Nebraska Gambling Sites – Laws, Regulations and Guide

Mainly known for its agriculture, Nebraska has never embraced gambling. Case
in point: they don’t allow commercial casinos, racinos or poker rooms.

Proposals have been floated to legalize brick and mortar casinos, but nothing
has happened so far. This means that the Cornhusker State’s gaming scene
revolves around Class II gaming (explained later) found in bars and restaurants.

Given Nebraska’s stance on commercial casinos, it’s no surprise that they
don’t have a regulated online gaming market.

On the other hand, they haven’t taken a harsh stance against internet gaming,
and this gives state residents an opportunity to play at offshore gaming sites.

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Online Gambling and Nebraska Law

If you want to play online casino games in Nebraska, you won’t have a problem
doing so. They’ve yet to propose any serious ban on the activity.

But does this mean that it’s completely legal to engage in online gaming
here?

This matter is best understood by looking at some of Nebraska’s gambling
laws. That said, let’s answer important questions surrounding the legality of
iGaming.

Is Online Gambling Legal in Nebraska?

Nebraska’s constitution fails to address online gaming, therefore we believe
that it’s a grey area.

They have no section declaring the activity to be legal or illegal which
means that you’ll have no trouble playing at offshore casinos, poker and sports
betting sites here.

But one mildly troubling aspect we see in Nebraska’s constitution is section
28-1101 (5), which mentions a “computer gaming device.”

Here’s a look:

“Gambling device shall also include any mechanical gaming device, computer
gaming device, electronic gaming device, or video gaming device which has the
capability of awarding something of value, free games redeemable for something
of value, instant-win tickets which also provide the possibility of
participating in a subsequent drawing or event, or tickets or stubs redeemable
for something of value, except as authorized in the furtherance of pari-mutuel
wagering.”

If politicians really wanted to harass online gamblers, they could based on
the phrases “computer gaming device” and “electronic gaming device.” After all,
these terms cover smartphones and tablets.

But what gives us confidence that they won’t is that Nebraska has yet to
arrest and prosecute anybody for internet gaming.

What’s more notable is the fact that their criminal code doesn’t include any
language aimed at online gaming operators. This shows us that they’re not
actively concerned about iGaming.

Can I Get Arrested in Nebraska for Gambling Online?

Anything is possible. But based on what we just covered, no, you won’t be
arrested strictly for online gaming.

The only way we can see this happening is if you make it a public point that
you’re gambling online in Nebraska. As long as this isn’t the case, your odds of
being arrested are non-existent.

We’ve yet to see a state that puts manpower and resources into catching
online gamers. And given Nebraska’s general tolerance towards the activity, we
don’t see them becoming the first to do so.

What Online Gaming Options do I Have in Nebraska?

A wide range of online casinos, poker rooms and sports betting sites serve
Nebraskans. In fact, we’ve never seen a gaming site that serves Americans – only
to exclude the Cornhusker State from the mix.

A simple Google search will bring up dozens of sites that serve this state.
From here, the only matter is choosing the best site(s), which we’ll discuss
below.

How do I Choose an Offshore Gaming Site?

You should consider the following factors when looking for a quality online
casino, poker site or sportsbook:

  • Reputability
  • You certainly don’t want to choose a gaming site that’s slow to process cash outs
    and/or has bad customer service. Read reviews and see what kind of reputability
    a site offers.

  • What are Customers Saying?
  • Some review sites feature customer complaints which gives you a good idea what
    a certain gaming site struggles with. If you repeatedly see that a company takes
    months to process withdrawals, then you know to steer clear.

  • Bonuses & Loyalty Rewards
  • Big bonuses and frequent loyalty rewards give you a boost in gaming. You want to
    be sure that your site is competitive with other companies in this regard.

  • Game Selection
  • The reason why we all play at online gaming sites in the first place is for the games. That
    said, be sure that your casino has a lot of games to choose from. Likewise, it’s
    great if your sportsbook covers a wide range of sport and lines.

  • Customer Service
  • You don’t want to be brushed off when you have a question about bonuses, promotions,
    banking, etc. It pays to choose sites that offer solid customer support.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Nebraska?

At the time of this writing, State Senator, Tyson Larson has introduced
Senate Bill 469, which would legalize daily fantasy sports.

This legislation is being supported by industry leading sites DraftKings and
FanDuel. Both companies claim that Nebraska has over 300,000 DFS players, which
is significant for their population of 1.896 million.

It’s unclear what kind of chance SB 469 has. After all, Larson’s 2016 DFS
legislation failed to garner enough votes.

But with operators paying taxes and annual fees to the Nebraska Department of
Revenue, the framework sounds promising.

Considering that the state doesn’t draw much gaming revenue from other
avenues, DFS can help line state coffers. We may still be a few years away from
legal DFS, though, considering the fact that Nebraska isn’t very progressive in
regards to gaming.

