This page offers detailed Nebraska sports betting coverage, especially as it relates to legal updates in the state. You can expect this page to be updated regularly.
History Behind NE Sports Betting Laws
Nebraska is a state that has always had some pretty restrictive laws when it comes to gambling, and that was the case with sports betting until 2021 as well. Lawmakers in Nebraska began working towards a sports betting bill after voters in the state showed some support for new gambling options.
In November 2020, voters in the state approved turning horse racing tracks into casinos, and that would be the first of its kind in the state. That gave lawmakers enough support to start thinking about including sports betting at those casino properties.
It was Bill LB 561 that officially legalized sports betting in the state of Nebraska. That bill was signed on May 27, 2021, but it wasn’t until October 21, 2022, that the first set of sports betting rules were agreed upon.
Most forms of betting are legal at Nebraska sportsbooks. The exceptions are in-state college bets and props on college player performances.
Nebraska Retail Sportsbooks Are Open
The official sports betting rules were approved on October 21, 2022, by the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. That gave casinos and potential sportsbook operators the green light to start making preparations, but that is as far as things have gone.
The first Nebraska sportsbook opened on June 22, 2023. It was at the WarHorse Casino in Lincoln. Grand Island Casino and Resort opened its sportsbook on August 23, 2023. On November 1, 2023, Horsemen’s Park in Omaha launched sports betting operations.
Can We Expect Mobile Sports Betting?
There is a chance that mobile sports betting might come to the state of Nebraska at some point, but it’s not going to be anytime soon. The initial set of rules did not include any mobile wagering options as the state wanted to give casinos full control at the beginning.
Since Nebraska is only going to offer retail wagering initially, it’s going to be hard for the state to see any real success in this industry. Look for lawmakers to begin to explore mobile sports betting after retail sportsbooks have gotten off to a good start.
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. 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 varies in the state depending on the 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?
Yes, sports betting has been legal in the state of Nebraska since 2021. There are three open sportsbooks in the state, as of January 2024. All of the betting will have to be done at in-person or retail sportsbooks.
Does Nebraska allow betting on college sports?
Betting on college sporting events is in Nebraska, but there are some restrictions. No player prop betting is allowed on college games, and betting on in-state college teams is also prohibited.
Who oversees sports betting in Nebraska?
The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission oversees all gambling in the state, including sports betting.
What’s the legal gambling age in Nebraska?
The legal gambling age in the state of Nebraska is set at 21 years of age for all forms of online gambling.