Technically speaking, sports betting in Nebraska has been legal since May 2021. However, Nebraskans are unable to place a bet on sports within the state. At the moment, they must take a drive to Iowa or neighboring state to place their bets. So, what exactly is going on and why the Nebraska Sports Betting Remains Launch on Hold?
Despite having voter approval in November of 2020 and the signature from Gov. Ricketts, betting is still nowhere in sight. According to Bookie Pay Per Head insiders, it is unlikely that sports betting in Nebraska will be available this year. In fact, they believe that it may not be available to Nebraskans until 2024.
The culprit is behind the delays is the newly made Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC) was made specifically create and regulate the gambling industry within the state. However, they have a lot of work on their plate as hey are currently working to approve casinos at the state’s horse racing tracks. In addition, they might also need to build out permanent sports betting spaces before they take bets.
Since sports gambling in Nebraska is only for in-person betting, bettors will have to wait for facilities to be built.
Nebraska Sports Betting Launch Remains on Hold because of Its Rules Status
At the moment, there is no specific launch date for when sports wagering will be available in Nebraska. However, we do know that it all rides on when the NRGC will be done creating the sports betting rules. For the moment, they are still going through the process of drafting the rules. The rules would include not only the approval process for sportsbooks but also sports betting software requirements.
According to Tom Sage, the executive director of NRGC, “sports wagering in the state may be a ways off”. During an interview with the Journal Star, he said it is a long process because they are starting from scratch.
In addition, they must approve each of the racebook/casinos for a sports betting. This also includes approving the new facilities that will allow them to take sports bets.
Once the first draft of the rules are made, it will need the approval of Doug Peterson, the Nebraska Attorney General. Afterwards, it will go to Gov. Ricketts for approval before heading to the Secretary of State. Once it goes to the Secretary of State, it should become effective a week later.
Until then, Nebraskans will have to drive across the state line to Iowa or Colorado to place their bets.