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When will online sports betting launch in Nebraska?

Any potential launch date for legal online sports betting in Nebraska is still unclear, as there are no rules allowing for online sports betting in the state.

For now, there are just two locations in the state where bettors can bet on sports legally in Nebraska. All other licensed casinos in the state that wish to provide legal sports betting must apply for and be granted vendor licenses.

What’s happening in Nebraska sports betting right now

Potential Nebraska sportsbook apps

As of now, rules and regulations for sports betting in Nebraska do not allow online or mobile wagering. However, if that changes, there are a few online books that could look to stake their claim in the state and begin offering online sports betting promos. Here are some of the top candidates:

Nebraska sports betting law

For now, sports betting will be available only at approved racinos, and people must place wagers in person at sports betting kiosks at the approved locations.

Legal sports betting options in Nebraska

At the moment, there are two legal options for sports betting in Nebraska: the WarHorse Casino in Lincoln and Grand Island Casino Resort in Grand Island. Some offshore sportsbooks may suggest that wagering on sports is legal in Nebraska on their websites, but those sites are operating outside of US laws, and there would be no legal recourse for bettors to recoup unpaid winnings or account balances should the sportsbook close.

DFS providers such as DraftKings and FanDuel allow Nebraska residents to play daily fantasy sports contests on their platforms. 

Casino gambling in Nebraska

There are five tribal casinos in Nebraska located on Native American reservation land, as well as one racetrack and casino, the WarHorse Casino at Lincoln Race Course. The WarHorse became the state’s first racino when it opened in September 2022. 

WarHorse offers 433 slot machines, simulcast betting on horse races, and, as of June 2023, sports betting at a sportsbook window or kiosks.

Horse betting in Nebraska

Horse racing and horse betting are legal in Nebraska. Bettors can wager live at the track, through simulcast betting or online or via an app.

There are six tracks in Nebraska with live dates for 2023. Each of these racetracks reportedly intends on becoming a racino and adding sports betting facilities once able:

Simulcast betting is available at Fonner Park, Horsemen’s Park, and Lincoln Race Course.

Nebraska and daily fantasy sports

All of the major daily fantasy sports providers accept contest entries from within Nebraska. The daily fantasy sports space is a legal gray area in the state, as the language in state law does not specifically forbid or allow daily fantasy sports.

Companies like DraftKings and FanDuel do accept paid entries from within the state and could also end up seeking licenses to operate as retail sportsbooks in the future. There have been multiple attempts over the past few years to get daily fantasy sports regulated and taxed within the state, though none of that legislation has passed.

Nebraska surrounded by legal sports betting

While people in Nebraska do not have a legal avenue to place online sports bets at the moment, five of the six states that border Nebraska allow sports betting in some form, including online.

Omaha, which contains nearly a quarter of the population of the state of Nebraska, sits on the Iowa border. Iowa legalized sports betting in 2019, with both online and retail betting launching later that year.

Colorado, Wyoming, and Kansas also border Nebraska and have legalized online sports betting. South Dakota, to the north, also allows sports betting, but only at casinos located in the city of Deadwood.

Missouri is the only state that borders Nebraska where sports betting remains illegal, but it is not for a lack of trying. Missouri had several active sports betting bills at the beginning of 2022, but lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on any of them.

Most popular sports to bet on in Nebraska

In Nebraska, all allegiances to sports teams come secondary to the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Huskers football team is the most popular team in the state and would likely bring in the biggest betting handle of any events based in Nebraska, but in-state bettors cannot legally wager on their beloved Huskers under the state’s sports betting rules. 

There are no professional sports teams in the state, so loyalty to pro teams tends to focus on teams in neighboring or nearby states.

In the NFL, the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are two of the more popular teams in Nebraska. Both teams are located in neighboring states and have had some recent success.

The Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, and Chicago Cubs are three of the most popular MLB teams in Nebraska. The Cubs are also owned by the family of former Nebraska Gov. and current US Sen. Pete Ricketts. 

In the NBA, the Denver Nuggets and Chicago Bulls are two of the most popular teams.

Nebraska sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Nebraska?

Yes, but right now the only way to place a wager is at the lone retail location in the state.

Who will be able to bet on sports in Nebraska?

Anyone 21 or older and inside Nebraska will be able to wager on sports in the state, provided, for now, that they are placing their wagers at a designated racino. While some select activities — lottery and pari-mutuel wagering — require participants only to be 18 or older, most gambling options in the state mandate that you be 21 or older.

Who oversees sports betting in Nebraska?

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission oversees all gambling in the state, including sports betting.

Where can I bet on sports in Nebraska?

The WarHorse Casino in Lincoln is currently the only location to place a legal bet in Nebraska.

Can I bet on sports on my phone in Nebraska?

There are no legal options for mobile sports betting in Nebraska at this time.