Casino gambling is on the ballot in Nebraska. But the questions being presented to voters don’t tell the whole story.

Three separate-but-interconnected gambling initiatives will appear on your ballot. Initiative 429 amends the Nebraska Constitution to state that “laws may be enacted to provide for the authorization, regulation, and taxation of all forms of games of chance to be conducted by licensees within licensed racetrack enclosures in Nebraska.” Initiative 430 establishes a paid, unelected Nebraska Gaming Commission, and Initiative 431 sets up a tax structure.

Authorizing all forms of games of chance at racetracks with licenses and regulations may sound benign, but if these initiatives pass, full-blown casinos with 24/7 gambling can open across Nebraska.

With just 39 words, Initiative 429 authorizes every kind of gambling—slot machines, sports betting, online gambling—with no oversight from the public or Nebraska Legislature.

Initiative 430 replaces our constitutional protection against predatory gambling interests with unelected commissioners from the gambling industry who would be authorized to allow gambling at any “licensed racetrack enclosure.” But a “racetrack” could offer 24/7 casino gambling, 365 days a year, by holding just one race per year.

An unlimited number of “licensed racetrack enclosures” could be built across the state, but this proposal isn’t even limited to just “racetracks.”

By amending the Nebraska Constitution to allow every kind of gambling, Initiative 429 also allows Native American tribes to operate their own casinos. Tribal casinos would be untaxed and unregulated by the state.

Casinos could open doors 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.

Nebraska’s Secretary of State, who is in charge of overseeing elections and voting, determined that these initiatives were so misleading and confusing to voters that they shouldn’t even be allowed on the ballot. 

But you won’t hear any of this from the gambling interests who drafted these initiatives and have spent millions of dollars to get the initiatives on the ballot and sway voters.

These initiatives are designed to help casino owners, not everyday Nebraskans. If they win, Nebraska will lose.

Learn more about the harms of casino gambling, share this information with your friends and family, and don’t let predatory gambling interests permanently change our constitution and our state to line their own pockets.

Vote “AGAINST” Initiatives 429, 430, and 431.

Nate Grasz

Nate Grasz

Policy Director
Nate is the Policy Director at Nebraska Family Alliance and host of the Capitol Report program.