New Nebraska Sports Gambling Bill Would Allow In-State College Betting

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated January 31, 2023
4 min read
  • A New Nebraska Bill – LB168 – Would Make Betting on In-State College Sports Legal

  • NE Legalized Sports Betting in 2021, Market Has Yet to Launch as Rules Are Finalized  

  • Nebraska’s State Legislature’s 2023 Session Runs from January Through May 26

New Nebraska Sports Gambling Bill

In an attempt to correct what is considered by some to be a confusing law, Nebraska legislators will consider a new bill – LB168 – during their current session, a proposal to make in-state college betting legal for residents, that’s according to reporter Bella Caracta of WOWT News.

The current sports betting law in Nebraska prohibits residents from betting on any Nebraskan university teams when they are playing in the state, but that gets confusing, says, State Sen. Eliot Bostar of Lincoln, when the exceptions are considered:

“You can bet on Nebraska teams when they’re playing away, for example. And out of state, you can bet on Nebraska teams when they’re playing here in Nebraska. But you can’t bet on teams when they’re playing here in Nebraska if you’re doing the betting in the state. And that just doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

On top of that, according to WOWT, the law in place does not keep residents from betting on Nebraskan college teams because they are instead “crossing the state line to press their luck,” as well as placing their bets using unregulated offshore sportsbooks.

Of course, this debate is all theoretical until the Nebraska legal sports betting market actually launches.

NE Legalized Sports Betting in 2021, Market Has Yet to Launch as Rules Are Finalized

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018, over thirty states have legalized sports betting in some way – either with a mobile or retail option or both – and part of the process of setting up those markets includes a regulatory period where the rules are set up.

During that time, various factors are debated like tax rates and licensing fees and the penalties for failure to comply plus there is a testing of the betting process to ensure there will be safe transactions and more, all items to be decided upon by whatever regulatory body is in charge.

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission (NRGC) is responsible for overseeing those steps for that market, and ever since the state legalized sports betting in 2021, the NRGC has been struggling to put together a set of rules and regulations that satisfy everyone involved.

As a result, there is still no actual sports betting in Nebraska, though last week the NRGC unanimously approved a revised set of retail sports betting regulations, so that could be a sign that the market there is finally ready to launch.

There will be some more work to do before then, however.

Nebraska’s State Legislature’s 2023 Session Runs from January Through May 26

Caracta reports that before the Nebraska sports betting market can launch, “rules for sports betting must first be approved by the governor, followed by adding infrastructure in casinos to place the bets,” more time added to the already slow-motion process.

The in-state college sports betting bill LB168 was introduced to the Nebraska legislature on January 9 and referred to the General Affairs Committee, so its lawmakers would have to approve it before the next NRGC hearing takes place.

Sen. Eliot Bostar seems to think that lawmakers will see the logic in this bill, telling WOWT:

“This is simply clarifying that we shouldn’t vase these types of statues on the simple geography.”

Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.

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Mike Lukas

Sports Betting & Gambling Industry Analyst

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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
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Favourite Casino: Caesars Palace Casino
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