Nebraska may be known more for corn than gambling and with fair reason. Legal gambling can be found in the Cornhusker State state’s 5 tribal casinos, but with some pretty major limitations. The state is home to 5 racecourses where players can lay down wagers – pari-mutuels and simulcast bets. Sports betting isn’t forecasted any time soon, at least without a change in the senate. And oddly, you must be at least 19 to buy a lottery ticket. Regardless, players will find what they need one way or another – even if that means hopping state lines into casino-happy Iowa.
Nebraska Legal gambling History
During the 1800s, Omaha consistently had the most gambling per-capita in the United States. This came to a close quickly when Nebraska became a state and banned all forms of gambling. At this time gambling in Nebraska found its way to the seedy underworld controlled by mobsters.
Nebraska legalized track betting in 1934. The law allowed for pari-mutuel betting but only on-track. Later this expanded to off-track and simulcast betting at the state’s 5 racetracks.
Bingo was legalized in 1958 under charitable gaming laws but only for fund-raising purposed. In 1967 the law was expanded to include raffles, pull-tabs, and lottery games.
In 1985, Keno was legalized in Nebraska. The game can be found in restaurants and bars across the state.
The state lottery was enacted in Nebraska in 1992. This includes in-state drawings and multi-state games like Powerball and MegaMillions.
Nebraska Gambling Legal Status
Casino gambling is legal in Nebraska, although only class II type gaming. This excludes live poker and other table games. Slots and video gaming machines are legal and can be found at the state’s 5 tribal casinos.
Track betting, pari-mutuels, and simulcast betting are legal in Nebraska but only on-site. Wagering on other games of skill like pool and darts is legal as well.
Charitable gaming is legal in Nebraska. This includes bingo, raffles, lotteries, and pull-tabs for charity purposes.
Playing keno in Nebraska is legal and machines can be found across the state in restaurants and barrooms.
If you’re 18 in Nebraska and want to play the state lottery than you’re out of luck. Nebraska’s legal age for the lottery is 19 and includes in-state drawings and multi-state Powerball and Mega Millions.
Sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and online gambling are all illegal in Nebraska.
Nebraska Land-Based Casinos
Nebraska has 5 tribal casinos that are authorized to offer class II gaming. This includes slots and video gaming machines – no poker or live table games.
The 5 Nebraska tribal casinos are:
- Iron Horse Casino
- Native Star Casino
- Lucky 77 Casino
- Ohiya Casino and Resort
- Rosebud Casino
Nebraska Legal Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting
Sports betting in Nebraska is illegal for now. The current governor of the state Pete Ricketts has an open stance opposed to it. In 2018, Governor Ricketts was quoted as saying, “Sports betting is illegal in Nebraska and we have no plans to change that”.
Conversely, the Democrat side is pro-expansion of legalized gambling in the state and recent polls have shown that over 60 percent of Nebraskans favor more forms of it.
Daily fantasy sports are illegal in Nebraska as well, though not without efforts to change it. L469 was put forth to legalize fantasy sports in 2017 but failed to gain enough support and was ultimately put to rest in 2018.
For sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and expanded casino gaming to become legal in Nebraska it would mean a change in lawmakers.
Nebraska Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What types of gambling are legal in the state of Nebraska?
The following are legal to gamble on in Nebraska:
- Class II casino gaming and tribal casinos including slots and video gaming machines.
- Track betting including pari-mutuels and simulcast wagering.
- State lottery including Powerball and Mega Millions.
- Charitable gaming including bingo, raffles, lotteries, and pull-tabs.