The state of Nebraska was finally able to see the launch of some commercial casinos, and the result was much better than expected. Nebraska voters were looking for a number of new ways to increase revenue, and they decided to allow the racetracks in the state to offer up traditional casino gambling.
2023 was the first full year of casino gambling in the state of Nebraska, and the totals have now been announced. The gross gaming revenue from the casinos in 2023 checked in at over $89 million, and there is hope that the numbers will continue to trend in the positive direction.
Voters in Nebraska actually agreed to approve casino gambling back in 2020, but it took the state much longer than expected to get this industry up and running. There are six racetracks in the state, but only five are currently interested in offering casino gambling.
One thing that has hampered the growth of this new industry in Nevada is the fact that the casinos are currently all temporary. Eventually five of the racetracks will have a permanent casino on-site, but it’s unclear when all of that is going to be completed.
There were actually just two casinos that were open on a full-time basis for the entire 2023 calendar year, but others were able to join in. The WarHorse Casino Lincoln posted a gross gaming revenue of $51.5 million to easily lead the way.
The Grand Isle Casino at Fonner Park was the other property that was in operation for all 365 days in 2023, but this was not a popular location. Since there will be five properties with a full year in 2024, the overall numbers should be terrific.
More Growth Coming
The state of Nebraska is hoping to see even more success from the new casino industry, but things have been extremely slow to get going. Nebraska was able to collect $17.8 million in tax revenue in 2023, but that’s not as much that was promised in the ballot initiative.
When this initiative was presented to voters in the state, it was promised that casino gambling would bring in $400 million per year. The state can still get to that number, but it won’t happen until the casino resorts are open and operational.
A big reason that voters in the state supported casino gambling was because the tax revenue is going to reduce property taxes. Voters in the state could get behind that cause, but no one in the state will see much relief in 2023.
A Look Ahead
Not only will 2024 feature more full-time casino gambling options in the state, but the racetracks are going to become even more popular than ever. Betting on horse races continues to be popular in the state, but there will now be other betting options as well.
Nebraska was also able to launch sports betting, and the same properties are going to have that form of betting available. This is never going to be one of the biggest casino gambling industries in the country, but it’s one in which players will be looking to take advantage of.