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August Brings New Nebraska Gambling Tax Record

Written By Derek Helling | Updated:
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Tax dollars from gambling at Nebraska’s three “racinos” (racetracks that also offer casino gaming) have never been higher than they were during August. While the increase from the previous record wasn’t that significant, it supports the obvious for Nebraska’s gambling industry.

In the biggest non-surprise since the United States government confirmed that First Lady Edith Wilson was acting as president while Woodrow was recovering from a stroke, the more options you give guests for playing while they are visiting, the more likely they are to play. That, in turn, leads to more tax dollars.

Gambling taxes in Nebraska hit new single-month high

Nebraska’s gambling tax in July flirted with becoming the new state’s all-time high but couldn’t quite make it. To borrow a horse racing term, August outpaced the previous record by a nose.

The margin between August’s and March’s former record totals was $3,312.72 or two thousand of a percent. In statistical terms, that’s a pretty insignificant increase despite technically being the new record at $1,551,705.66.

To put the total in further context, August taxes from each racino were not a single-month record for any of them individually. According to the Nebraska Racing Commission tax report, August was the third-best month ever for tax dollars from WarHorse Lincoln.

It also stands as the fourth-highest amount out of Grand Island Casino & Resort while coming in second at Harrah’s Columbus. August was just the third month of operation for Harrah’s, too.

In summation, August was kind of a mediocre month for Nebraska gambling despite the new record-high tax payout.

There are some potential reasons behind the new tax record.

What might have improved Nebraska gambling in August?

In August, Grand Island Casino became the first gambling facility in Nebraska to legally offer patrons table games like blackjack.

Another potential factor behind the record tax payout could have been the return of the University of Nebraska football and WarHorse offering in-person sports betting.

It’s difficult to say how much those expansions made a difference in August. The Nebraska Racing Commission only shares tax information from gaming, not how much the racinos won or how much revenue came from individual segments of their businesses.

Still, there has been a strong correlation between increases in monthly Nebraska gaming tax sums and new gambling becoming available. The more Nebraska gambling expands, the greater the expectation should be for gambling taxes to continue to build.

For everyone involved, that will come as no surprise.

Photo by Grant Schulte / AP Photo
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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