If you’re a fan of Nebraska sports betting, you’ll need this guide. Nebraska sports betting laws allow sports betting but only under certain circumstances. To get involved with sports betting in Nebraska you need to know what you are doing and ensure that you are doing it legally and safely.
This guide covers the state of Nebraska sports betting, how you can get involved, and where the best venues to get involved. Look at our guide to see all you need to know about Nebraska sports betting before you start.
Legal Online Nebraska Sports Betting
Nebraska sports betting is legal but limited. In-person retail wagers are accepted on approved venues, but online sports betting is not yet legalized. However, as long as you are in an approved venue, you can download and use a sports betting app as much as you want and participate in online gambling.
There are exceptions to the rule, however. Nebraska’s tribal casinos are approved venues for sports betting, which is helpful considering Nebraska has no non-tribal retail casinos and no racetracks. Meanwhile, daily fantasy sports betting isn’t explicitly illegal, meaning fantasy sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel accept contest entries from within Nebraska.
So, there are options for Nebraska sports betting fans to get involved with. But, with limited options, a dedicated Nebraska sports betting market is ready to be tapped.
How To Pick A Nebraska Online Sportsbook
Since the launch of Nebraska sports gambling in 2021, there have been a lot of choices in Nebraska sportsbook websites and sports wagering apps popping up. Among the names are the likes of BetOnline, MyBookie, Bovada, BetUS, GTbets, XBet, Sportsbetting.ag, Intertops, BetUSR, and BetNow. And, of course, there are the daily fantasy sports options of DraftKings and FanDuel.
Although, the law does stipulate that any Nebraska sports betting has to take place at a regulated and legalized venue, like a tribal casino or racetrack. There are no retail casinos or racinos in Nebraska, only horse racing tracks, which leaves very slim options.
If you are going to download a sportsbook to bet with, make sure it is safe to use. You’re looking for a license and regulation from an authority like the Nebraska Gaming Commission or the Nebraska Lottery. In addition, you might want to compare a few sites to get the best odds for your Nebraska mobile sports betting needs.
Signing up is simple enough. To begin with, you’re looking for a button that says “Join now” or “Sign up” or something to the same effect. Next, you must input basic details like your name, age, and address. These are necessary to establish whether you can legally use the site or not. From there, you can create your account with a password, username, or email address and then add your bank details to make your first deposit and start betting.
History / Timeline Of Sports Betting in Nebraska
The history of Nebraska sports betting is relatively short. However, with the overturning of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 by the Supreme Court, every state in the nation was now given the option to legalize sports betting, including Nebraska. As a result, in 2020, The Cornhusker State residents opted to vote for horse racing wagering at racetracks in the state. Horse racing was one of the few sports betting options legalized nationwide before the overturning of PASPA, allowing Nebraskan residents to ease into the concept.
And ease, they did. The next move was Bill LB 561, which allowed Nebraska sports betting in approved venues and on retail sportsbooks but did not allow for online sports betting. We’re now a year into that option, and there doesn’t seem to be much detail on whether there are further efforts to introduce online sports betting as a legal market.
Nebraska Sports Teams
Nebraska is a state full of sports fans, with the hub being Omaha, but having no major league professional teams themselves, they tend to borrow from other neighboring states. For example, there is a lot to love about Kansas teams. Kansas shares its teams with Missouri because Kansas City is split down the middle by state lines, but pride goes pretty far when the teams do well. These teams consist of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, the MLB’s Kansas City Royals, the MLS’s Sporting Kansas City, and the National Women’s Soccer League team, the Kansas City Current.
There is a lot of love to share in Colorado too, which has the Colorado Rockies for baseball fans, the Denver Nuggets in the NBA, the Denver Broncos in the NFL, and the Colorado Avalanche in hockey. And that’s all without mentioning the abundance of minor league teams, amateur teams, and college teams that make up Nebraska’s thriving sports scene.
