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Nebraska

Sports betting has been legal in the Cornhusker State since 2021, but for right now, bettors are limited to just two retail betting locations as they wait for online sports betting to officially launch.

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All legal ways to bet on in Nebraska

Is online sports betting legal in Nebraska?No
Is in-person sports betting legal?Yes
Is daily fantasy sports legal?Yes
Is betting on college sports legal?Legal (restricted)
Is horse racing betting legal?Yes
Is greyhound betting legal?Yes
Is political betting legal?No
Is eSports betting legal?Yes

Every state varies in its stance on betting on collegiate sports. In Nebraska, bettors can legally wager on college sports, but there are two caveats that customers must keep in mind. First, bettors are not allowed to wager on prop bets for college athletes, and they cannot bet on a Nebraska-based college if they are playing a game in the state.

Outside those restrictions, bettors in NE have free reign regarding betting on the NFL draft, eSports, and awards like the NBA MVP or Most Improved Player. Outside of markets that are directly tied to regulated sports betting, residents or tourists of Nebraska can also bet on horse racing either in person or online.

Residents can also access DFS products even though all legislation to legalize them has failed, leaving the market unregulated.

Online sports betting in The Cornhusker State

Nearly two years after PASPA was overturned, Nebraska residents were allowed to vote on a referendum enabling retail casinos to open in the state, therefore allowing in-person sports betting. After residents voted “Yes,” lawmakers began working on the state's sports betting bill.

By March 18, 2021, the Nebraska state legislature passed LB 561, and the bill was signed into law in May by Gov. Pete Ricketts. With this bill's signing, the Cornhusker State could officially offer retail sports betting at select locations.

While residents of NE were finally able to rejoice about sports betting being legalized, they would not be able to place a legal sports wager until June 22, 2023, when the WarHorse Casino opened their sportsbook, becoming the first recognized racino in NE. Since then, they have opened a second location in Omaha, which can also accept sports wagers. As of right now, there are three locations that offer sports betting.

Rules and regulations regarding mobile sports betting were noticeably absent from LB 561. This doesn’t mean the state cannot add a bill that also legalizes mobile sports betting. However, with Nebraska moving on the slower side regarding its sports betting layout, bettors in the state could be waiting for a while to see a mobile betting app become available.

There are a few ways that mobile betting could eventually enter the state, one of which includes a bill that allows online operators to partner with current and upcoming racinos. Lawmakers have already started to feel increased pressure to legalize mobile sports betting since a report showed that Nebraska residents are crossing the state’s borders to Iowa to place online wagers.

Sports betting & gambling legislation in NE

As far as sports betting goes, the legal age to place a bet in Nebraska is 21. While this is the legal age for most gambling activities in the state, residents who are 18 years old can participate in activities like the lottery. Like all states with legal sports betting, Nebraska also prohibits betting on high school sports.

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission enforces the legal gambling age and all additional rules and regulations for sports betting in Nebraska. Outside of the rules and regulations, bettors in the state need to know how they’ll be taxed. All winnings are treated as taxable income in NE, and the tax rate for them is 5%.

Whether or not iGaming and online poker will be added to any bill that includes mobile sports betting is yet to be determined. As all three options wait to see if they will be passed, residents can still participate in the state lottery and use social sportsbooks.

Are online casinos legal in Nebraska?No
Are retail casinos legal?Yes
Are social sportsbooks legal?Yes
Are sweepstakes/social casinos legal?Yes
Is online poker legal?No
Is the lottery legal?Yes
The launch date of sports betting in Nebraska?In-person betting: June 22, 2023
How many legal sports betting apps are there in NE?0
How many legal retail betting sites are there in NE?3
Is remote registration allowed?No
Legal age for sports betting in Nebraska?21+
Nebraska's tax rate for betting/gambling winnings5%
Who regulates sports betting in Nebraska?The Nebraska Racing & Gaming Commission

Most recent updates from the NE sports betting scene

  • June 12, 2024: For the first time in history, two former Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball players will pitch opposite each other in the MLB, with Spencer Schwellenbach and the Braves taking on Cade Povich and the Orioles.

  • May 27, 2024: The Nebraska Cornhuskers baseball team has won the Big-Ten Tournament for the first time in program history. As a result, the Cornhuskers will be playing in the Stillwater Regional for the College World Series, and they are currently (+10000) to win the CWS.

