A Nebraska sports betting bill has passed on its final reading in the state’s unicameral legislature, meaning it will now advance to the Governor to be signed into law.
Legislative Bill 561, which was first introduced on January 19, is set to legalize in-person sports betting at licensed racetracks in the state. It passed with an emergency clause, which will ensure it will take effect immediately after being signed instead of after three months as as typical for bills in the state.
Introduced by Senator Tom Briese, the bill passed its final reading and was presented to Governor Pete Ricketts on May 20.
The original bill, which had been amended to prevent betting on Nebraskan college sports, outlined that no person under the age of 21 may place a horseracing bet and placed the Nebraska Gaming Commission in charge of providing licenses to, and regulations for, authorized gaming operators.
It also fixed a $5,000 fine towards any operator that defies the conditions outlined in the bill, and classified any operator or regulator that does not report rule breaking as guilty of a Class I misdemeanor offence.
In January 2020, Senator Justin Wayne introduced LB990 in Nebraska, a bill that would categorize sports betting, poker and fantasy sports as games of skill, therefore making them legal.
That bill was indefinitely postponed on August 13.