The online gambling laws in Nebraska prevent residents from legally doing so within the state. However, Nebraskans can still play casino games online, but not for real money. Social casinos are legal in Nebraska and are not considered gambling sites.
Players can add tokens and sweep coins to their accounts for free. They can use these to play casino games such as slots and table games, and it is a great way to practice some of the games without risking real money.
This article will help you understand the various aspects of gambling in NE, including the 100% legal and safe online gambling options. Whether you play casino games, poker, or bet on sports, we will tell you what to look for.
We want to ensure that residents seek out these services from sites with a license from the state to ensure players have a safe gaming experience. You will also find what to expect when betting at a land-based location in the Cornhusker State.
Types of Online Gaming Available in NE
As a conservative state, Nebraska has limited gaming options. Nebraska voters backed a 2020 initiative that called for legalizing sports betting, but lawmakers didn’t get a sports betting bill passed until May 2021. The market is not yet operational because the state is still working to adopt regulations.
It is hard to say if Nebraska will allow gambling at an online casino. However, Nebraska residents can play their favorite games at social casinos online. There are plenty of games to choose from, such as video poker, table games, slots; you just cannot play with real money.
Lawmakers passed a sports betting bill in May 2021, and it was quickly signed into law by Gov. Pete Ricketts. Unfortunately, the bill that was passed, LB 561, did not include language that would have legalized online sports betting.
Online sports betting appears to be off the table for now, but once retail sports betting gets underway it should be just a matter of time before Nebraskans demand it.
If sports betting legislation passes in Nebraska, online poker may be allowed as a game of skill. This change would enable legitimate online poker rooms to operate and offer real money games.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)
Although it is not considered legal in Nebraska, operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel still operate. In many other states, DFS falls into a gray area, so it is not technically illegal in Nebraska.
Nebraska has several horse racing tracks, and since 1934, it has been legal to bet on the sport. However, online betting on horses is not allowed in the state.
Nebraska has a state-run lottery with several popular games such as Powerball and Mega Millions. However, it is still illegal to purchase tickets online.
Why Choose a Legal Nebraska Online Gambling Site?
Online gambling has become a popular activity for many people and there is no lack of gaming sites. With more demand for casinos, many legitimate and illegitimate sites have been launched around the world. There are plenty of reasons people choose a legal online gambling site.
However, there are some legitimate concerns about the negative aspects of online gambling. While many of these concerns are warranted, players can mitigate most of them by using a legal site.
A legal site in NE has to follow several rules set by the state’s gaming authority, and all games must be fair for players. This ensures fairness and gives players a chance to win. However, at an illegal site, there are no regulations in place to ensure fair play.
In addition, legitimate online casinos allow users to easily monitor and control their gaming activities. Platforms offer several tools to help players gamble responsibly. Some options include setting limits on how long you gamble, how much you can deposit, and loss limits. Additionally, if you need more help, legal sites work with the state for self-exclusion lists. We will go over this more later in this article.
On a licensed and legitimate site, there are strict regulations that ensure player privacy and safety. When you gamble online, you have to provide personal and banking information, so it is essential that you go with a legal site so that your data does not end up in the wrong hands. So, stick to trustworthy sites to avoid bad actors.
Along with the other benefits we mentioned, legal NE online casinos also contribute to helping the local community through tax revenue. The state’s money from these platforms helps fund critical services for senior citizens, Nebraska public schools, state parks, and tourism programs. Additionally, taxes from the gambling industry has generated millions for the state
How to Know if a Nebraska Online Gambling Site is Legal, Regulated, and Safe
With the plethora of online gambling sites out there, it can be hard to tell which ones are legal, regulated, and safe. However, with the strict gambling laws in Nebraska, residents must find a legal site. The following list applies to all legal and regulated NE online gambling sites:
- Gaming Regulator Seal: Since charitable, social, and DFS are the only legal online gambling services available in the state, it’s essential that you use a site that has a license. A site that is regulated will ensure that you do not inadvertently break any state laws.
- Association with a Land-Based Casino: Every online gambling company in NE that accepts players must have a land-based casino partner operating in the state legally. There are five retail casinos in the state: Iron Horse Bar and Casino, Lucky 77 Casino, Native Star Casino, Ohiya Casino and Resort, and Rosebud Casino.
- Legal Jurisdiction: All of Nebraska’s online gaming sites will always tell you that you can only use their products in the state of NE through the use of geolocation technology. The legal online platforms have a specific site for NE players to stay within the law. If any site is not NE specific, it is a sign that the gambling operator is not legal.
