Lincoln’s Temporary Casino Won’t Be Opened Immediately

Lincoln residents have been anticipating the launching of a temporary casino. But they will have to wait longer as the gaming venue has been delayed. It was set to start operating on September 19 after the operator meets with the Nebraska Gaming and Racing Commission.

Unfortunately, the meeting was called off on Tuesday. Dennis Lee, the Commission’s Chairman stated that some of its members were concerned about issuing a permanent casino license in a Zoom meeting. The official added that the Commission will deliberate on the temporary WarHouse Casino’s launch on September 23rd in its monthly meeting.

Ready To Go

The Gaming and Racing Commission had prepared to grant WarHouse a license in its August 31st meeting. Yet it held it off since it was still conducting background checks on each casino official. Moreover, the casino had to conduct a dry run to check its slot machines’ functionalities.

Lynne McNally, the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association CEO stated that the issues were sorted as the casino had tested its system. Also, it had complied with various regulatory requirements and was ready to launch.

The temporary casino will launch on September 23 if the Commission will give it a green light on September 23. It is located near West Denton Road and U.S.77 at the Lincoln Race Course’s simulcast building.

WarHorse Casino will be built on the same site. The temporary casino will run until a full-scale casino is launched.

More Details About the Construction

The $200 million WarHorse Casino is under construction now after the Tribe launched the project in July. It stated that it would launch the permanent casino after 18 months. The casino is a joint project between the Tribe and WarHorse Gaming.

They will build a large casino hotel having an events space, many restaurants, 200 rooms, 1,300 slot machines, simulcast and live horse racing. Also, the casino will create 900 permanent jobs in Lincoln.

Ho-Chunk Inc formed WarHorse Gaming. It is an economic development segment of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

Reports state that WarHorse Gaming is constructing a gaming venue in Omaha on the Horsemen’s Park site near Q and 63rd streets hence adding an extra 67,000 square feet to the existing gaming complex.

The Casino’s Legislative Process

Nebraskans passed three gaming measures in November 2020, intending to expand the state’s casino industry by including licensed horse tracks. Ho-Chunk Inc. is determined to venture into the local casino market of late.

It set up WarHorse Gaming in December 2020 to run and manage the casinos it intended to construct in the region. But WarHorse had to undergo a long regulatory and legislative process that was delayed for a few months due to factors such as the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission‘s delayed approval of casino gambling regulations and rules.

Governor Pete Ricketts signed the 67-page document in May 2021, but the Commission approved it in December. It granted WarHorse Gaming a Provisional Gaming License in June 2021 hence delaying its launch and preventing it from meeting its financial goals on time.

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