Nebraska Sports Betting

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Sports betting was legalized in Nebraska after a sports betting bill was passed in May 2021 by the state legislature.

In this bill, they chose to include retail sports betting in the state as an addition to a wider gaming expansion bill, However, although it has officially been legalized, sports gambling in Nebraska is yet to go live as regulators and legislators are still working out the best way to construct the Nebraska Racino vision.

The Future of Sports Betting in Nebraska

So, when is Nebraska sports betting finally going to happen? Well, according to sources, sports betting and online sports betting is not looking likely for 2022 – and maybe not even until 2024. Currently, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission is looking into ways of approving casinos at Nebraska horse racing tracks, which would need to build permanent spaces before being able to take wagers

It’s also worth noting that legal sports betting will need to be done in person at a licensed venue. AT this time online sports betting and mobile sports betting hasn’t been approved. This will limit both participation in Nebraska sports betting and revenue coming from the industry.

Legalized sports betting is more widely available in neighboring states. Omaha, home to nearly one-quarter of the state’s population is on the border of Iowa, and on the other side sits Colorado, which made sports betting legal in May 2020.

Meanwhile, sports betting was approved in South Dakota in November 2020, launching in 2021, while both Missouri and Kansas are still discussing legalized sports betting.

When Will Online Sports Betting Be Legalized in Nebraska?

When it comes to legal online sports betting in Nebraska, the timeline is still a mystery, the 2021 bill does not address this and only allows for retail sports betting – and even that hasn’t launched yet.

It might be that legislators revisit legal sports betting online at some point in the future – and this could become more of an issue as mobile sports betting in neighboring states becomes more prevalent. However, for now, it’s just in-person sports betting allowed

Legal Betting Options in Nebraska

Despite Nebraska sports betting being legalized in 2021, there are still no legal ways to bet on sports in the state. However, betting on horse racing is permitted via advance deposit wagering apps as well as simulcast facilities.

You might come across websites that suggest they accept bets from residents of Nebraska, but these are offshore sports betting sites and operate outside of US laws and regulations, so they accept bets illegally.

If you place a sports wager via these offshore sportsbooks, then you will have no consumer protection at all. This means the online sportsbooks may not pay out your winnings or may close with no warning and take your money with them.

The only legal online gambling option available is Daily Fantasy Sports betting. Operators such as FanDuel and DraftKings accept DFS entries from within the state – because although they aren’t specifically legal, neither have they been made illegal.

Most Popular Sports to Bet On in NE

Just because there aren’t any professional sports teams in Nebraska, it doesn’t mean the residents aren’t sports fans.

Looking at NCAA, the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football team has a huge following and will certainly attract sports gambling in the state.

For the fans of NFL and NFL betting, the teams supported will likely depend on whereabouts you live in the state. Those living to the west will likely follow the Denver Broncos, with those to the east probably cheering on the Kansas City Chiefs.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Nebraska

Although there have been numerous attempts recently to get DFS regulated and taxed in Nebraska, this has not yet come to pass. However, all of the major Daily fantasy sports operators accept entries from residents of Nebraska.

Horse Racing Betting in Nebraska

Horse racing is legal in the state and so is parimutuel betting on the races. Currently, there are six racetracks operating within the state:

  1. Atokad Park in South Sioux City
  2. Columbus Exposition & Racing in Columbus
  3. Fairplay Park in Hastings
  4. Fonner Park in Grand Island
  5. Horsemen’s Park in Omaha
  6. Lincoln Race Course in Lincoln

In terms of betting, Simulcast betting is available at three of these tracks – Fonner Park, Horsemen’s Park and Lincoln Race Course. In addition, Nebraska residents can bet on horses via advance deposit wagering – allowing them to bet on races online at a number of different companies.

Sports Betting Rules

Despite legalization happening some time ago, the Nebraska Gaming Commission is still working on the rules and regulations that will control companies that offer sports betting. Indeed, the lack of online sports betting and mobile sports betting legalization will also harm the industry as it will limit the number of residents that can take part.

However, it may be that it was written this way to make sure that it would be passed. This may be the first stepping stone in the legalization process, rather than attempting to get the perfect sports betting bill passed on the first attempt.

This could end up being a decent strategy in the long term as it will make the expansion and amendments of a sports betting bill easier after it has already been passed. This may prove more effective than attempting to launch a full online sports betting and retail sports betting industry from scratch.

Although there have been no specified launch dates announced yet – nor has there been any sportsbook with a confirmed license or partnership, it’s possible that they will try and launch it as soon as possible to benefit from tax revenue from the NFL season.

