The WarHorse Casino in Lincoln is a facility that is currently in the works in Nebraska, set to be the first horse track casino in the state. Officials behind the project came out this week to discuss the current situation and how the project is progressing. According to Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association executive vice president Lynne McNally, and Ho-Chunk Inc. president and chief executive officer, Lance Morgan, there are still steps to take before the actual physical work on the new casino can begin.
What’s to Come?
First of all, a gaming license is needed. In Nebraska, there is no process in place for an operator to obtain a license. That is where LB 561 comes in. The project is waiting on the licensing process and currently building around that momentum.
The operator plans to create a temporary facility at the existing Lincoln Race Course and then move to the new facility once it is created. The hope is that the construction phase can begin in the next few months. It is expected that construction will take up to two years to complete. If the process continues as expected, the casino would be ready to open late next year or early 2023.
As much as $220 million will be spent on the casino project. There will over 1,200 gaming stations on-site plus a hotel with just under 200 guest rooms. Event space is included along with several restaurants and amenities.
The racing season is also expected to grow. From May to early fall, the property will be able to host racing for 100 days. The expanded schedule will begin once the casino is operational. Adding more races plus the ability to enjoy casino gambling, hotel stays, and dining will push the venue to another level.
Guests can actually book weekend getaways and even vacations around races or just to enjoy the many amenities and services the new property offers.
Helping the Local Economy
The new casino and racing venue is expected to give the local economy a big boost. The local community as well as the entire state will benefit. Almost $20 million is expected in direct property tax relief and over $3.5 million in yearly tax revenues for the host city and county.
Annual gaming revenues have been estimated at over $140 million. This is only from the casino, so adding in the hotel, dining options, and other components, that number will certainly grow. The casino project will also provide employment for the locals. Over 680 individuals will have permanent positions within the company. The construction phase is expected to bring in over 200 construction positions.
The WarHorse Casino in Lincoln is one of several WarHorse branded properties expected to open. The Lincoln property will be the first to open, before the venues that are coming to Omaha and South Sioux City.
Officials behind the project hope that the steps being taken will ensure the construction phase can begin this year to see the venue open as quickly as possible.