First Racetrack Casino License Applications Submitted

June 3, 2022, 10 a.m. ·

Zoomed in photo of slot machine.
(Image by Pat Aylward, Nebraska Public Media)

Casino gambling at horse tracks in Nebraska took one step closer to reality Thurday, as the state Racing and Gaming Commission approved a fee schedule for potential operators.

Gaming operators will pay 5 million dollars over a 5 year period, with the first million due at the time of registration. Gaming related vendors will have to pay a total of 9 thousand dollars for a 3-year license.

Commission Executive Director Tom Sage told potential operators that they will first be provided with a provisional license, needed to start purchasing equipment and applying for loans. And, he gave them a warning.

"All those have to be vetted," Sage said. "And again, a risk that the operators and vendors are taking, if the background check comes out and we go 'there's no way we're going to license that operator', their million dollars is gone."

Shortly after the fees were given final approval, officials with Warhorse Gaming put down $2 million for license applications to open casinos at racetracks in Lincoln and Omaha. The company said if all goes smoothly, they could have at least one casino up and running by the end of the summer.