Retail Sports Betting in Nebraska
So, we’ve established that Nebraska residents must be in a casino or horse racing track to participate in placing a sports bet. Unfortunately, Nebraska doesn’t have any retail sportsbook casinos except tribal casinos and no racinos, only horse racing tracks without the casino element. The tribal casinos and horse racing tracks in Nebraska are detailed further down if you are interested, but if you are looking for a retail casino to do some Nebraska sports betting in, you will have to look to your neighbors.
Wyoming also doesn’t have any retail casino gambling venues. However, it does have some tribal casinos and racinos detailed further down if you’re headed into The Equality State.
Kansas has three retail casinos, the biggest of which is the Kansas Star Casino. It has 1,850 slot machines, 50 table games, 13 poker tables but has yet to get its own sportsbook. Once sports betting is established in the state, you can enjoy Nebraska sports betting from one of the five restaurants, three bars, or even during a live concert.
Colorado has 31 options for you and has legalized sports betting in authorized venues, which means taking in tribal casinos and racinos; you have 33 options total. The three biggest casinos are the Century Casino Central City, the Wildwood Casino, and the Ameristar Black Hawk.
South Dakota has similar laws in that you are permitted to partake in some sports betting in authorized venues, and all in all that also means 33 casino options. 23 of those are retail casinos, one of which is a riverboat casino called the Buffalo Bodega Gaming Complex in Deadwood. It has 61 slot machines in a small venue that combines a bar that’s been around since 1877 with a remodeled lounge.
Beyond that, the three most prominent casinos in South Dakota are made up of the Grand River Casino and Resort, the Fort Randall Casino and Hotel, and the Silverado Franklin Historic Hotel and Gaming Complex.
Iowa sports betting is legal, including online sports betting, so you can bet pretty much anywhere in the state as long as you have a sportsbook downloaded. But no doubt you’ll want to visit one of The Hawkeye State’s 15 retail casinos. The biggest casinos in Iowa are Prairie Meadows and the Horseshoe Council Bluffs.
Tribal casinos often work under their own laws regarding gambling regulation. In the case of Nebraska sports betting, that means that they are the only venues so far permitted to offer sports betting as an option.
There are five in Nebraska in total: the Ohiya Casino and Resort, run by the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, the Rosebud Casino, operated by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe; the Iron Horse Bar and Casino and the Native Star Casino, run by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, and the Lucky 77 Casino operated by the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska.
The Ohiya Casino and resort is the biggest at 35,000 square feet. It houses 374 slot machines in a venue with a pool, hot tub, golf course, and live music and shows. The Rosebud Casino offers 250 slot machines as well as 4 table games and two poker tables, all in a restaurant and event center. Finally, the Iron Horse Bar and Casino offers 89 slot machines in one bar and restaurant. Unfortunately, none of these venues have an attached sportsbook, but you are permitted to participate in some Nebraska sports betting while on the premises.
However, if you want to make a trip, there are also five tribal casinos in Kansas, a state that has legalized sports betting but very recently, so you might have to wait for sports betting sites to get their licenses. There are two in Colorado and ten in South Dakota, which have similar laws to Nebraska sports betting laws in that you have to be in an approved venue, which tribal casinos are. Iowa has well established sports betting laws and four tribal casinos to choose from, and Wyoming has four tribal casinos and legalized online sports betting.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily fantasy sports betting typically legally occupies a grey area in the US, which is the case here. When daily fantasy sports betting first came on the scene as a concept, it was either lumped under the umbrella term of sports betting and instantly considered illegal, or it was left in limbo, deemed not explicitly legal but not illegal. Nebraska has gone with the latter.
So, with that in mind, that allows Nebraska sports betting fans to partake in sports betting legally, albeit fantasy sports betting. The good news is that it is often considered a game of skill rather than chance, so it’s not likely to become illegal anytime soon. And there are a lot of teams to get involved with. These sites tend to stick to the major professional teams, so Nebraska sports betting fans would have to look to Kansas or Colorado for a team to back, but lately, DraftKings and FanDuel have been expanding into college teams as well.
