Nebraska Online Sports Betting and Poker Bill

Peter N
January 22, 2020

Recently, Nebraska online poker bill was introduced into the Nebraska legislature that would legalize sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and online poker.

Senator Wayne presented a package of bills related to gambling expansion in Nebraska:

  • The first bill allows votes to amend the state constitution to allow casinos and sports betting in Nebraska.
  • The second bill would expand the definition of the lottery to include sports betting.

Nebraska Online Poker Bill

Sen. Justin Wayne, a Democrat from Omaha, presented LB 990, also known as the game of skill act. The new bill categorizes sports betting, daily fantasy sports, and online poker, as skill-based games

In fact, the bill will make casinos and sports betting legal in Nebraska. Furthermore, it widens the definition of a lottery to include sports betting.

If the bill becomes officially legalized, then Nebraska would become the seventh state to legalize online poker. Nebraska will join the states where online poker is already legal such as Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.

Only draw games and community card games will be considered skill-based games. Definitely, the language of the bill should change before voting starts.

As per the bill, some of the skill-based games include ‘community card’ games like Texas Hold ’em & Omaha and ‘draw poker’ games like five-card draw. 

Unfortunately, the language seems to exclude stud games. Even though stud games are plainly skill-based but do not fall under either category.   

Online Sports Betting, Casino, and Poker in Nebraska

Nebraska is a small state with a population of 1.929 million greater than only Delaware and West Virginia. In the state – lottery, bingo, and a handful of tribal casinos are available. 

Whereas, Charitable Gaming Division regulates bingo in Nebraska. Indeed, it is the same organization that would oversee games of skill.

It is essential to know that they are about 25 states without a commercial casino in the United States of America. In fact, Nebraska is one of them where casinos and sports betting are not available. Hence, some individuals in Nebraska cross borders to gamble in Sioux City, Iowa.

As the support for online casinos grew in the Cornhusker State, gaming fans filed a petition to put casino gambling on the ballot in 2020.  

According to the Grand Island Independent, 80% of all sports bets placed in Iowa are from the natives of Nebraska. This stat proves that Nebraskans are very fond of sports betting. 

Therefore, the bill will help discourage Nebraskan players to travel to Iowa to play at casinos or place sports bets. Eventually, the Government would like to keep the money in Nebraska.

More details about Nebraska Online Poker Bill

It doesn’t make much sense to offer Poker in a retail store. Similarly, it is illogical to offer in-person fantasy sports. So, while the bill doesn’t use the word internet, we can assume it implies online inclusion.

According to the bill, poker is a game of skill rather than a game of chance. In the future, with new revenue sources – taxes from operators shall make the bills like this an important part of making tax rates come down in Nebraska.

There isn’t any limitation on how many operators the state could allow for poker, daily fantasy sports, or sports betting. Any applicant can register as long as it meets the requirements, none of which are out of the ordinary.  

The operators would be eligible to offer poker, fantasy sports, or sports wagering for a $10,000 registration/application fee. In addition, an operator should pay a 6% tax on revenue up to $10,000 annually. Whereas, the Nebraska Government can use the tax revenue to lower the property taxes in the state.

Author Peter N