Also On This Page

More Gambling Laws in Nebraska

  • Casino Games (Illegal)
  • Sports Betting (Illegal)
  • Poker (Illegal)
  • Race Betting (Legal)
  • Lottery (Legal)
  • Bingo (Legal)
  • Charitable Gaming (Legal)
  • Social Gambling (Legal)

Nebraska’s constitution deems gambling to be anything where people wager on a
future outcome, but they do make several exceptions for charity gaming.

Here’s a look at how they define gambling in section 28-1101 (4):

“A person engages in gambling if he or she bets something of value upon the
outcome of a future event, which outcome is determined by an element of chance,
or upon the outcome of a game, contest, or election, or conducts or participates
in any bingo, lottery by the sale of pickle cards, lottery, raffle, gift
enterprise, or other scheme not authorized or conducted in accordance with the
Nebraska Bingo Act, the Nebraska County and City Lottery Act, the Nebraska
Lottery and Raffle Act, the Nebraska Pickle Card Lottery Act, the Nebraska Small
Lottery and Raffle Act, the State Lottery Act, or section 9-701.”

The Bingo, Lottery, Raffle and Pickle Card Acts ensure that the state offers
some legal forms of gaming.

This is important because much of Nebraska’s gaming industry centers on
charity establishments and Class II games.

Class II refers to any game of chance that operates like bingo. This can
include slot machines and video poker, as long as results are determined through
a virtual bingo drawing.

Below, you can take a closer look at each individual sector of Nebraska’s
land-based gaming industry.

Casino Games: Illegal


As mentioned before, the Cornhusker State doesn’t have commercial casinos.
They do have tribal casinos, though, which include the following:

  • Iron Horse Bar & Casino
  • Lucky 77
  • Native Star Casino
  • Ohiya Casino

These casinos are all approved for Class II games under the Indian Gaming
Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988. You’ll find bingo, live keno, slot machines and
video poker spread throughout these casinos.

Various politicians have pushed for commercial casinos over the past decade.
If they were to allow this, they’d likely have to renegotiate with tribal
casinos, and allow them to offer Class III (Vegas-style) gaming.

Considering that Nebraska isn’t a big gambling state, none of this will
happen any time soon.

Charity Gaming: Legal


The state’s biggest gambling source comes through the bars and restaurants
with charity operations.

Businesses with liquor licenses can apply to host charity gambling, including
bingo, keno, lotteries, pickle cards and raffles.

Lottery: Legal


Running since 1992, the Nebraska Lottery sells tickets for various games,
including 2by2, Mega Millions, MyDay, Pick3, Pick5 and Powerball.

Lottery players must be 19 to purchase tickets in Nebraska.

Poker: Illegal


Nebraska is the birthplace of Omaha, one of the most-popular poker variations
available. Despite this fact, the game is frowned upon in the Cornhusker State.

No poker rooms are featured in the state, but businesses can hold free-entry
tournaments.

Obviously, the lack of entry fees and prize pools are a turnoff for serious
poker players, but at least it’s better than nothing.

Racing: Legal


Legalized in 1934, pari-mutuel betting is still legal in Nebraska today. They
feature four tracks, including AgPark, Fonner Park Casino, Horseman’s Park and
Lincoln Race Track.

Social Gaming: Legal


The state’s constitution doesn’t mention anything about social gaming.

Considering that Nebraska takes the middle road regarding most gambling
matters, you should be fine to host social gaming functions here as long as the
host doesn’t collect any rake or house fees.

Provided nothing else illegal is going on at the games and you keep them
under wraps, you’ll have no trouble hosting a poker game in Nebraska.

Gambling Venues in Nebraska

The Cornhusker State is far from a gambler’s paradise. In fact, you’ll only
find 20 places to gamble throughout the state between the tribal casinos and
charity venues.

Tribal casinos don’t pay taxes to Nebraska, and their revenue isn’t public
knowledge. But we assume that they don’t make a lot in comparison to other
states’ tribal operations.

The largest gaming establishment is Ohiya Casino & Resort, which has 410
machines. This means that Nebraska’s biggest casino is merely average by most
standards.

The rest of Nebraska’s gaming venues consist of small charity casinos. You
won’t find much serious gaming going on at these places, but they give you a
spot to enjoy a drink/meal and a few slots.

Below, you can see all 4 tribal casinos along with a handful of charity
establishments.

Nebraska Map

    1) Backaracks Bar and Grill (Charity)

    1402 E 20th St, Scottsbluff, NE 69361

    2) Hastings Keno Bar and Grill (Charity)

    1216 W J St, Hastings, NE 68901

    3) HopHouse Bar and Grill (Charity)

    11425 S 72nd St, Papillion, NE 68046

    4) Iron Horse Bar & Casino (Tribal)

    1106 Main St, Emerson, NE 68733

    5) Jersey’s Sports Bar and Grill (Charity)

    501 Olson Dr, Papillion, NE 68046

    6) Lucky 77 Casino (Tribal)

    200 Main St, Walthill, NE 68067

    7) Lucky Keno Parlor (Charity)

    1001 Ave I, Scottsbluff, NE 69361

    8) Native Star Casino (Tribal)

    1501 Industrial Parkway, Winnebago, NE 68071

    9) Ohiya Casino & Resort

    52946 NE-12, Niobrara, NE 68760

    10) Ralston Keno (Charity)

    5130 S 72nd St, Ralston, NE 68127

    11) Winners Lounge and Keno

    5413 S 72nd St, Omaha, NE 68127

History of Gambling in Nebraska

Nebraska’s early gambling history is shaped by Omaha, which was America’s
largest
per-capita gambling town
in the mid-1800s. Besides gambling, Omaha was also
known for alcohol, drugs and prostitution.