- Headquartered in the US: Each online gambling site in Nebraska will have its headquarters in the US, which ensures legality and means your funds and personal information are safe and secure. An illegal site will have their headquarters overseas and are often disreputable. So, do a quick search to find the location for the operator’s headquarters.
- Customer Service: To ensure that their customers are happy, secure operators answer their questions and provide prompt helpful solutions. At a legal site, users will reach the support team via several options such as live chat, phone, social media, or email.
- Rewards Program: Not every regulated company has a rewards program. However, it can be an indication of a safe site. Since a legal site is well established and plans on running long-term in the state, they want to find a way to retain customers and a rewards program can help with that. An illegitimate site often runs temporarily, so there is no need to offer a rewards program.
- Recognizable Name: Legal operators will be well-known in the industry, and it will be easy to find information on the company. When researching a site to play at, it should be easy to find information about the gambling platform. If information about the company is not available, it is a sign that it is illegitimate.
Important Information When Choosing an Online Gambling Site in Nebraska
For gambling sites in Nebraska to be beneficial to players, it needs to provide them with a high-quality experience through multiple options. In addition, the gambling platform’s goal should be to provide its users with value and focus on usability. When you choose a site, there are several areas where you can see these qualities.
NE Online Gambling Bonuses and Promotions
Once a player decides to gamble online, they should shop around for the best welcome bonuses. A welcome bonus typically comes in the form of free bonus or free bets where a new player can explore what a site has to offer. Be sure to read the fine print before signing up, so you know all about the offer, especially the wagering requirements you will need to fulfill.
A matched bonus is a great first-time incentive that works by giving players a certain amount of money when they make their first deposit. . Most of the time, the casino will match the amount that the player deposits. Some sites will also offer a no-deposit bonus, usually smaller than a matched deposit where a casino will give you a small amount of funds to try out the site. There are also free spins given as a no deposit bonus where you get a certain amount of free spins to play slots.
Players can also earn additional bonuses by referring a friend. Some online casinos will add bonus money to their account for every friend that they refer. There are various ways to get started with online casino bonuses, some of which are very popular. Reload bonuses are also a popular type of offer where you can get a percentage of your deposit matched for ones after your initial deposit at the site.
Rewards for NE Customers
Online casinos often offer loyalty programs to reward players who return to their site. The more you wager the more points you will earn and you can use these points for various prizes, perks, and benefits. . Some of these include free bets site credit, exclusive bonuses, restaurant vouchers, and reservation deals at a nearby land-based casino partner.
These loyalty programs are always free to join and often have an automatic enrollment feature. If not, make sure that you sign up to get extra points when you wager on site.
NE Mobile Access
One of the easiest ways to social gamble is through a mobile app. Since most people have a mobile device, it is easy to download and use from anywhere. If the site does not have an app but is mobile compatible you can play directly from your mobile device browser.
Nebraska’s online casinos offer a variety of games that the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission has approved. There are a variety of online slots, table games, poker, and multiple variations available.
Slots are the most popular games at casinos, and Nebraska has five tribal casinos that offer land-based slots. That is also the case at online casinos. Many classic games are still available, and there are also many modern options with progressive features. For example, online sites can offer a variety of modern video slots with multiple themes to interest a wide range of players, all without requiring players to use real money.
Blackjack is the most popular table game at NE casinos. In addition, there are multiple variations of online blackjack games that are available. Online blackjack Is an easy to play game that is fun and exciting and available at social online casinos in Nebraska.
Roulette and Video Poker
Roulette and video poker are also popular at online casinos. Like blackjack, there are quite a few variations of roulette and there is a good selection of video poker titles.
Live dealer is a feature that sites can use for table games that use a remote video stream. Although players commonly prefer it, it is not available at every online casino.
The sports betting bill enacted by lawmakers in 2021 prohibits wagers on in-state college teams, so there won’t be any bets on the Nebraska Conrhuskers. But wagering is allowed on:
- College football (* excluding in-state teams)
- College basketball (* excluding in-state teams)
At online sportsbooks, they also offer a good selection of bet types such as moneylines, spreads, totals, futures, parlays, proposition bets, and round robins.
Gaming Regulator Information
The Nebraska Gaming Commission is responsible for regulating commercial gaming activity in the state. Therefore, only those with the necessary permits can operate in the Cornhusker State. In addition, they set standards for gambling sites committed to providing a safe and secure online gaming experience. These include demonstrating the protection of players, being responsive to changes in the market, and providing safe banking options.