You don’t even need the sports betting element. Many sports fans have got into fantasy sports as a hobby, simply enjoying creating teams and predictions. If you want to partake in some Nebraska sports betting or simply see what it’s like for yourself, you can partake via DraftKings or FanDuel.
Offshore Sports Betting
Offshore sports betting is never a good option, and it makes less sense when you have the opportunity to take part in Nebraska sports betting safely and legally.
However, it’s worth remembering that offshore sportsbook betting is a lot laxer in its regulations, which means you are more likely to have your money taken from you unfairly and with no protection from an authority if that is the case. Therefore, if you insist on sports betting through an offshore sports betting site, make sure that it is at least licensed by an authority that the US government recognizes and approves of, so that would be either the Costa Rica Gaming Commission or the Curacao Gaming Control Board. However, even these two are not likely to give you the protection that a US-based gambling authority would if you lose your money unfairly.
Nebraska Horse Racing & Off-Track Betting
One of the few exceptions to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 was horse racing, so racetracks popped up all over the country while the law was in place.
There are no racinos in Nebraska, but there are a lot of horse racing tracks across the state, eliminating the casino element. So if you have your sportsbook downloaded, or the venue of your choice has one attached, you can participate in some Nebraska sports betting in one of these venues.
Fonner Park is the biggest horse racing venue in Nebraska. Located in Grand Island, the 1,000m oval track is accompanied by a lush dining experience and an events center with live entertainment. Fonner Park is also worth keeping an eye on since a Grand Island resort casino is in the works on the land.
However, that is a long time coming, so in the meantime, you can check out the other horse racing tracks in the state, like Lincoln Race Course, Hastings Exposition and Racing, and Ak-Sar-Ben.
Or, if you fancy a road trip, Kansas just recently legalized sports betting through its state and has a racino for you to get the best of both worlds. Enjoy 2,000 slot machines, 40 table games, and 12 poker tables at the Hollywood Casino at the Kansas Speedway. However, sports betting is very newly legalized so you might need to wait a while for sportsbooks and sports betting sites to gain their licenses to operate in Kansas.
Iowa also has legalized online sports betting and has done since 2019, so you can head to The Hawkeye State to visit one of (or both of) the two racinos in the state: the Q Casino and Hotel and the Prairie Meadows casino.
The Q Casino and Hotel, with its quarter mile racetrack, has over 830 slots to play, 22 table games, and 4 poker tables, as well as offering sports betting via its own branded sportsbook. Prairie Meadows, meanwhile, has 1,700 slot machines, 44 tables games, and 11 poker tables in a venue that also houses a 1-mile-long racetrack, three restaurants, two bars, and live music and events. In addition, Prairie Meadows also offers sports betting in the form of the Caesars sportsbook.
The neighboring states of Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota don’t have any racinos with the casino element to them. Still, they have plenty of horse racing tracks if you fancy sticking to horse racing for all your Nebraska sports betting needs. But it’s also worth mentioning that Colorado has the same sports betting laws in that you can bet in specific venues and has a complete list of 33 casinos to choose from, as does South Dakota and its 33 casinos. And retail and online sports betting are legal in Wyoming if you fancy a road trip into The Cowboy State and its four casinos.
Final Thoughts / Summary
Being a Nebraska sports betting fan is possible but limited. It is legal to partake in sports betting but only in specific venues, and Nebraska has relatively few venues to experience. It is permitted to participate in Nebraska sports betting, with no professional sports teams in the state and few nearby. The state’s love for college sports makes up for this, making the sports betting market ask for more input from the industry.
If you read our guide and download the right sports betting site, you should be able to navigate a market that allows for legal sports betting with some care as to where and how you do it. And if you’re desperate for somewhere to do some sports betting, there are plenty of options just a drive away across state lines.