Lincoln casino celebrates groundbreaking ceremony

Nebraska reached a major milestone on Tuesday in bringing gaming and sports betting to the Capital City.
Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 7:21 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -Nebraska reached a major milestone on Tuesday in bringing gaming and sports betting to the Capital City.

Warhorse Management and the Nebraska Horsemen broke ground at the Lincoln Racecourse, getting them one step closer to opening Warhorse Casino.

With facilities set to open in Lincoln and Omaha, both the Nebraska Horsemen and Warhorse said it’s going to be an asset to the community. Tuesday’s groundbreaking ceremony marked the beginning of an 18-month construction phase for Lincoln’s Warhorse gaming facility.

Lance Morgan, the president and CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., Warhorse’s parent company, said this has been a long time coming.

“This has been going on for a very long time in terms of what we’ve been doing and the horseman have been doing to try and really build up the horse-racing industry,” Morgan said. “And we think that casino gaming adding to the horse racing is going to make for a big draw and a great tax benefit for the state and a lot of jobs.”

Warhorse Gaming will be the first casino in Lincoln and Omaha. Morgan said the properties will cost a total of $500 million to $600 million, with the first phase of the Warhorse Lincoln just weeks away.

“I think there’s an organic enthusiasm for it in the community,” said Lynne McNally, CEO of Nebraska Horseman. “I think people are going to be excited about it and I think we’re going to be a huge asset to Lincoln and Omaha.”

Phase one in Lincoln, which is expected to open in September, will include a 9,000 square foot gaming floor, 445 slot machines, sports book kiosks and simulcast and live racing. The second phase, which will include a 200-room hotel, event center and steakhouse, is anticipated for September of 2023.

“Anything that’s entertainment you want to bring people, to the facility so whatever sort of convention entertainment concert the races were gonna do it all were in the business of attracting people here,” Morgan said.

Warhorse said the casino will bring about 900 jobs to the city. The location at Omaha’s Horseman’s Park will also have a phased opening starting next year.

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