Nebraska Casino and Gambling Guide

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Dave | January 5, 2023 | Updated on: January 8th, 2024


Top Nebraska casino guideThe gambling scene in Nebraska is rather limited compared to many other states. That’s not to say that residents can’t gamble, but the opportunities to do so aren’t as numerous. Gambling in Nebraska is limited to horse racing, charity bingo, keno, and the state lottery. All other forms of gambling are not permitted by law.

In total, there are four race tracks around the state that hold horse racing. Off-track betting on the racing is also permitted. Nebraska is not home to any actual casinos, but the race tracks and some other establishment are permitted to offer live keno draws and alcohol. These are the closest equivalent to an actual casino within Nebraska.

Residents looking to enjoy casino gambling will need to travel to neighboring states. These include Iowa, South Dakota, or Kansas, all of which have a more substantial gambling industry. The Nebraska state lottery does also offer scratch cards, along with traditional lotto tickets.

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Online Gambling in Nebraska

Online gambling is not permitted by Nebraska law. Off-track betting is permitted though, however, simulcast betting sites like TVG and TwinSpires are not licensed in the state. Daily Fantasy Sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuels do accept players from Nebraska, although the law doesn’t expressly permit DFS. The sites claim that DFS are legal, as they are games of skill. The law surrounding online casinos is equally grey.

Nebraska Live Gambling

For those people looking to gamble in Nebraska, there are a few options available. There are four types of legal gambling in Nebraska, which are horse racing, the state lottery, keno, and charity gambling events. Each type of gambling has its own unique laws for gamblers to keep in mind.

There are four racetracks around the state for live horse racing. Each of these tracks allow for off-track betting through their racebook. As for charity gambling events, they are allowed to offer bingo, raffles, and keno. In order to offer these events, the charity needs to be registered with Nebraska.

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The state lottery sells various lottery tickers and scratch cards. These lotto tickets also include multi-state lotto games like Mega Millions and Powerball. Finally, we have the live keno draws.

This is the closest thing to an actual casino that players will find in Nebraska. Restaurants and other locations that serve alcohol, can offer these live keno draws, if they want.

Gambling Laws in Nebraska

Nebraska has very strict gambling laws that require a constitutional amendment and state-wide referendum in order to change. This means that most attempts to expand the gambling industry have failed. Most crimes related to gambling will be classes as misdemeanors for first-time offenders. However, gambling debt collection is classed as a Class III felony.

Racetracks are legal in the state of Nebraska, but may only host horse racing. The race track is required to host at least one race day every year.

The lottery is permitted and can offer multi-state lotto tickets like PowerBall and Mega Millions. The lottery can also offer various scratch cards. Any business that holds a liquor license can also operate live keno games.

The operators may use electronic devices to get the winning numbers for each draw. Any electronic games that mimic video poker are illegal. Any business that wants to offer keno needs to be approved by a local referendum and may only operate during the times when you can sell alcohol. Normally this means no later than 2 am.

Smoking is banned in any business that allows any form of gambling, with hotel rooms and tobacco shops being exempt. Finally, the minimum gambling age is 18 for betting on horse racing and playing charity games, and 19 for the lottery and keno.

Gambling History

Nebraska has never really embraced gambling, with all forms being banned by the state’s constitution until 1934. Horse racing would then be legalized through a constitutional amendment and would remain the only legal form of gambling for over 20 years. In 1958, charity bingo was permitted, with keno being allowed in 1985. Off-track betting on horse racing would follow in 1988, and the state lottery being legalized in 1992.

Out of all these forms of gambling, keno has been the most controversial. Some cities in Nebraska have refused to allow businesses to offer keno. In addition to this, there have been quite a few attempts to expand gambling to allow more gaming machines and slot machines, but these have failed every time.

It does not look likely that Nebraska will approve any form of gambling expansion in the future. Players will need to continue traveling to neighboring states to gamble at proper casinos.

Nebraska Gambling FAQs

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