On May 14, 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned, allowing each state to propose and create their own laws and regulations for sports betting. However, despite some recent efforts in 2020, sports betting is still illegal in Nebraska.
Nebraska does not have any commercial casinos, but it does have seven tribal casinos where residents can participate in gambling. These casinos can only offer class II games like bingo and do not offer full-out table games. The state lottery is another option for Nebraskans.
Nebraska residents also have the opportunity to get their fix at any of the six local horse racing tracks or daily fantasy sites.
When it comes to sports betting, bordering states of Iowa and Colorado offer legalized sports betting and are a nearby destination for sports bettors.
When Will Sports Betting Be Legal in Nebraska?
Despite multiple bills being put forth by Sen. Justin Wayne regarding legalizing sports betting in 2020, none were able to make it past the committee. Nebraskans will need to wait until at least 2021 for additional bills and likely 2022 until potential legalization could actually take shape.
The three proposed bills varied from offering sports betting as a game of chance (LB990), to making it a lottery game (LB971), or to adding it to the ballot for a state vote (LR295CA).
College sports are very popular in Nebraska as the Cornhuskers football team has a large, passionate fan base. Despite not having a major professional team, Nebraska would likely gravitate to legalized sports betting if it were available.
If sports betting is legalized in Nebraska, there are some questions about where it would take place. Since the state doesn’t have commercial casinos, it’s likely that the Nebraska Lottery could regulate sports betting. Given that the lottery can operate in any establishment with a liquor license, the potential for legal sports betting to one day be available in bars and restaurants across the state could be a realistic possibility.
Nebraska Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting legal in Nebraska?
Sports betting is currently not legal in Nebraska. Three different sports betting bills were put forth in 2020, but none made it past the committee.
Where is the closest place to bet from Omaha, Nebraska?
The closest place to Omaha, Nebraska to place a legal sports bet is in Iowa.
What is the most popular sport in Nebraska?
Sports that are popular in Nebraska include college football, horse racing, and rodeos.