iGaming Operators Gauging Online Gambling Interest in Nebraska

A coalition of the country’s biggest online gambling companies is polling Nebraskans on their interest in legal sports betting, paving the way for a potential push for regulation in the near future.
iGaming Operators Gauging Online Gambling Interest in Nebraska
February 13, 2024

Online gambling continues to spread across the US like wildfire, and Nebraska appears to be one of the states that online gambling operators have their sights on.

Retail sports betting has been legal in the state of Nebraska since 2021 but is only offered in two brick-and-mortar locations. Quite naturally, the operators would like to expand that and have begun gauging interest in online sports betting within the state.

According to Lincoln Journal Star, a coalition of online gambling operators involving four of the country’s most prominent companies is looking to feel out the interest in online sports betting among the Nebraskans.

To that end, they have launched a polling campaign asking Nebraskans a variety of questions on the topic of online sports betting, helping them ascertain if online gambling would be welcomed by most of the state’s citizens.

A Strong Coalition Looks to Bring Online Gambling to Nebraska

According to the most recent information, a polling campaign is already underway in Nebraska, and it is set to ascertain Nebraskans’ interest in online sports betting and other forms of online gambling.

Four of the biggest igaming operators in the US — Caesars, BetMGM, FanDuel, and DraftKings — are in charge of the campaign. They are working alongside Ho-Chunk, the parent company of WarHorse Gaming, the operator of the two existing Racinos in the Cornhusker State.

The coalition, made up of some of the most prominent gambling brands, will be looking to pave the way for their entry into the market as early as this year.

Should the campaign be successful, it would also allow other igaming operators, such as PokerStars US and many more, to potentially look for gaming licenses in Nebraska once online gambling is regulated in some capacity.

The Polls are Expected to Produce Positive Results

While the poll being conducted throughout Nebraska remains partially shrouded by mystery, it is fairly clear that the coalition behind it is looking for positive feedback from Nebraskans in order to push for potential regulation in the near future.

The questions in the poll are likely to be worded in ways that would yield positive results, while those results will be used to shape a narrative and create an idea that Nebraskans overwhelmingly want online sports betting.

That said, it is likely that the majority of Nebraskans would accept online sports betting if it was proposed, as a number of neighboring states already offer such services.

Regulation Can Come in Two Ways in Nebraska

Only a handful of states have constitutions that detail the types of gambling that are allowed within them, and Nebraska is one of those states.

To allow for online sports betting, the constitution would have to be changed, and that change can come in one of two ways.

The first way is to get the legislature to propose a constitutional amendment, which would have to be ratified by the voters in a referendum. That said, this year’s deadline for proposing amendments has already passed, so any such effort would have to wait until 2025.

On the other hand, a petition by the voters could be submitted earlier than that, but it would require 122,000 signatures from registered voters. The signatures would have to constitute at least 5% of registered voters in 38 different counties.

Should the coalition behind the polls push for such a petition, it would likely have to spend significant funds to finance the acquisition of signatures and get the referendum to pass in the end, which might be worth it for some of the industry’s biggest operators.

The weeks and months ahead will reveal the exact intentions of the group, as the results of the polls should be in by the end of the week and announced publically soon after.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500

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