Nebraska Reports Over $800,000 In Casino Taxes In First Full Month

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on November 15, 2022
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In its first full month of operations, WarHorse Casino – Nebraska’s first casino – generated over $800,000 in state tax revenue. For October 2022, the property contributed $597,854 to the state property tax relief fund specifically according to the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC).

Nonetheless, casino officials expect gaming tax revenue to increase once advertising and marketing ramp up for the permanent location. 

Lynne McNally, the CEO of Nebraska’s horsemen’s association, said the casino had been well received by the community. “We’re really pleased at the way it’s been received. It was very important to us to start contributing to that property tax relief fund.”

First Nebraska casino revenue report shows room to grow

WarHorse Casino, a product of WarHorse Gaming, is a temporary facility that opened on Sept. 24. The Lincoln property has 433 slot machines inside the Lincoln Race Course‘s simulcasting building

WarHorse Gaming is a partnership between Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) and Ho-Chunk Inc. Ho-Chunk is the economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Lance Morgan, the president and CEO of Ho-Chunk Inc., believes gaming revenue at the Lincoln site will exceed initial estimates. In September, initial estimates placed gaming revenue at $5 million in the first year of operations. 

The tax rate on gaming win in Nebraska is 20% and the total tax the state collected in October came to $854,077.44. Thus, WarHorse’s taxable revenue for October was likely around $4.2 million

“Lincoln has incredible potential,” Morgan said. “And we’ve just scratched the surface.”

Construction is already underway on a new $200 million permanent location. However, the project won’t be finished for another two years. 

Once complete, the Lincoln casino will have:

  • 1,100 slot machines
  • 100 table games
  • A sportsbook
  • Live and simulcast horse racing
  • 200-room hotel with a parking garage

More Nebraska casinos are on the way

WarHorse plans to open a temporary casino at its Horsemen’s Park location in Omaha with 800 slot machines, hopefully by next spring. 

According to Tom Sage, executive director of the NRGC, the second casino to open will likely be at Grand Island’s Fonner Park by the end of the year. 

Fonner Park will have a temporary location with 300 slot machines. The casino’s permanent site will offer 850 slot machines, 20 table games, a sportsbook, plus amenities like a hotel, spa and various restaurants. 

In 2020, Nebraska voters legalized commercial casino gambling. As a result, the state’s six-horse racetracks can become casinos complete with slot machinestable games, and Nebraska sports betting options.

Photo by Playin USA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for Playin USA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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