By 1887, the Nebraska State Legislature was fed up with the city’s gambling
problem, and banned the activity statewide.

This forced Omaha’s gambling underground, where it would eventually be run by
the Italian mafia. By the 1980s, Iowa’s nearby gambling market and police
crackdowns began to erode Omaha’s underground scene.

Since this time, Nebraska has seen more and more legal gaming options pop up
across the state.

1800s

Omaha is the biggest per-capita gambling town in the US.

1934

State consitution amended to include legal pari-mutuel horse racing.

1958

Legislatre legalizes charity bingo

1967

Charity lotteries and raffles legalized.

1992

Nebraska voters approve state lottery.

1998

Simulcast horse racing approved.

2004

Voters turn down commercial casinos.

2015

Politicians campaign for commercial casinos.

2016

Commercial casino bill narrowly misses making a ballot.

2017

Daily fantasy sports legislation (SB 469) introduced.

Nebraska Gambling FAQ

The good thing about Nebraska’s gambling laws is that they’re straightforward
and leave little to interpretation. Nevertheless, their criminal code does have
a few holes regarding iGaming.

Let’s cover some important questions that players may have regarding this
state’s online gaming market.

How can Offshore Sites Operate in Nebraska?

Most offshore casinos and sportsbooks are in Caribbean and Central American
locations. Furthermore, they hold licenses with jurisdictions, such as Antigua &
Barbuda, Costa Rica, Curacao or Panama.

This doesn’t technically make these companies legal in Nebraska, but the key
is that they’re not located in the U.S., and they don’t necessarily target
Nebraska or any other American states. Anybody can access these sites, provided
they’re not blocked for some reason. Unless a state specifically bans offshore
operators, you can expect them to operate. Because Nebraska doesn’t fall into
this category, you’ll find offshore casinos here.

Do Other States Ban Offshore Gaming Sites?

Yes. Delaware, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey and Washington all have
language in their constitutions that ban unlicensed gaming operators.

Other states like Maryland and Kentucky have taken legal action against
internet gaming operators.

Many offshore sites avoid these states due to their laws and/or legal
history.

Will Nebraska Ever Ban or Legalize Online Gambling?

Few states have outlined a clear stance towards internet gaming. Nebraska
falls into this category because they haven’t regulated iGaming, nor have they
made an effort to ban it.

This begs the question whether they’ll take either action in the near future.

Based on everything we’ve seen, Nebraska isn’t at the forefront of creating
an online gaming market, and we’ve yet to hear anything about them banning the
activity either. So, odds are that Nebraska won’t make any bold move until a
number of other states have taken action.

Should I Trust Offshore Gaming Sites in Nebraska?

Yes, in most cases you can trust offshore operators. After all, these sites
need to be reputable if they want to attract and keep customers.

Of course, the only way to make sure that you’re dealing with a reputable
casino is by reading reviews and seeing what other sites/customers have to say.

The overall goal is to make sure that you choose an offshore gaming site that
has good customer service, processes withdrawals in a timely manner and offers
fair gaming.

Additional Resources

This state has two main agencies that regulate their gaming industry,
including the Nebraska Gaming Commission and Charitable Gaming Division. Here’s
a look at where you can find these sites and what’s featured at each:

  • Nebraska Gaming Commission
  • The NGC regulates the lottery and machine-based gaming. Their website covers
    a number of topics, including FAQs, legal questions and tax forms. The latter is
    especially helpful, because most gaming agencies don’t touch on tax information.

  • The Charitable Gaming Division
  • covers bingo, keno, raffles, pull-tabs and anything else dealing with charity
    gambling. Their website offers helpful info on how to apply for licensing and
    what the rules are for approved charities.

The Future & Your Views

The only areas where Nebraska is progressing in terms of gambling includes
commercial casinos and daily fantasy sports.

Casinos have been getting a big push in recent years as politicians look for
ways to keep gambling dollars in-state.

DFS bills have been proposed two years in a row, showing that there’s some
interest in the activity.

Unfortunately, online gaming isn’t getting the same push as DFS and casinos.
This makes sense because Nebraska has a small population and doesn’t stand to
make much for iGaming.

Nevertheless, it’s always nice to have a regulated gaming market and clearly
defined rules. This way, players can gamble at licensed sites and not have to
worry about the small chance of dealing with nefarious offshore sites.

But until Nebraska decides to make a move with their online gaming market,
offshore operators remain your best option.

If you follow the steps we covered above, you have a good chance of finding
quality online casinos, poker sites and/or sportsbooks. Given that Nebraska has
no history of harassing online gamblers, you are safe to play with confidence.