Across the United States, players have access to some form of gambling. In some states, you have the lottery. Others offer lottery gaming, bingo, casinos and poker. Each state has the ability to legalize the gambling options they see fit. In Nebraska, an effort has been ongoing for quite some time to bring casinos to the state. Over the weekend, the state’s Supreme Court heard arguments from both sides as to why gambling should or should not be expanded in the state.
Back in July, Keep the Money, a pro-gambling group in the state announced they are submitting three petitions to see the option added to the ballot this November, allowing citizens to consider if gambling should be expanded. The three petitions reportedly have 475,000 in combined signatures.
If the option is added to the ballot and voters say ye, then casinos could legally be added in the state. the petitions were submitted in August but Secretary of State Robert B. Evnen stated they did not follow the single subject rule. Because of this, the Secretary will not allow the issue to be placed on the ballot. The signatures were verified to be real and valid.
The initiatives would change the state’s constitution, which would cut out a signature requirement from Governor Pete Ricketts. This is a good thing as Ricketts is a known opponent of gambling.
Once the Secretary of State stopped the effort, the Keep the Money group hired an attorney to fight their case. Andre Barry is representing the group. He took part in the court hearing recently, providing argument as to why the initiatives need to move forward.
According to Barry, the group divided the petitions into three separate options to be in compliance with the state’s single subject rule. The opposing side argued that the separate measures are deceptive and are a multi-subject constitutional amendment measure, not falling in line with the single-subject rule.
If the state does not act quickly in this case, then citizens will not be able to vote on casino gambling this year. The ballot for November must be finalized by the end of this week.
Nebraska is one of ten states that do not allow casinos. With so many signatures gathered on the petitions, it seems that residents of the state are supportive in efforts to see gambling come to fruition. However, the fight seems to be ongoing with no sign of stopping any time soon.
Even if the court rules in their favor, the measures created by the group will not be put to a vote until the next election cycle takes place. While the effort is taking some time, the supporters of gambling in the state are not backing down and continue to fight for what they want to see happen.
We shall see in the coming days how this case moves forward and if Keep the Money will see a favorable decision or if those who are opposed are successful in their efforts.