Top sportsbook brands withdraw from Nebraska online sports betting market

Published: April 3, 2024, 08:42h.

Last updated on: April 3, 2024, 09:41h.

Major sportsbooks have halted their efforts to introduce online sports betting in Nebraska.

Nebraska online sports betting
Herbie Husker, the mascot of the University of Nebraska. Online sports betting will remain on the sidelines in Nebraska after four leading sportsbook operators folded on their campaign to bring legal wagers to the internet. (Image: Getty)

DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars Sportsbook, along with the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, surveyed the support for online sports betting in Nebraska, which was at around 57%.

However, due to legislative hurdles, including the need for a ballot initiative, these sportsbooks have decided against pursuing online sports betting in the state.

The costs of collecting signatures and running a campaign were deemed too high given the lukewarm support for online sports betting in Nebraska.

As a result, Nebraska’s sports betting options will continue to be limited to retail betting at horse racetracks.

2026 Next Opportunity

Nebraskans may have to wait until 2026 for another chance at legalizing online sports betting unless there is a shift in the legislature’s stance.

This delay presents a significant advantage for Iowa’s online sportsbooks, as many Nebraskan bettors currently cross state lines to place their bets.

According to Ho-Chunk Inc. CEO Lance Morgan, the decision to halt the online sports betting initiative was influenced by the slim support it received from the public.

Morgan emphasized the challenges of pursuing such initiatives in a state with a small population like Nebraska.

Legislative Path

The possibility of legalizing online sports gambling in Nebraska lies with the state lawmakers.

In 2020, Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow commercial casinos, including sports betting. The formation of the Nebraska Gaming Commission was subsequently authorized.

Morgan is hopeful that lawmakers will recognize the potential benefits of online sports betting for the state’s gaming industry and consumers.

Morgan expressed optimism for the future of online sports betting legislation in Nebraska.

Among Nebraska’s neighboring states, four have already legalized online sports betting, offering a contrast to the current situation in Nebraska.


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