Nebraska Sports Betting

With just a handful of legal gambling options, the state of Nebraska is one of the most restrictive US states when it comes to gambling. The state’s most recent effort to expand its gambling industry came in 2014 when lawmakers attempted to legalize casino gambling, however very little progress was made. This means bettors won’t find commercial casinos, poker games or online gambling in the Cornhusker State. But where does Nebraska stand on sports betting? Let’s find out.

Is it legal to bet on sports in Nebraska?

Nebraska has yet to legalize and regulate state-wide sports betting. While traditional sports betting is illegal, bettors in the state can place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing events at one of the state’s licensed racetracks. However, off-track betting is not permitted in Nebraska.

The Cornhusker State has yet to take any steps towards legalizing sports betting. While 2019 saw several states approve sports betting laws, Nebraska was one of the few states that failed to even introduce sports betting legislation. This is a strong indication that Nebraska is unlikely to legalize sports betting anytime soon.

Where will I be able to bet on sporting events in Nebraska?

Given that the state has yet to even consider legalizing sports betting, it is anyone’s guess as to where sports betting could be conducted. As online gambling is outlawed in the state, it is unlikely that Nebraska would legalize online or mobile betting. However, it is possible that they legalize land-based sports betting at licensed racetracks or at one of the tribal casinos further down the line.

Which sports will I be able to bet on?

If Nebraska were to legalize sports betting, state lawmakers may follow in the footsteps of other states to permit betting on a variety of professional sports, including major league events involving NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL teams. There is also the possibility that betting on collegiate events would be legal, as is the case in other US states with legal betting. Of course, each state is different and laws vary from state to state, so there is always the possibility that Nebraska could do things differently.

What else can I bet on in Nebraska?

Given the restrictive nature of Nebraska’s gambling industry, there are only a handful of legal gambling options available in the state. Residents can participate in the state-run Nebraska Lottery, which offers several lottery games including Powerball, Lucky For Life and Mega Millions.

The State has yet to give commercial casinos the green light, but there are several tribal casinos run by Native American tribes that are engaged in compacts with the state. Patrons at tribal casinos can try their luck on a variety of games including slots, keno and bingo.

These are the tribal casinos that serve the state of Nebraska:

Casino Location Contact Email Opening times
Iron Horse Bar & Casino 1106 Main St, Emerson, NE 68733, USA +1 402-695-0180 Online form Monday – closed

Tuesday -Sunday 10am – 11pm

Lucky 77 Casino 200 Main St, Walthill, NE 68067, USA +1 402-846-5545 Not available Monday – Thursday 10:45am – 2am

Friday – Saturday 10:45am – 4am

Sunday – 10:45am – 2am

Native Star Casino 1501 Industrial Road, Winnebago, NE 68071, USA +1 402-878-2901 Online form Monday – Thursday 8:30am – 11pm

Friday 8:30am – 1am

Saturday 9am – 1am

Sunday 9am – 11pm

Ohiya Casino & Resort 53142 NE-12 #12, Niobrara, NE 68760, USA +1 402-857-3860 Online form 24 hours

Are offshore gambling sites legal in Nebraska?

Offshore gambling sites are illegal in the state of Nebraska. We recommend staying clear of offshore gambling sites as they are not licensed or regulated in the Cornhusker State. As a result, offshore sites do not have permission to serve Nebraska’s residents. These sites are not held to the same regulatory standards as other forms of legal gambling. Offshore sites also have a history of mismanaging player funds, using predatory marketing tactics and not implementing industry-standard safety measures. 

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name – domains ending in .EU or .AG aren’t licensed to operate in Nebraska.

Will it be safe to bet on sports in Nebraska?

Nebraska is one of the strictest states US states when it comes to gambling. This means it’s likely that lawmakers would study the potential impacts of sports betting, or any other form of gambling, before approving sports betting laws. By studying the impact of sports wagering, the state regulator would be able to craft regulation to protect bettors. Of course, it is also up to punters to ensure they are gambling responsibly and never wager more than they can afford to lose.

If you feel that you may be at risk of developing a gambling problem, there are several services available to Nebraskans. The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) offers users several screening tools as well as a helpline service staffed by trained counsellors. Residents in the Cornhusker State can also reach out to the Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling, a state-wide, non-profit organization that aims to provide support to those with gambling problems.

You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:

Call: +1-800-522-4700

Text: +1-800-522-4700

Live Chat

You can contact the Nebraska Council on Compulsive Gambling via:

Phone: +1 402-699-6810

Email: [email protected] 

Helpline: 833-BETOVER (238-6837)

Who regulates gambling in Nebraska?

The state lottery is regulated by the Nebraska Gaming Commission, while pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is overseen by the Nebraska State Racing Commission.

How old do I have to be to gamble in Nebraska?

Punters must be at least 18 years old to bet on horses in Nebraska. While the legal age to play the lottery or keno games is 19, you must be 21 years of age to gamble at one of the state’s tribal casinos.

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Nebraska

1934 – Nebraska’s state government legalized pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing.

1958 – The state legalized charitable bingo games

1967 – Nebraska expanded its charitable gambling laws to permit charitable raffles and lotteries.

1988 – Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA), establishing rules and regulations for tribal gaming operations. The same year, simulcast betting was legalized.

1990 – The Nebraska legislature entered a compact with the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska allowing the tribe to open a casino on tribal land. 

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states already had legal sports betting regulations in place. The same year, Nebraska voters approved the state lottery.

2004 – The state rejected plans to open two casinos.

2016 – A petition to authorize commercial casinos failed to gain enough support.

2017 – Daily fantasy sports legislation is introduced and fails to gain enough support.

2018 – On 14 May, the Supreme Court reached a decision on the legality of PASPA. In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered states’ power to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA, a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.

For more legislative updates and the latest sports betting news, be sure to check back with Compare.bet

The people behind this page

Compare.bet's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check the content on this page:

Jake is a gambling content specialist for Compare.bet, with a focus on the regulated US market. He is responsible for producing news content for Compare.bet News, state guides for Compare.bet US and has interviewed several senior executives within the gambling industry. Jake previously wrote for Gambling Insider and LGBT+ news site PinkNews.