Casino gambling is on the ballot in Nebraska. But the question being presented to voters does not 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 an 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 all 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 protections against predatory gambling interests with unelected commissioners authorized to allow gambling at any “licensed racetrack enclosure.” But a “racetrack” could offer 24/7 casino gambling, 365 days a year, just by holding 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 automatically and immediately allows Native American tribes to operate their own casinos.
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.
Tribal casinos would be unlimited, untaxed, and unregulated by the state.
But you won’t hear any of this from the gambling interests who are currently spending millions to sway voters. 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 “NO” on Initiatives 429, 430, and 431.