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Nebraska’s February Casino Gaming Tax Improves On Record January

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on March 22, 2024 - Last Updated on March 25, 2024
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After hitting a record in January, Nebraska’s gaming tax continues to push boundaries.

The state collects money from Nebraska’s four racinos (racetracks that also host casino gaming):

  1. WarHorse Casino in Lincoln
  2. Grand Island Casino & Resort in Grand Island
  3. Harrah’s Columbus NE Racing & Casino
  4. WarHorse Gaming Omaha

In February, the four racinos contributed more than $1.7 million in gaming taxes. The figure represents an 18.6% increase from an impressive January, with Nebraska’s gaming taxes reaching $1.4 million.

Three out of four Nebraska racinos show monthly progress in gaming taxes

According to the Nebraska Racing Commission’s February gaming tax report, three of four racinos saw month-over-month improvement.

While Harrah’s Columbus showed the biggest progress, WarHouse Omaha was the only venue that reported a decrease in gaming tax compared to January. Here’s how Nebraska racinos’ February gaming taxes compare to January:

  1. WarHorse Gaming Lincoln reported 903,730.85 in gaming taxes, a 13.9% increase from January
  2. Grand Island Casino made $588,911.29 in taxes, a 19.8% month-over-month improvement 
  3. Harrah’s Columbus brought in $211,722.62, a 45.4% rise from January
  4. WarHorse Gaming Omaha generated 11,306.46 in taxes, a 33.5% monthly decrease 

While Super Bowl LVIII might have caused some of the monthly increase in sports betting, it’s difficult to determine why the activities declined in WarHorse Gaming Omaha.

Two Nebraska casinos operating in February 2023 see year-over-year progress

In February 2023, the Nebraska gaming tax reached $1.3 million. But it was the time when racinos had not yet started to offer sports wagers. Moreover, most venues were not open for gambling, only for horse betting.

At the time, the money only came from two operating casinos – WarHorse Lincoln and Grand Island Casino and Resort. Still, each of the venues shows yearly progress in gaming tax in February compared to the same period last year:

  • WarHorse Lincoln shows a 5.3% annual increase
  • Grand Island Casino Resort shows a 21.8% yearly rise

Harrah’s Columbus expanded wagering options in June 2023, Grand Island Casino Resort opened in August, and WarHorse Omaha started offering sports bets in November 2023.

Online casinos for real money in Nebraska are not legal but you can play something similar and there are various options for sweepstakes casinos.

Nebraska bill tightening rules on “skill” video gaming machines advances

A bill aiming to tighten rules on games of skill in bars and restaurants advanced last month in the Nebraska Legislature. LB685, introduced by State Sen. John Lowe, addresses so-called “mechanical amusement devices.” The bill advanced to a second round in a 31-0 vote.

The Nebraska Supreme Court legalized these games in 2011, considering that they operate much like video slot machines in casinos.

But problem gambling officials in the state claim that so-called “skill games” are just as addictive as regular slot machines. With over 5,800 licensed skill games spread across more than 1,600 locations, officials say Nebraska has seen a 60% increase in skill game machines over the last year.

An initial proposal for the bill ran into pushback from device operators in January. However, backers of the bill say that a closer watch on these machines would prevent illegal games from popping up through fees and taxes, according to 6 News WOWT.

LB685 imposes a 5% tax on the machines’ net proceeds, as well as a $100 annual fee per machine paid by the supplier, up to a maximum of $5,000 for large distributors.

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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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