The rollout of expanded gaming in Nebraska could be about to hit its next stage. In as little as two weeks, one of the state’s casinos could offer games like blackjack, craps and roulette to guests legally for the first time in the state’s history.
Grand Island Casino and Resort has asked regulators in the state to approve its plan for offering table games to players. That facility could also soon be the second in the state to take bets on sporting events as well.
Grand Island ready to expand operations
According to Jeff Bahr of the Grand Island Independent, the Grand Island Casino and Resort at Fonner Park in Grand Island, Nebraska, has petitioned the state’s Racing and Gaming Commission for permission to expand its gaming options.
That body next meets on Aug. 18. Should the commission members approve of the casino’s plans, expanded gaming could begin in Grand Island that very day. Bahr reports that could include:
- A craps table
- A roulette table
- An Ultimate Texas Hold’em table
- Five real money blackjack tables
Furthermore, the casino plans to increase its slots count to 336. Perhaps most importantly for Cornhusker fans in Nebraska, the casino also seeks permission to accept wagers on sports.
The expansion plans incorporate more than just additional gambling. Grand Island Casino and Resort general manager Vince Fiala told Bahr that the expansion also will entail new dining options along with space for live entertainment.
Fiala also stressed that the casino plans to add upscale restrooms adjacent to the gaming floor, eliminating the need for players to pass through security each time they use the facilities. This planned expansion will still be part of the temporary facility as construction continues on the permanent venue.
If Grand Island is able to expand its operations, that should translate to more tax revenue off gaming for the state.
More lucrative days ahead for Nebraska casinos
If Grand Island is able to start taking bets on sports and offer table games later this month, it will be quite timely. As far as the former goes, the potential opening of the state’s second sportsbook would come just in time for the start of collegiate American football season. The WarHorse Casino in Lincoln opened its sportsbook in late June.
Casino activity also tends to pick up during the fall months in comparison to summer. Therefore, Grand Island could debut its table games at an ideal time. Grand Island and the state overall could benefit from that trend during the latter part of this year.
In June, the most recent month for which numbers are available, gaming taxes from the three temporary casinos operating in Nebraska came to $1.36 million. That represented just nine days of sports betting at WarHorse and in the slowest part of the year for the sports calendar.
With a second sportsbook operating in the height of fall and new table games, a $2 million gaming tax month might not be far off in Nebraska. At the very least, Grand Island Casino is ready to roll the dice on it.