- Ensures Legitimacy, Fairness, Legality, Financial Stability of The Operators: The goal of the Nebraska Gaming Commission is to ensure that gaming operators follow the rules and regulations in their respective fields of operation. The rules and regulations set by the Nebraska Gaming Commission ensure fair play and safety and security at the gaming site.
- Provides Accountability (Dispute Resolution): In Nebraska, the Nebraska Gaming Commission acts as a facilitator for customers who have a dispute with an operator. You can do this by submitting a request form on its website.
- Requires Safety Measures and Responsible Gaming: The operator must also submit all the necessary documents for approval from the commission. It must also have a security plan in place to ensure the safety of its operations. Additionally, the regulator requires the site to offer its users tools and resources to help them gamble responsibly.
- Ensures That Some of The Profits Benefit The Community: The Nebraska Gaming Commission taxes the revenue from gambling providers. The tax funds are used to improve the community. In Nebraska, the money goes towards a property tax relief fund, the state’s general fund, a fund for assisting compulsive gamblers, and a portion goes to the community where the gambling provider is located.
History of Online Gambling Legislation
Nebraskans can legally bet on horse racing and a state-run lottery. However, despite the success of these programs, online poker, casinos, and sportsbooks are not legal in the state. Nebraska has seen bills that would allow sports betting and the establishment of commercial casinos, but none of these have been able to gain traction.
Five tribal casinos are allowed to operate in Nebraska. These establishments are the Iron Horse Bar & Cafe, the Lucky 77, the Ohiya, Rosebud, and the Native Star, and offer Class II gaming. However, some Nebraskans still want to see more commercial gaming in the state, as it will give the state more tax revenue.
Aside from bars and restaurants, some establishments offer charity gambling. The Division of Charitable Gaming regulates this type of gaming. A gift enterprise is a type of contest or promotion conducted for the benefit of a consumer or business. It usually occurs in connection with the sale of goods or services. The site features full versions of the various acts that govern charitable gaming.
In 1934, voters approved the establishment of pari-mutuel betting in Nebraska. This service was the state’s only legal form of gambling until 1958. However, online horse betting is not allowed in the state, the only places where gamblers can place their bets are at the six racetracks that have live and simulcast racing such as AgPark, Fonner Park, and Lincoln Race Track.
In 2021, Nebraska Sen. Tom Briese (R-Albion) introduced legislation to legalize retail sports betting. The bill, LB 561, cleared the state’s unicameral legislature in May of that year and was signed into law by Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Daily Fantasy Laws
In 2017, efforts to regulate and legalize daily fantasy sports in Nebraska were made since current laws do not mention the service. Senator Tyson Larson drafted one bill that was introduced in the state.
This bill is Larson’s second attempt at pushing through DFS legislation. However, he withdrew his first attempt when he did not receive enough votes. This service still is not mentioned in the law, so it is not technically illegal to participate.
When the city of Omaha was first settled, it had a wide variety of establishments, including saloons and gaming. In the 1850s, many people played poker in the city. However, many years later, live poker became illegal in the state. Those wanting to play it in a live room had to cross over to neighboring states. Now only charity poker events are legal in NE. However, the organizer cannot charge an entry fee for the game.
Nebraska’s voters approved the state’s lottery in 1992, and the state sold tickets for the following year. The games offered include a variety of multi-state and intrastate games. Additionally, you also have to be at least 19 years old to buy a ticket.
NE Gambling History Timeline
In 2020, voters in Nebraska decided to embrace the growing popularity of gambling. They approved two ballot measures that would have authorized the establishment of a state-run racing and gaming commission and expanded gambling options at horse tracks. Here is a timeline of gambling legalization in Nebraska.
- 1934: Horse racing becomes legal.
- 1954: Charitable bingo becomes legal.
- 1967: Charitable raffles and lotteries are legalized.
- 1988: Simulcast betting legalized.
- 1992: Voters approve a state lottery.
- 2004: Two proposed casinos are blocked and voted down by the state.
- 2016: Lawmakers discovered that a petition for a commercial casino had invalid signatures, so it failed to gain traction.
- 2017: A bill for daily fantasy sports is introduced.
- 2020: Voters approve legalizing casino gaming at licensed horse racing tracks and creating a state regulatory body to govern and license Nebraska casinos.
- 2021: Lawmakers pass a bill allowing retail sports betting. Gov. Pete Ricketts signs it into law.
