Posted on: October 23, 2023, 10:54h.
Last updated on: October 23, 2023, 10:54h.
Exciting news for sports betting enthusiasts – WarHorse Casino Omaha will soon offer sports betting options.
WarHorse Gaming, LLC, a division of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s economic development arm, Ho-Chunk, Inc., is actively working on constructing two casino resorts in Nebraska – WarHorse Casino Lincoln at the Lincoln Race Course and WarHorse Casino Omaha at Horsemen’s Park. The approval for Las Vegas-style casinos at the state’s licensed horse racetracks was given through a ballot referendum during the November 2020 presidential election.
The Winnebago Tribe is investing $200 million in Lincoln and $250 million in Omaha for the casino projects. Both permanent casinos are slated to open next year, with plans for on-site hotels in subsequent phases that will offer approximately 200 guestrooms each.
Sports betting was introduced in June at the temporary gaming facility in Lincoln. Soon, bettors will also be able to place sports wagers in Omaha following the approval of the property’s application by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC).
WarHorse Casino Omaha started operations in September 2022 with a temporary casino featuring over 400 slot machines and simulcast wagering. The temporary gaming space is set up at Horsemen’s Park.
The NRGC has granted WarHorse permission to operate a sportsbook, pending the satisfaction of conditions raised during the state review of its sports wagering license. Starting from November 1, WarHorse Omaha can start accepting sports bets, subject to a venue inspection and compliance testing of the sportsbook’s wagering kiosks.
WarHorse Gaming has partnered with Kambi, a preferred vendor in the tribal gaming industry, for its sports betting business. Despite being commercial ventures, the Nebraska casinos are owned by the Winnebago Tribe, which also operates the WinnaVegas Casino Resort in Iowa.
Alongside the approval for commercial casinos, sports betting was also legalized in Nebraska. However, the current regulations only allow in-person betting at the brick-and-mortar casinos.
WarHorse officials anticipate a thriving sports betting operation in Omaha, given that many residents in the region are already familiar with sports betting opportunities in neighboring Iowa, where in-person and mobile sports betting has been available since August 2019.
Lynne McNally, CEO of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, the parent company of Horsemen’s Park and the Lincoln Race Course, emphasized the importance of getting sports betting up and running in Omaha, particularly during the football season.
We really wanted to open [sports betting] as early in the football season as we could. That’s a huge chunk of sports betting. Everything else is dwarfed by the NCAA and the NFL.
“Better late than never,” McNally said regarding the sportsbook’s delayed opening. The NFL regular season is currently in week seven, while the college football season is in week nine.