CWS Arrives, But Host State Benches Online Nebraska Sports Betting For Now

Omaha is the center of the college baseball world starting June 14, but online Nebraska sports betting is stranded in the on-deck circle for now.

Visiting College World Series fans can find WarHorse Casino and its 10 WarHorse Sportsbook kiosks in Omaha to place an in-person bet, however.

Nebraska casinos can take bets on their iconic host event for the first time in 2024. In past years, college baseball gamblers had to lock in bets before their trip to Omaha.

Or, more likely, they just made a short side trip to the east.

Omaha’s smaller sibling city, Council Bluffs, IA, is just over the border between Nebraska and Iowa. Iowa sports betting apps can accept bets from out-of-state users. They simply need to cross the Missouri River into the Hawkeye State.

WarHorse Omaha announced the Nebraska retail sportsbook’s arrival on Feb. 12, 2024. Lance Morgan, the CEO of WarHorse Gaming’s parent company, said he’s glad the kiosks will “help keep the money in Nebraska.”

“Countless people in Omaha have told us how tired they are of having to drive to Council Bluffs just to bet on a game. We’re thrilled to be Omaha’s new and only home for sports wagering.”

Online Nebraska Sports Betting Could Arrive … But Not This Year

Nebraska’s voters needed a constitutional amendment to bring casino gaming to the Cornhusker State. From there, the unicameral legislature and then-Gov. Pete Ricketts had to agree on betting parameters and taxation.

As a result, permanent casino construction continues to this day at racetrack sites in Omaha, Lincoln, Columbus, and Grand Island.

The launch of online Nebraska sportsbooks and sports betting apps will require another amendment to the state constitution. Morgan told Andrew Wegley of the Lincoln Journal Star that FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars polled Nebraska voters about the potential for online sports betting.

About 57% voiced support, which wasn’t strong enough to invest in an expensive referendum campaign yet.

“If you’re at 57 (percent support), it creates some possibility that you could lose unless you really were to put substantial resources into it,” Morgan told the Journal Star in April. “It doesn’t make any sense to go to war unless you have a war chest lined up.”

Nebraska fields ballot initiatives in even-numbered years, so online sports betting is on hold until 2026.

CWS Bets at WarHorse or in Iowa

The final spot in the eight-team College World Series field came down to Monday night’s game between No. 10 national seed North Carolina State and No. 7 seed Georgia.

The game sets the pairings for the College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha. Three ACC teams and an SEC team open the CWS on Friday. Then, three SEC teams and an ACC team round out the openers on Saturday.

Friday, June 14

  • (12) Virginia vs. (4) North Carolina
  • (8) Florida State vs. (1) Tennessee

Saturday, June 15

  • (10) North Carolina State vs. (2) Kentucky
  • Florida vs. (3) Texas A&M

The best-of-three CWS finals are June 22-23 and June 24 if necessary.

About the Author
Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell

Lead Writer
Russ Mitchell joined Gaming Today as a lead writer in February 2023 after joining Catena Media in 2021 as a managing editor for the PlayIA and PlayVA brands. He covers sports betting industry news market developments, the college sports betting industry, and the four major North American pro sports leagues. With 25+ years of journalism experience to Gaming Today. He is a five-time winner of the Iowa’s prestigious Harrison “Skip” Weber Investigative Reporting award, a two-time National Newspaper Association award winner and a 50-time Iowa Newspaper Association award winner.

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