OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) – A US state senator who initially opposed expanded gambling in Nebraska has tabled three new bills designed to streamline the process of opening voter-approved racetrack casinos and introduce some regulations built since these facilities still exist.
"In November the voters spoke and they really did give a mandate. That mandate is that they want to see casinos on racetracks and that they want property tax relief that comes with it," said Senator Tom Briese, chairman of the Nebraska General Affairs Committee .
Briese says that since Nebraska voted yes to racetrack gambling last November, it has become its responsibility as lawmakers to make sure that the will of voters is implemented quickly. However, this is not without regulations for the newly approved expansion of gambling.
LB 560 would make it clear that the often discussed sports betting is actually a game of chance. Even in a time when placing a bet is as easy as getting an app, it would continue to gamble from Nebraska homes and from underage hands.
According to Lynne McNally, executive vice president of the Nebraska Horsemen & # 39; s Benevolent and Protective Association, technology is already available to limit casino betting to specific areas.
"If this calculation is successful, we will install something called geofencing," said McNally. "So you could place bets inside the circuit housing itself, ie our facility, but you could not place a bet outside the facility."
LB 560 also prohibits the use of credit cards to place bets and requires a background check from those seeking a gaming license.
The good life gambling that has battled adding Nebraska casinos for decades is still against sports betting. But they appreciate Briese's efforts to get regulations in place before these casinos even open their doors.
"He tries to minimize the harm we are facing in terms of the impact on the public, businesses, youth and everything else," said Patt Loontjer, Executive Director.
The election measure passed in November also sets up the Nebraska Gaming Commission, but with LB 561, Briese would like to see this in combination with the Nebraska Racing Commission.
"We felt that this would mean a more efficient use of government funds, and that will bring some efficiency with it," said Briese.
He also proposed LB 365 which would provide $ 225,000 from the General Fund to the Gambling Commission. He says hiring experts and setting regulations will require some funding over the coming months.
"It's important that we get these dollars on the Commission as soon as possible, help get this thing, and make sure we move this thing forward as soon as possible."
These new racetrack casinos are expected to open in early 2022. Gambling with the good life says they will speak against sports betting with lawmakers in the meantime.
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