Nebraska Governor signs sports betting bill into law

Nebraska is the latest state to approve some form of legal sports betting.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts has signed a gambling expansion bill, that includes provisions for sports betting, into law.

Ricketts approved the legislation on Tuesday after the Nebraska legislature sent the legislation to Ricketts for approval last month.

Nebraska Governor signs bill

When the legislature approved the legislation, LB 561, it did so with a vote of 44-3. 

Sports betting also has the support of voters in the state. In November last year, Nebraska was one of three states where voters approved sports betting via a referendum.

Although the Governor’s approval of the bill seemed almost certain, Ricketts previously expressed opposition to gambling expansion.

When the legislature approved the bill, it had an emergency clause attached to it, meaning that as soon as it was approved, work on regulations and the application process could begin.

What’s covered in the bill?

The legislation included a constitutional amendment to allow for the expansion of gambling in Cornhusker State.

The legislation established a State Racing and Gaming Commission which will be responsible for creating and overseeing gambling regulations in the state.

Under the legislation, it will be legal to offer games of chance, including sports betting and other such games at the state’s six commercial horse racing tracks.

Although the measure did not initially include sports betting, lawmakers added land-based sports betting to the measure.

In regard to sports betting, the activity will be limited to specific areas within gambling facilities. 

Depending on the timeline for launch, Nebraska residents could begin placing bets later this year.

The state will be limited in the amount of sports betting revenue it can generate as the legislation sets a 20% tax rate on casino revenue. On top of this, as sports betting will be limited to land-based venues, fewer people may participate in the activity.

During a debate on 13 May, the legislature also made an amendment to the bill that would ban betting on in-state college teams.

Another state approves betting

Nebraska is now the latest state to approve some form of legal sports betting.

The states of South Dakota, Wyoming, New York, Arizona, Maryland, and Connecticut have all approved some form of betting so far this year.

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