Future of Nebraska Casinos Awaits Governor’s Approval, Millions in Property Tax Breaks Expected

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 about the current status of those plans.

The 678 rules were officially adopted by the Races and Gaming Commission in December 2021. Those rules are now awaiting approval by the attorney general’s and governor’s office, but Nebraska Horsemen general manager Lynne McNally said expect that to happen sooner rather than later.

She said Lincoln is expected to receive about $3.5 million per year from its racetrack after gambling license approval and Omaha $7 million per year.

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

In addition to expected revenue from casinos, the property tax relief fund is expected to receive approximately $100 million per year.

Although the timeline is unknown, this did not stop Lincoln’s Warhorse Casino plan.

Continued: Launch of the 3D rendering of the future casino of Lincoln

Construction can’t officially begin until final approval from the governor, but right now they’re finishing up renovation plans, finishing designs, and improving the roads, including adding a roundabout in Lincoln.

Although the construction of the entire casino will take approximately 20 months, Lincoln residents will reap the benefits after the license is approved.

“The day we get our gaming license, we’ll be open for a transition facility,” McNally said, “I would say within four to five months you’ll be able to play a slot after those five months and the Construction will continue for the entire facility during this period.

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

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Penny D. Jackson