In a surprising decision, the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that a trio of ballot initiatives to legalize casinos must be put on the November ballot. This ruling overturned our Secretary of State’s decision which found the ballot initiatives legally insufficient.
We are just 50 days away from the General Election, and well-funded gambling interests are now pouring huge dollars into efforts to sway voters and open casinos across Nebraska.
Casino gambling creates social and economic costs that can ruin lives, families, businesses, and communities.
But gambling operators don’t pay for the harms they cause families, businesses, and communities. Taxpayers do.
In addition to targeting and exploiting the poor and cultivating addiction, casino gambling harms families, syphons money away from local businesses, and incurs major social costs that end up being footed by the taxpayers.
NFA is encouraging voters to stand for families and protect the good life by voting “NO” on casino gambling.
Get the facts on what exactly Nebraskans are being asked to approve and how legalized casino gambling would impact our state. Visit and share our new casino gambling resource page with information and answers to common questions.
Secondly, use NFA’s personalized, issues-based voter guide to learn where candidates stand on gambling and other key issues before casting your ballot.
What Are Voters Being Asked to Approve?
Three separate but interconnected gambling measures will appear on the ballot.
Voters will be asked to amend Nebraska’s constitution to legalize all forms of gambling and create two laws that regulate and tax the industry while providing special license privileges to favored firms.
Government, in this case, is not merely permitting private, consensual behavior. It is seeking to grant monopolies and award regulatory advantages to favored firms that rely on financial fraud and exploitation to strip money away from hard-working individuals and families.
Where Would Casinos Be Located?
The gambling initiatives propose allowing casinos at horse tracks like the ones currently operating out of Omaha, Lincoln, South Sioux City, Columbus, Hastings, and Grand Island. The initiatives also contain a hidden, misleading authorization of casinos on Native American land.
Full-blown casinos could be built not only at racetracks, but anywhere Native American tribes own land in Nebraska—whether at a racetrack or not—permitting casinos to set up shop across the entire state.
How Would Casinos Impact Taxes & Our State Economy?
Economists have found that casino gambling creates more gambling addicts than jobs, and states must pay $3.00 in social costs for every $1.00 in tax revenue generated.
In 2003, a study commissioned by the Omaha Chamber of Commerce concluded that just one casino operating in Omaha would increase gambling losses in the Omaha metro area by 66% and result in $132 million in social costs while providing only $29 million in revenue to the state.
According to a 2019 study by prominent Creighton University economics professor and regional economist Dr. Ernie Goss, states with casinos experience slower GDP growth and tax their citizens more heavily than states without casinos.
How Do Casinos Impact Families?
When it comes to state-sanctioned gambling, the sole focus becomes maximizing profits, not protecting the public interest.
The business model for casinos depends on blatantly exploiting the poor, financially desperate, and the addicted. It cannot survive without these citizens.
Research shows areas with casinos see increases in sex trafficking, child neglect, and domestic abuse. The more children are exposed to gambling, the more likely it is they will become habitual and problem gamblers later in life.
When it comes to casino gambling, if gambling interests win, our own fellow Nebraskans will lose.