Responsible Gaming Resources in the State
The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission and licensed operators share responsibility for creating tools to help people gamble responsibly. These measures should keep gaming casual and fun while preventing it from becoming a problem to customers. Responsible gambling tools are:
- Prevent minors from gambling by setting an age limit and age verification.
- Settings to players to limit the amount of time and resources they use gambling.
- Timeout tools to help prevent harmful behaviors from forming.
- Self-exclusion lists that keep players from gambling online or in person.
- Supporting the local community by funding schools, law enforcement, and services for those with a gambling problem.
- Ensuring the safety of customer data and finances.
Responsible Gambling Limits
To gamble safely and enjoy the gaming experience, you should follow the golden rule and only play with money you can afford to lose.
To help users, gaming sites offer account controls to help them keep track of their play. . You can set the following limits:
- Alerts: This feature will periodically pop up to let you know how long you have been gambling.
- Deposit Limits: This allows you to put a cap on how much money you add to your account.
- Time Limits: The site you use will prevent you from gambling after a certain amount of time. You will not be able to use the site, and sometimes it will prevent you from logging in.
- Betting Limits: Players can set a maximum amount for bets and how often they can make a wager.
- Self-Exclusion: Adding your name to a self-exclusion list will keep you from being able to sign up to a gambling platform from anywhere from a month to a year. However, a permanent NE exclusion list will prevent you from gambling in the state indefinitely.
Problem Gambling Resources
The Nebraska State Racing and Gaming Commission works with gambling platforms to help people recognize when they might be having a gambling problem. In addition, they help ensure that players know about support organizations that can help them. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, the following options are available:
- Gambling Screening Tools: There are several online tools to help you determine if you have a problem. The Brief Biosocial Gambling Screen (BBGS) helps people decide professional help for their gambling behavior. Or you can use the NORC Diagnostic Screen for Gambling Problems. This self-test is based on the DSM5 and will help you to evaluate your gambling behavior.
- The National Council on Problem Gambling: This is a non-profit organization that has a helpline and serves people suffering from problem gambling. It coordinates various services and support groups, and is funded by First Choice Health Systems. You can get in contact with them by calling or texting the number 1-800-522-4700. Gamblers can also chat with someone at ncpgambling.org/chat.
- Gamblers Anonymous: GA is a national support group where members talk about their gambling struggles. You can find a local meeting in Nebraska on their website.
- Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services: This state organization is responsible for health and addiction services. It supplies information and support for those who need help with their gambling behavior.
- Self-exclusion: The Nebraska State Racing and Gaming Commission has self-exclusion lists for all gambling platforms in the state. By filling out a form, you can add yourself to the index for one of the following exclusion periods: one month, six months, one year, five years, ten years, or indefinitely.
Land-based Gambling Available in the State
Nebraska is home to five land-based gambling locations, all of which operate legally with a license from the Nebraska State Racing and Gaming Commission.
- Iron Horse Bar and Casino: 1106 Main St, Emerson, NE 68733 / (402) 695-0180
- Lucky 77 Casino: 200 Main St, Walthill, NE 68067 / (402) 846-5545
- Native Star Casino: 214 Industrial Rd, Winnebago, NE 68071 / (402) 878-2901
- Ohiya Casino and Resort: 53142 NE-12, Niobrara, NE 68760 / (402) 857-3860
- Rosebud Casino: 30421 US-83, Valentine, NE 69201 / (800) 786-7673
Is online gambling legal in Nebraska?
No, online gambling in Nebraska is illegal. However, you can play casino games online as long as you do not use real money.
What types of online gambling are legal in Nebraska?
In Nebraska, you can bet on DFS since a gray area in the law does not state its legality.
Can I use my Nebraska online gaming accounts in other states?
If the site is specifically for Nebraska you can access your account from other states but you will not be able to play unless physically located in the state. You will just need to ensure that your device’s location services are on.
I am traveling to Nebraska. Can I set up my account before I arrive?
Yes, you can sign up from wherever you live. However, we recommend creating your account before getting to NE. Doing this will be less stressful since your identification documents are at hand. You also do not have to spend your vacation time waiting for the platform to verify your identity. Check out our review for an easy-to-follow sign-up guide.
Can I play on Nebraska online gambling sites if I am visiting the state?
Yes, you do not have to be a resident to gamble on a NE site. You just need to be within the state’s borders with your location services on to be able to gamble.
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Nebraska?
The legal age to gamble in Nebraska is 21 for most forms of gambling. However, the age limit for the lottery is 19 years and above.