Where Would Nebraska Sportsbooks Be Located

The state has six race tracks where it is likely that casinos and sports betting venues will be constructed once they get the green light – and those are the ones that were mentioned previously. Three already accept simulcast horse racing bets and hopefully, there will be an expansion to casinos and sports betting venues, effectively becoming ‘racinos’.:

Although there are a few Nebraska casinos that are owned by the tribes, it is understood that sportsbooks will not be launching at the handful of Native American-run brick and mortar casinos.

Nebraska Sports Teams

Sports is a huge thing in Nebraska, as it is for many of the heartland and Midwest states. However, unfortunately for the state, when legalized, Nebraska sports betting has placed a limitation on college sports betting, which may not prove to be helpful in terms of the growth of the industry in the short term.

Nebraska Professional Sports Teams

When they do launch sports wagering in Nebraska, it is highly likely that the most popular choice for Nebraska sports betting fans will be betting on professional sports.

As such professional sports bets will be available for all of the major US professional leagues and games, such as NFL betting, NBA betting, NHL betting, MLB betting and also MLS betting.

In addition, the retail sportsbook in Nevada will have all different bet types available for all of the different sports and leagues including Moneyline bets, totals, futures bets, spread bets, props, parlays and more.

Nebraska College Sports Teams

The college team that would attract the most wagers will no doubt be the Nebraska Cornhuskers. However, given that Nebraska legislation has banned residents from placing bets on any Nebraska college team, anyone that does want to bet on them will have to cross the border to Iowa or Colorado in order to do so.

Having said that, residents of Nebraska will still be able to place bets on any college game that doesn’t involve the huskers or any other in-state college team and takes place outside of the state. College football, basketball and baseball games look likely to be popular markets for state residents.

Other Sports To Bet On In Nebraska

As well as out of state college games and the major professional leagues, residents of Nebraska will be able to place bets on all sorts of other sports and events such as MMA and UFC, tennis, rugby, cricket, NASCAR and motor racing, darts and more.

However, the variety of betting markets will very much depend on the sportsbook you are visiting. Some will even offer esports betting, which has not been outlawed in the state.

How To Place A Bet In Nebraska

The only way you will be able to place a bet in Nebraska when it is officially launched will be in person. Mobile sports wagering is still illegal in the state and is not looking to be legalized any time soon. This will take a lot of time, so for now it’s either retail sports betting or crossing state borders.

Nebraska Sports Betting Timeline

After the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overruled in 2018, things didn’t start moving until 2020.

In that year, the first major attempt at sports betting legalization stalled.

  • At the start of 2020, State Senator Wayne came up with three ideas to legalize sports betting.
  • The first idea was legalizing sports betting as a game of chance. This bill would also include the specific legalization of daily fantasy sports and certain poker games.
  • LB 990, the ‘Game of Chance’ bill was written in a vague way to leave the door open for online sports betting as well.
  • Another sports betting bill would have legalized sports wagering as a ‘lottery’ game.
  • The third bill would have put sports betting in Nebraska on the ballot and given it to the state’s voters to decide upon

However, none of these bills gained momentum and died in Committee.

It wasn’t until May 2021 that sports betting in Nebraska was legalized, but this bill allowed for retail sports betting only. Mobile sports betting options are still not permitted, which means the best sports betting sites and online casino games are still unavailable in the state.

Nebraska Sports Betting FAQ

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Nebraska?

No. Retail sportsbooks are legal but aren’t available yet. As of now, there is still no legal Nebraska sports betting site venue, despite retail sportsbooks having been approved in May 2021. Online sportsbooks were not legalized and there is no timeline to legalize this yet.

Where Can I Bet on Sports in Nebraska?

Currently, there are no legal options for sports betting in Nebraska. Nebraska sports betting sites have not yet been launched. There are options that claim to offer online sports betting to residents of the US, but sportsbook legalization and regulations happen at state level. Any website claiming to accept US residents is an offshore sportsbook and will not have a US license.

These will offer no consumer protection and no legal recourse should they not pay out, so we would recommend avoiding these

Can I Place a Bet on Sports on my Phone in Nebraska?

At the time of writing, there are no legal options for betting on mobile or online in the state of Nebraska.

Although attempts to legalize sports betting in Nebraska in 2021 were successful, this did not include online sports betting options.

To place a bet on mobile, residents of Nebraska would need to travel to neighboring states Colorado and Iowa. Whilst Colorado laws permit remote betting and registration, Iowa sports betting laws require you to register in person at a land-based casino before betting on your phone.

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