  • April 27, 2024: Multiple sportsbooks have released their 2024 college football win totals, and the Nebraska Cornhuskers total currently sits at 7.5. The Cornhuskers are also currently (+30000) to win the National Championship.

  • December 5, 2023: The introduction of legal casino gambling in eastern Nebraska has had a noticeable impact on Council Bluffs, Iowa casinos. Two significant casinos in Council Bluffs had experienced a decline in revenue since late 2022 when Nebraska began offering slot gaming.

  • November 20, 2023: The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission launches a statewide tip hotline designed to address unethical or illegal activities occurring within casinos, racetracks, and sports gambling facilities across the state.

  • October 2, 2023: Despite concerns about increased crime rates due to the legalization of casino gambling in Nebraska, The Lincoln Journal Star reports no significant rise in criminal activities in Lincoln.

In-person sports betting sites and locations

While tribal casinos exist in Nebraska, sports betting is limited to WarHorse Casino, which began accepting sports wagers from NE bettors on November 1, 2023. The state has five other tribal casinos, Iron Horse Bar & Casino, Lucky 77 Casino, Native Star Casino, Ohiya Casino, and Prairie Flower Casino. Still, these locations do not offer sports betting in any form, at least not yet.

Retail sportsbook

Location

WarHorse Casino

7055 S 1st St, Lincoln

In addition to the tribal retail casinos, there are six racetracks in the state, each offering NE bettors the possibility to lay wagers on horse races. Three of them (Lincoln Race Course, Fonner Park, and Horsemen’s Park) provide simulcast betting as an option. Each of these tracks can acquire a sports betting license in the future.

Racetrack

Location

Agricultural Park

822 15th St., Columbus

Atokad Downs

1524 Atokad Drive, South Sioux City

Fairplay Park

947 S Baltimore Ave, Hastings

Fonner Park

700 E Stolley Park Road, Grand Island

Lincoln Race Course

7055 S 1st St, Lincoln

Horsemen’s Park

6303 Q Street, Omaha

By 2025, there should be at least four retail locations where a legal sports bet can be placed, but these numbers could change depending on how quickly these racetracks decide to build and open casinos.

Sports betting in neighboring states

If Nebraska bettors set out to look for more sports betting options, they won’t have to travel far in any direction as all five surrounding states offer legalized sports betting.

Each state has a different sports betting infrastructure. Iowa, Kansas, and Colorado have larger markets, while South Dakota and Wyoming have more limited markets. To learn more about each state’s betting landscape, click on it in the box below.

StateOnline sports bettingRetail sports bettingDFSHorse Race betting
IowaLegalLegalLegalLegal
ColoradoLegalLegalLegalLegal
South DakotaLegal (restricted)LegalLegalLegal
KansasLegalLegalLegalLegal
WyomingLegalLegalLegalLegal

Sports betting revenue impact on Nebraska's economy

The Nebraska Racing & Gaming Commission is in charge of granting licenses to offer sports betting, but the actual fees for these licenses or their duration are currently unknown. We do know that all casino gambling revenue, including sports betting, is taxed at 20%, a bit higher than the average tax rate across states with legalized sports betting.

Complete reports specific to sports betting statistics in Nebraska are not fully available. Most revenue-based reports for gambling in the Cornhusker State combine all gambling activity at different locations. For example, we know that Nebraska produced $1.7 million in gaming taxes in December 2023, but how much of that is strictly from sports betting is unknown.

In total, in 2023, Nebraska compiled $17.8 million in gaming tax, which means casinos made close to $90 million in revenue during the year. Again, how much of this revenue stems from sports betting is unclear, but we project that this number should increase by the end of 2024 since more casinos are expected to open.

Nebraska - Some commonly asked questions (FAQ):

What is the legal status of sports betting in Nebraska?

Sports betting is 100% legal in Nebraska, but the selection of places a resident can place a legal wager or limited. As of right now, there are two retail betting locations and no mobile betting apps.

How profitable has sports betting been in NE?

Despite offering legal sports betting, Nebraska does not release revenue reports regarding the matter, so their exact numbers are not known to the public.

What is the most popular sports team in NE?

Nebraska is called the Cornhusker State for a reason. The University of Nebraska Cornhuskers are the most popular team to root for in the state.

What are the biggest sporting events held in Nebraska?

Every summer, the best college baseball teams in the country meet in Omaha, Nebraska, to play in the College World Series.