Nebraska Sports Betting

History Behind Proposed Sports Betting Bill in Nebraska

Legal sports betting has been sweeping the nation since 2018. From 1992 until 2018, sports betting was illegal in the United States because of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA was signed into law in 1992, and a section of it blocked out legal sports betting throughout most of the country.

Some states acted rapidly to enact sports betting after the Supreme Court struck down PASPA. The midwestern portion of the country is a sports betting mecca. States like Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, and South Dakota have all legalized sports betting. Sports betting in Kansas and Missouri looks promising in 2021 as well.

The legalization of sports betting in Iowa and Colorado propelled Nebraska legislators to put a sports betting bill in place. The 2020 push for sports betting in Nebraska was unsuccessful, but it was a step in the right direction for the future. Many members of the state legislature didn’t want to lose tax revenue to Iowa or offshore books. However, there still wasn’t enough support to push sports betting through the government.

Senator Justin Wayne was the leader of Nebraska’s failed sports betting legislation. The bill didn’t make it out of committee in 2020, which means sports betting has no chance of achieving legalization until at least 2021. Nonetheless, there aren’t many people in the sports betting industry counting on a 2021 legalization in Nebraska.

What Sports Betting Bill in Nebraska Says

Senator Justin Wayne introduced Legislative Bill 990 (LB 990), but it never made it out the committee stage of legalization. This attempt took place in 2020, but there hasn’t been much real progress made when it comes to sports betting in the state. Senator Wayne wanted to legalize sports betting as a game of chance. The bill would’ve legalized some poker games and daily fantasy for money.

The language in LB 990 was very ambiguous. It was an attempt to sneak sports betting into the state without a lot of strict regulations. Nebraska has no commercial casinos. The state only has tribal casinos operating in the state. In the bill, tribes would have the ability to operate retail sportsbooks. LB 990 also left the door open for online sports betting. However, there wasn’t any specific language that called for online sports betting, so this would’ve been left things up for interpretation.

The “Game of Chance Bill” wasn’t Senator Wayne’s only attempt to legalize sports betting in Nebraska. There were two other sports betting bills that were shot down in the state government. One of the bills would’ve placed sports betting under the control of the state lottery. The other bill would’ve given state residents the option to legalize sports betting. Political disagreements didn’t give these bills any life in the state legislature.

What’s Holding Sports Betting Bill Back in Nebraska

Sports betting is being held back in Nebraska because of disagreements in the state legislature. Sports betting hasn’t been able to foster enough momentum to make it out of the committee phase of legalization with multiple bills. Although this isn’t an uncommon trend throughout the United States. Nebraska just attempted to legalize sports betting for the first time in 2020.

States have had the ability to offer sports betting since 2018, so Nebraska didn’t jump at the opportunity by any means. Some states passed sports betting with ease, but other states had to go through an extended period of negotiations in order to put a plan in place that the majority of their respective legislators favored. This will be the case for Nebraska.

Nebraska residents recently voted to put three constitutional amendments in place. This is a step in the right direction for the Nebraska gaming industry. Although these amendments don’t include sports betting. Sports betting will most likely require an additional constitutional amendment in order for the form of gambling to be enacted in Nebraska. Voters approved games of chance in the state of Nebraska. Sports betting is viewed as a game of skill throughout the nation.

The future of sports betting in Nebraska appears to be positive, but there is still a lot of work that needs to occur for the game of skill to come to fruition.

Sports Teams to Bet on in Nebraska

Nebraska doesn’t host any professional sports franchises, so college sports are the main source of athletic entertainment. The University of Nebraska is the school that has the most support in the state. Nebraska is a member of the Big Ten Conference. The Nebraska football team has been very successful throughout the program’s history. The team has won five national titles with their latest coming in 1997. The team has an all-time winning percentage that’s just under .700%. Three Heisman winners and 54 All-Americans have worn Scarlet and Cream for the Cornhuskers.

The Nebraska basketball program hasn’t been as successful as the football team. However, the Cornhuskers have made the NCAA tournament seven times. They have won the Big Ten tournament once in 1994. Creighton University has the best basketball program in the state of Nebraska. Creighton has made the NCAA Tournament 11 times in the 21st Century. The Bluejays have won the Big East Conference Tournament and regular season championship countless times in their program’s history.

Support for professional sports franchises vary in the state depending on resident’s location. The western half of the state tends to support the Colorado sports franchises including the Denver Broncos, the Denver Nuggets, and the Colorado Rockies. People in the eastern portion of the state usually like the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals.

FAQ for Betting in Nebraska

Is sports betting legal in Nebraska?

No, sports betting isn’t legal in the state of Nebraska. The 2020 efforts to legalize sports betting failed in committee. Games of chance were legalized in the state this year, but sports betting is considered a game of skill. A new constitutional amendment will be required to set a precedent for sports betting in Nebraska.

What’s holding back sports betting in Nebraska?

There hasn’t been enough support in the Nebraska state legislature for sports betting at this point in time. Senator Justin Wayne led the sports betting charge, but his ideas didn’t fit the mindset of the majority of legislators in the Nebraska government.

When will sports betting be legalized in Nebraska?

It’s unclear when sports betting will be legalized in the state of Nebraska. The earliest would be at some point in 2021, but this is highly unlikely. There will need to be some major compromises for sports betting to become legal in the state of Nebraska. The legalization of sports betting in surrounding states should push Nebraska legislators to act.

What’s the legal gambling age in Nebraska?

The legal gambling age in the state is 21 years of age for casinos. Sports betting should fall under the casino gaming category when it comes to the age requirement.