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Jerome García February 8, 2024 3 min read
Supporters of Mobile Betting in Nebraska Organize a Public Poll
The poll will seek to assess the opinion of the state's residents toward the legalization of mobile sports wagering
Since 2018 when the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA, sports betting expanded rapidly across the country. By now, 38 US states along with DC offer some form of legal wagering, leaving a handful of states that are currently trying to legalize the activity and a several that do not have any active legislation.
Currently, Nebraska offers only retail sports betting options. The state borders Iowa, Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming, all of which offer mobile sports betting. While nearby Missouri is anticipating legalizing wagering, South Dakota, another bordering state, is offering only retail sports betting.
With some Nebraskans choosing to visit a nearby state and place sports bets online, efforts toward the legalization of mobile betting in the state continue. Besides a bill proposing the legalization of online sports betting, industry stakeholders are also exploring options to push for the legalization of the activity.
Once such effort is led by a coalition with the participation of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s economic development arm, Ho-Chunk Inc., in collaboration with leading sports betting operators, a new report reveals. As announced by the Journal Star, the coalition that supports the legalization of online sports wagering includes Ho-Chunk, along with industry giants, FanDuel and DraftKings, Caesars and BetMGM.
Support of the Public Is Important
The efforts of the coalition seek in Nebraska to evaluate the likelihood of the residents of the state to support the addition of mobile betting. This can be achieved either via efforts by lawmakers or by adding a poll to the upcoming ballot in November.
To determine the support of Nebraskans, the coalition launched a public opinion poll on the topic. The poll launched on Monday this week and will conclude at the week’s end with the results expecting to shed light on the residents’ views about mobile wagering.
Lance Morgan, Ho-Chunk’s CEO, revealed that the coalition has “big plans” that can only be achieved with support from the public. “We don’t want to do anything until we see what happens,” he explained, joking that mobile betting is “something people want.”
Moreover, Morgan spoke about a growing number of requests from bettors for online sports wagering at WarHorse’s retail betting outlet. He explained that many people would rather use their smartphone to place a wager instead of driving miles to visit a retail sportsbook or go across the border to a nearby state.
According to Morgan, a petition drive to put the issue up for a vote in November would require significant expenses. Yet, he expressed hope that if the public opinion supports the expansion of gambling with the addition of mobile betting, lawmakers will take the initiative and add the matter to the upcoming ballot.
Provided that supporters try to legalize mobile betting through a petition drive, they would need to collect approximately 122,000 signatures from residents in the state. The deadline for the collection of the valid signatures is July 2024.