Nebraska Is Ready for a Third Casino, After Setting a New Month Revenue Record

Nebraska will soon have its third casino, following approval from the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission. The gaming regulator approved an operating license, allowing a temporary casino in Columbus. The Ag Park casino is scheduled to open on June 12, 2023.

This is the third temporary casino in Nebraska. The others are Grand Island Resort Casino at Fonner Park racetrack and WarHorse Lincoln, which have been running for a few months now.

The new casino is not the only newest development in the gaming industry. According to Grand Island Resort Casino, there will be more gaming offers on its floor starting in June. The casino plans to open a permanent casino by 2025, if everything progresses according to the initial plan.

Grand Island Resort Casino’s permanent property will sit on a 37,000 square feet floor. The floor will host 20 table games, 650 slot machines, and a sportsbook.

Grand Island might also add craps, roulette, and blackjack tables. Other changes include an expanded dining area, an entertainment venue, and more restrooms on the casino floor.

Meanwhile, the permanent WarHorse Casino will open sooner. It is scheduled to open in September. The casino will feature sportsbook kiosks, simulcast and live racing, and a 9,000 square feet casino floor with 445 slot machines.

Caesars to Run the Third Casino

Caesars Entertainment is the lucky winner behind the operating license of the third casino in Nebraska. The operator has big plans for the casino, starting with 250 slot machines and table games at the temporary gaming venue. It will operate every day between 9 a.m. and 1 a.m.

Caesars will open a permanent 28,000 square feet casino and sportsbook later. The casino will hold 500 slot machines and 14 table games at Harrah’s casino, sitting along US 81.

The Nebraska Gaming Industry Is Performing Well

The casino industry in the state is doing well. According to some experts, expanding the industry with more casinos will increase the state`s tax revenue and profits for casinos.

Casinos are breaking monthly revenue records for the past seven months. For instance, Grand Island and WarHorse casinos generated $1.2 million in tax revenue in January, $1.34 million in February, and around $1.55 million in March 2023.

Nebraska gaming laws require casinos to pay 20 percent of their revenue to the state. This has contributed to $7.7 million in tax revenue since the temporary casinos opened.

This revenue goes to different sections of the state’s economy. For instance, WarHorse generated tax revenue of $956,071 in March. Of this, $669,249 went to the property tax credit cash fund, around $119k on county share, and another $119k to city share.

Grand Island paid slightly over $592k in tax revenue. Most of this (around $414k) went to property tax. The County and city accounts got $74k each while the state and compulsive gambler assistance fund got $14,808 each.

Nebraska has legalized sports betting and casino gaming since 2021. This came after Governor Pete Ricketts signed the first commercial casino gaming bill into law in May 2021.

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