Nebraska

Betting options in Nebraska were once upon a time tightly restricted, however the state’s citizens stood up at Ballot Box on November 3 2020 to have their voices heard and consequently, voted overwhelmingly for gambling reform including ‘all games of chance’. That is widely interpretated to mean sports betting and casinos in all their forms; both offline and online gaming types are open for discussion when lawmakers come up with their gaming model for the state in 2021.

To date, online betting in Nebraska is restricted. Most forms of online gambling are unavailable in Nebraska, with the only legal forms of online betting in the state are Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS). The state lottery, horse racing and charitable gaming options offer the most opportunities for Nebraska to gamble until lawmakers decide on how to apply the prohibition on gaming expansion.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

The state of Nebraska offers a boutique range of legal gaming options including the soon to begin casino and sports betting, DFS, horse racing, poker (for prizes only, not real money), the state lottery, ‘slots’ casinos and charitable gambling.

Gambling Type
Legal Land-Based
Legal Online
Sports Betting
Yes
No
Casinos
Yes
No
Fantasy Sports (DFS)
N/A
Yes
eSports
No
No
Poker
Yes (For prizes only, not real money)
No
Horse Racing
Yes
No
Lottery
Yes
No
Charitable Gambling
Yes
No

Nebraska Sports Betting Tax Rates

Nebraska has a 5% state tax on gambling winnings.

Large gambling wins over $600 in the state of Nebraska may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax.

Contact your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in Nebraska.

Sports Betting Age VS Gambling Age in Nebraska

Nebraska adheres to a range of legal gambling ages (i.e. a casino gambling age limit of 21, a state lottery age limit of 19, and 18 years-of-age for all other forms of legal gambling).

Gambling Type
Age
Sports Betting
21
DFS
18
Casinos
21
Horse Racing
18
Lottery
19
Charitable Gambling
18

Betting on Sports in Nebraska

Nebraskans are the latest state that gave its residents the opportunity to decide on the November 3 2020 ballot for legalizing sports betting under the broad scope of expanding gaming. Nebraskans chose by a 2 to 1 majority that they want to place wagers legally under the law under 3 key initiatives.

The key initiative is No. 429, which would amend the Nebraska state constitution, firstly to allow gambling. Nebraskan State Law No. 430 would initiate the creation of Nebraska Gaming Commission, and finally, State Law No. 431 would set the state tax rate on gaming revenue at 20%.

Until the state’s lawmakers decide on how precisely to apply the state’s new gaming expansion laws, Nebraska has almost no online betting options beyond DFS, not even online horse or greyhound racing. (For a full run down on attempts on fully legalizing DFS in Nebraska please see section below; “Online Fantasy Sports in Nebraska”).

Things rarely change with little warning without a change of government, however, there is reason to believe change in Nebraska’s sports betting legalization position is currently imminent, perhaps as early as 2021.

Nebraska Online Sports Betting Laws

On November 3 2020, the residents of the State of Nebraska stood up at the voting booth and officially adopted the state’s gaming expansion legislation. That expansion includes ‘all games of chance’ as worded in the referendum, theoretically including sports betting and potentially, online sports wagering. Lawmakers will need to put the states’ gaming model into practice, expected to go into law in 2021.

Daily fantasy sports sites do operate in Nebraska however, the games are not yet expressly legal. The DFS companies claim that they are permitted because the activity is a game of skill. Nebraska’s state attorney general has not released an opinion that contradicts those claims. Meanwhile, online players can play real money DFS competitions in the state without running afoul of Nebraska’s state laws.

Online Fantasy Sports in Nebraska

As it is widely considered to be a contest of skill and unrelated to regular casino games of random chance, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) betting has long been exempt from US federal legislation.

The most conservative states have disallowed fantasy sports, however, in 2017, the state of Nebraska attempted to legislate to formally legalize and regulate fantasy sports with bill LB469 by amending existing law to ensure DFS games are not classified as illegal gambling in Nebraska.

The bill was filibustered in both 2017 and 2018 which only goes to show that Nebraska’s State Legislature has little taste for change in regulating DFS. The unsuccessful Nebraskan Fantasy Contests Act LB469 required all fantasy site operators to pay a registration and renewal fees, to adhere to a regulations and guidelines such as;

  • preventing employees of DFS sites from participating,
  • prohibiting the participation of athletes or other sporting officials who participate in events upon which DFS contests are based,
  • prohibiting anyone under 19 from playing; and
  • segregating players’ funds from operating funds.

These guidelines are already standard in many states where DFS is considered legal, however, Nebraska’s lawmakers remain steadfastly defiant of giving DFS the full legalization green light.

Meanwhile, however, all DFS sites can legally accept players from Nebraska and online players from the Cornhusker State are free to legally participate in DFS until the legalization question has been fully resolved by the State House.

Esports Online Betting Laws

When sports betting becomes an accepted and legalized form of gambling in Nebraska, expect that eSports (widely known as ‘competitive gaming’) will lead the way in for a young generation of Millennial gamblers to become involved with a contemporary form of sports betting that is unashamedly pitched at a young, technologically aware, and technology-literate population.

What are eSports?

eSports (‘competitive gaming’ in the most popular multi-player online video games like Dota 2, League of Legends, Call of Duty, CS:GO and others) is the fastest growing genre of sports entertainment in the modern world.

The sport has evolved from the one-time underground LAN gaming community to become a mainstream sport. Players worldwide compete in eSports tournaments that are offering prize money in the millions. The enormous growth in the sport has coincided directly with the development in live video streaming technology.

Betting interest in eSports is subject to huge monthly increases and international sportsbooks offer odds on all the big global eSports tournaments, and big money is won and lost on a daily basis.

As soon as there is a legalized sportsbook in Nebraska, expect eSports betting markets to be among the first legal betting lines in the frame.

Horse Racing in Nebraska

Horse Racing Betting in Nebraska is administered by the Nebraska State Racing Commission and they are responsible for approving racing events, animal welfare, simulcasting and licensing of the state racetracks.

Trackside Betting

Nebraska is home to six racetracks and races are usually held throughout summer months, totaling just a few days of racing each year. The rest of the year’s betting activity at the state’s racetracks is dedicated to the simulcasting of live events hosted at other U.S. tracks and international locations.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Nebraska

OTB betting is not permitted in the state of Nebraska.

Online Horse Racing in Nebraska

Online Horse Racing Betting is not permitted in the state of Nebraska.

Visit our Nebraska online gambling page for more information on the laws in the Cornhusker State

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