Owners of North Platte gaming business charged with tax evasion
By Bill Kelly , Senior Producer/Reporter Nebraska Public Media
Feb. 6, 2023, 8:30 p.m. ·
Listen To This Story
Mark and Bridget Haneborg, the owners of the River Valley Casino and other central Nebraska gaming arcades, were charged with tax evasion last week following a year-long investigation by the Nebraska Department of Revenue.
Court documents filed by the Nebraska Department of Revenue (NDR) claim their investigators determined the Haneborgs earned income of over a $1.5 million from 2019-2021. The couple, filing a joint tax return, paid only a fraction of the estimated $170,000 due in taxes and interest, according to the arrest affidavit.
The NDR investigator wrote he had identified “evidence of intentionally evading the creation of records that would normally identify income.”
NP Skills, the Haneborg’s business, operates 105 electronic skill games in central Nebraska, including North Platte and Kearney locations. The devices look similar to slot machines, but winners receive cash prizes based on skill rather than chance.
According to search warrants filed in Lincoln County District Court, the Nebraska Department of Revenue took an interest in the couple’s business practices based on a tip from a former employee.
On July 14, 2022, police raided the Haneborg’s home and the River Valley Casino in North Platte. The North Platte Bulletin reported “the number of cop cars attracted considerable attention” at the time.
In addition to financial records, police seized $75,677 in cash from the Haneborg’s home. During the raid, a swimming pool contractor told police he had accepted “small cash payments” spread over six months for the $80,000 project.
The Lincoln County Attorney separately charged Mark and Bridget Haneborg with three counts of tax evasion and filing false returns. Following their arrest, each paid 10% of their $25,000 bonds to remain out of jail. They are scheduled to enter a plea in court on Feb. 22.
The affidavit noted it appeared the Haneborgs had not paid state or federal taxes. It is not uncommon that state tax evasion cases are followed by a federal charge, but to date, no indictments against the couple have been issued by the U.S. Attorney in Nebraska.
Editor’s Note: An earlier online version of this story incorrectly stated the Haneborg’s are accused of paying $1.5 million in taxes. We revised the article, to reflect that amount is the amount of income on which they allegedly failed to pay state taxes