, “I would say within four to five months you would be able to play a slot machine after that five months time and construction will be going on for the full facility during that time.”

As of January 2022 there is no approval to build brand new casinos. These plans are all within the current six licensed race tracks in the state, which will be the ones eligible for the gaming license.

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