“Remarkable” Win For New Nebraska Casino Industry

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on October 18, 2022 - Last Updated on October 19, 2022
Nebraska's first casino has brought significant tax revenue in week one

In just one week, Nebraska’s first casino brought in nearly $286,000 in taxes for the Cornhusker State. 

The WarHorse Casino in Lincoln, a temporary location, opened on Sept. 24 with 433 slot machines in the Lincoln Race Course’s simulcasting building. 

WarHorse Gaming is a partnership between the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and Ho-Chunk Inc. Together, the group will redevelop racetracks in Omaha, Lincoln, and South Sioux City.

Ho-Chunk Inc. is the economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Big win for the Nebraska casino industry

Tom Sage, director of the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC), called the $285,963 generated in seven days “remarkable.”

Based on the 20% tax imposed on Nebraska casinos, it’s possible WarHorse generated $1.4 million in slot play. However, the NRGC can not confirm the total amount of slot money wagered at the casino. 

Breaking down tax revenue in Nebraska

Whether or not the temporary casino can continue its impressive start, Lynne McNally, CEO of the NHBPA, said WarHorse was “very happy” with the results.

A breakdown of the $286,000 in taxes includes:

  • $200,000 to the Nebraska Property Tax Relief Fund: 70%
  • $7,000 to the Nebraska General Fund: 2.5%
  • $7,000 to the Compulsive Gaming Assistance Fund: 2.5%
  • $35,700 to the City of Lincoln: 12.5%
  • $35,700 to Lancaster County: 12.5%

Sage said the commission plans to have routine gaming revenue reports available by the 20th of each month. 

“Having mechanisms to routinely share the total tax revenue and distribution fosters public trust and is key to transparent regulatory oversight of our gaming industry,” Sage said.

More Nebraska casinos on the way

Nebraska voters legalized commercial casino gambling in 2020. As a result, the state’s six-horse racetracks can become casinos complete with slot machinestable games, and Nebraska sports betting options.

Fonner Park in Grand Island is working on a temporary casino location with 300 slot machines. The goal is to have the temporary location open by Thanksgiving. Fonner Park’s permanent casino will offer 850 slot machines, 20 table games, a sportsbook, plus amenities like a hotel, spa and various restaurants. 

WarHorse plans to open a temporary casino at its Horsemen’s Park location in Omaha with 800 slot machines, hopefully by next spring. 

A temporary casino is also coming to Ag Park in Columbus. However, no timeline has been set. 

The opening date for WarHorse’s permanent casino resort in Lincoln is November 2024. The casino will have over 1,000 slot machines, 100 table games, Nebraska sports betting, and both live and simulcast horse racing.  

Photo by PlayUSA
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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