Nebraska Online Sports Betting Laws
Chances that the Cornhusker State would join the club for legal sports betting looked bleak for many years, but win an interesting turnaround, authorizing legislation was passed in May 2021. Nebraskans can now bet on sports in person at select retail locations, but online betting is not included in the bill.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is Sports Betting Legal in Nebraska?
Yes. Nebraska passed legislation to legalize and regulate retail sports betting in the state in May 2021.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Nebraska?
No. Although Nebraska has passed legislation to authorize retail sports betting in the state, that bill does not provide for online or mobile sports wagering.
When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was struck down in 2018, many states moved swiftly towards the legalization of sports betting. Nebraska was not among them. The state showed little appetite for the delights of legalized sports betting until 2020, when Senator Justin Wayne took up the cudgels.
Sen. Wayne launched multiple bills in 2020, pointing out how much potential tax revenue was being lost across the border to Iowa after sports betting became legal there. His bills didn’t make it out of committee, but residents approved of expanding gambling in a referendum in November, which offered hope that there was an appetite for betting in the state. However, the wording of the referendum question was vague, referring only to “all games of chance”, which does not definitively include sports betting. Sen. Wayne returned to try again in 2021 – and he was not alone.
Although Sen. Wayne reintroduced his Games of Skill Act through LB545, which would allow sports betting and some online poker, in 2021, his was not the legislation that finally saw passage in the state legislature. The winning legislation was LB561, introduced by Senator Tom Briese.
Senator Briese’s bill legalizes sports betting at the state’s six racetrack casinos, and does not contain any provisions for online or mobile gaming. The state hopes to have live wagering launched by the end of 2021. Sports bettors will need to be at least 21 years of age, and no bets will be allowed on in-state college teams.
Prior to the recent legislation, the one existing outlet for sports betting in Nebraska was parimutuel betting on horse racing. Nebraskans make the most of advance deposit wagering via their desktops or mobile devices with a selection of books.
The six tracks with live racing dates include Atokad Park in South Sioux City, Columbus Exposition & Racing in Columbus, Fairplay Park in Hastings, Fonner Park in Grand Island, Horsemen’s Park in Omaha, and Lincoln Race Course in Lincoln.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is not illegal in Nebraska; neither is it definitely legal. As with many other states, DFS is conducted here in a gray area. Leading DFS operators such as DraftKings and FanDuel are active in the state and offer plenty of choice for local bettors.
With no top-level pro teams in Nebraska, the most popular side in the state are the Cornhuskers, the University of Nebraska’s football team. They regularly draw crowds of more than 85,000. NFL is popular here too, as are basketball, baseball, and hockey games from across the nation.
With sports betting only recently being leaglized and limited numbers of casinos, it is maybe not surprising that there are fewer agencies in the state, as opposed to others, actively promoting responsible gambling. All forms of gambling are supposed to be fun leisure activities; the majority of people are able to enjoy them as such.
However, some people run into difficulties and need support by bodies who exist to support responsible gambling. Nebraska offers the following:
PASPA is declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, opening the door for states to legalize sports betting.
The first attempts to legalize Nebraska sports betting are launched but they fail to gain momentum and do not get past the committee stage.
Nebraska’s legislature passes a bill authorizing retail sports wagering at the state’s 6 racetrack casinos.
Nebraska’s recent legislation authorizes in-person sports betting at the state’s six racetrack casinos. You can find a list of them below.
|Fonner Park||700 E Stolley Park Rd Grand Island, NE 68801-2200|
|Lincoln Race Course||7055 S 1st Street Lincoln NE 68523|
|Horsemen's Park||6303 Q Street Omaha NE 68117|
|Columbus Exposition & Racing||822 15th St Columbus NE 68601|
|Fairplay Park||947 S Baltimore Ave Hastings NE 68901|
|South Sioux City||1524 Atokad Drive South Sioux City NE 68776|
There are currently no legal Nebraska betting sites, except for advance deposit wagering on horse racing. Online sports betting has yet to be legalized in the state.
There is no such thing as legal Nebraska online betting. Some online sportsbooks located outside the state offer services to people within its borders, but these are not authorized or regulated and it is not advisable to use these services as you have no legal recourse in the event of a dispute.
FanDuel is one of the leading providers of Daily Fantasy Sports games. Although DFS is not explicitly legal in Nebraska, it is not specifically banned either, and FanDuel provides games to people in the state. However, with Nebraska online sports betting not legalized yet, FanDuel is unable to deliver sportsbook services here.
Cash out is one of the most bettor-friendly inventions of recent decades. It is a facility that allows you to settle a bet early if you want to limit losses or lock in a win. Most licensed online sportsbooks now offer the chance to cash out, however, with online Nebraska sports betting still to be legalized, people in the state will surely have a choice of operators who offer great cash out features.