Nebraska Sports Betting Launches at WarHorse Casino Lincoln

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WarHorse Casino Lincoln took the first legal bets in Nebraska sports betting history on Thursday.

Other casino/racetrack sites will eventually also take retail wagers through kiosks and betting windows, but none have announced launch dates. Mobile sports betting was not included in the sports betting law passed by the Nebraska legislature in 2021, but information provided by geolocation firm GeoComply strongly suggests Nebraskans want it.

WarHorse Lincoln plans to have 10 kiosks in addition to betting windows. Bettors can construct bets on a WarHorse app before arriving at a kiosk or window, according to the company.

WarHorse Gaming announced on June 9 that its Lincoln and Omaha facilities had received the first provisional sports betting licenses issued by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission.

Nebraskans have been asking for the opportunity to wager on sports since the ballot initiatives were passed in 2020. We’re thrilled to be the first casino in the state to offer sports betting.”

Lance Morgan, CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., the parent company of WarHorse Gaming, LLC

WarHorse Lincoln had hoped to launch its sports betting operation in late May, but continued problems building out the infrastructure of sports betting regulation in Nebraska made that an impossibility. Rules to govern the enterprise in the state weren’t approved until Feb. 9, almost two years after Gov. Pete Ricketts signed sports betting to law.

Nebraska on the US Sports Betting Map

Nebraska will become the 35th US jurisdiction with some form of legal sports betting underway and the ninth with only retail. Mobile and online betting has grown to account for as much as 90% of betting activity in states with both, like neighboring Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, and Wyoming. Those nine retail-only states are among the lowest in handle and taxes generated for state governments, according to the Gaming Today sports betting revenue tracker.

Several of Nebraska’s retail future outlets are located in rural areas and residents along the borders might be tempted to dip briefly over state lines to make their legal wagers. More than 25% of Nebraska’s 1.9 million residents live in the Omaha area, an easy jaunt over the Missouri River to Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Limitations of Nebraska Betting Rules:

  • Only six former racing venues will be licensed to offer legal sports bets in Nebraska.
  • Retail bets only. No mobile or online wagering.
  • No bets can be taken on Nebraska college teams when they are playing at home.

Not being able to bet on Nebraska Cornhuskers is likely to be a source of aggravation. Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Wyoming have no limitations on college betting even though several newer sports betting states have imposed them.

In-state college-betting-rules-by-state

About the Author
Brant James

Brant James

Senior Writer
Brant James is a senior writer at Gaming Today. An alum of the Tampa Bay Times, ESPN.com, espnW, SI.com and USA Today, he's covered motorsports and the NHL as beats, once made a tail-hook landing on an aircraft carrier with Dale Earnhardt Jr., and rode to the top of Mt. Washington with Travis Pastrana. John Tortorella yelled at him numerous times. In covering the sports betting industry, he's looking for what and who are next and why.

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