Nebraska’s Third Casino Gains State Approval, Set To Open In June?

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on May 18, 2023
Regulators approve Nebraska's third casino at Ag Park

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC) has okayed a gaming license for a temporary racetrack casino at Ag Park in Columbus.

The gaming venue will be Nebraska’s third state-licensed casino and will open its doors on June 12.

The new venue will join two Nebraska casinos with temporary locations in Lincoln and Grand Island, which have been running for several months.

Caesars has big plans for a permanent Nebraska casino

Caesars Entertainment initially planned to build a 28,000-square-foot Harrah’s casino and sportsbook along US 81 on the city’s northwest side. According to the company’s plan, the casino would feature 500 slot machines and 14 table games. But before the permanent location starts running, Caesars will open a temporary casino at the site of Columbus’ existing horse racing track.

According to Lincoln Journal Star, Harrah’s Columbus Racing and Casino’s general manager, Don Ostert, said the temporary location will open on June 12.

The casino will work daily, from 9 am to 1 am, with 250 slot machines and electronic table games.

Nebraska temporary casinos set revenue and tax records for March

WarHorse Lincoln and the Grand Island Casino Resort combined to generate nearly $1.55 million in gaming taxes throughout March. Nebraska has increased its gaming tax revenue for the third straight month. The number surpassed the $1.34 million reported in February and is higher than the $1.2 million generated in January.

With a state tax rate of 20%, the two Nebraska casinos combined to generate $7.7 million in revenue.

Temporary casinos in Nebraska expand their offerings

Grand Island’s temporary casino at Fonner Park racetrack announced it would be expanding its gaming offer starting next month. If everything goes according to plan, by 2025, the permanent casino will feature:

  • 37,000-square-foot casino floor
  • 650 slot machines
  • 20 table games
  • Sportsbook

The permanent WarHorse Casino in southwest Lincoln is planned to open in September. It will have:

  • 9,000-square-foot casino floor
  • 445 slot machines
  • Sportsbook kiosks
  • Simulcast and live racing

With more casinos opening (and expanding), some experts believe Nebraska’s tax revenue and casino profits will continue to increase.

Photo by Playin USA
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for Playin USA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario?s online gambling industry for PlayCanada.com. Vojvodic holds a master?s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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