Sports betting legal in state, Nebraska casinos not yet ready

Sports betting legal, but casinos don't yet have the infrastructure for it.
Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 8:27 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - New rules permitting sports betting went into effect in Nebraska this week. But don’t expect to place your Super Bowl bets here in the state.

Nebraska’s casinos, like WarHorse in Lincoln, just aren’t ready for that yet.

“The vendors they have to get licensed, the machine infrastructure has to go in,” said Lance Morgan, the CEO of Ho-Chunk, the parent company of the WarHorse Casino. “Depending on how the timing of that goes, it’s not as easy as just flipping a switch.”

Morgan said there’s a formal process to go through involving approval from the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission.

As of Thursday, the commission told 10/11 NOW that no casinos have made requests for sports betting approval yet, but that’s soon to change.

“We’ll get it open, we’ll get it going,” Morgan said. “You’ll be able to bet on something hopefully in a month or two.”

Morgan said he and casino staff aim to have it ready by March Madness, but he’s not sure if that will be possible. Right now, WarHorse has no designated area for sports betting.

“We didn’t launch this as a sports betting venture,” Morgan said. “We launched this as a gaming venture, but that’s something people clamor for and are really excited about.”

The new regulations say you can only cast a sports bet at a brick-and-mortar casino, using their kiosks, ruling out mobile sports betting and apps like ‘Draft Kings’.