Nebraska Legislators Compromised College Sports Betting

Nebraska lawmakers have modified the gambling regulation bill, which would permit sports betting, excluding home games or sporting events, including in-state teams. 

Nebraska Lawmakers Have Modified the Gambling Bill

On Thursday, Nebraska lawmakers changed the gambling regulation bill, allowing sports betting but excluding home games or sporting events, including in-state teams, hoping to increase voters’ support.

Bettors in Nebraska may soon see sports wagering in Nebraska legalized, but excluding betting on the Husker teams when they play in the state. This measure would also include Creighton University Bluejays and the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Nebraska voters passed gambling measures in November last year. In March this year, the state senators approved Legislative Bill 561 with a 37-5 vote. With its move forward, the bill continues to shape to regulate gambling and betting in the state.

Some Find the Modification of the Bill “Complete Nonsense”

Some legislators said that permitting betting on college teams would put student-athletes under pressure others stated that fans are already betting on college games, so this argument is inconsequential.

Sen. Tom Brandt said that with the new modification, bettors would be allowed to wager on Iowa Hawkeyes (Iowa university college football team), but they wouldn’t be able to place bets on the Huskers (Nebraska Cornhuskers college football team).

Sen. Adam Morfeld said that this would only make Nebraska bettors place their bets on the Huskers in Iowa, where it is legal. He said that the measure is illogical and called it “complete nonsense.” He concluded: “Lawmakers can’t pretend that this isn’t happening.”

Sen. Steve Lathrop said that this is a compromise and part of the “legislative sausage-making” so that the bill can pass. The amendment is essential because it puts casinos in regulation. Lathrop said that some might not like it, but this compromise is necessary to get the bill to the finish line.

Casinos Will Operate Under the Same Rules as Keno Venues

The bill also includes a measure that would require casinos that offer keno to operate under the same rules as other facilities where keno is already available.

The measure received approval with a 31-4 vote as lawmakers agreed that it would put the keno venues’ concerns to rest. The new bill still requires the vote of legislators before it goes to Gov. Pete Ricketts for signing.

Nebraskan legislators recently voted in favor of e-keno to be a part of the state’s gambling landscape, even though there were attempts to remove it. Nebraska city officials urged lawmakers to permit mobile keno, stating that it would help keno venues compete with casinos and keep the much-needed yearly revenue generated by keno.

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