Legislative Bill 561 – which would legalize sports wagering at Nebraska’s licensed racetracks – has advanced to a final vote in the unicameral Nebraska state legislature after a new amendment was added to prevent betting on in-state college sports.
The bill allows for in-person sports wagering to take place at licensed racetracks, however the most recent amendment excludes the placing of wagers on in-state collegiate sporting events in which an in-state collegiate team plays.
The State Racing Commission will have regulation and enforcement over sports wagering and other gambling activities at licensed racetracks. It may issue fines of up to $5,000 in the event that a rule or regulation is violated.
LB561 was read for the first time on January 19 after being introduced by Senator Tom Briese. The bill was then enrolled on April 20 but was returned for amendment after it was placed on its final reading.
As well as preventing bets on in-state college sports events, the amendment also allows for licensees to offer Keno.
Now that the bill has been advanced to enrolment, it can be placed on final reading, and if it passes this stage will be advanced to the state’s governor for signing.
LB561 is the latest attempt to legalize and regulate sports wagering in the state. In January last year, state senator Justin Wayne introduced LB990, which would define sports betting, paid fantasy sports and poker as games of skill.
LB990 was indefinitely postponed in the state legislature in August 2020.