Nebraska Online Gambling

Nebraska gambling laws ban most forms of betting, though the state allows a few idiosyncratic types of gambling. Bone fide games and skill machines are legal (for now). Sports betting and daily fantasy sports are illegal, though bills sit in both houses of the legislature to legalize DFS gaming.

The gambling laws are strict in Nebraska. Even football pools, March Madness brackets, and other such minor gambling is illegal. Social gaming is not allowed, while land-based commercial casinos are banned. Online poker, online casinos, and mobile gambling are illegal. In short, Nebraska legalized state-supported lottery gambling, charitable gambling, and Indian casinos.

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Laws That Pertain to Nebraska Gambling

Section 28-1101 [B] provides the official definition of gambling in Nebraska. Clause (4) states, “A person engages in gambling if he or she bets something of value upon the outcome of a future event, which outcome is determined by an element of chance, or upon the outcome of a game, contest, or election.”

According to Sections 28-1102 to 28-1107, the list of gambling crimes includes: promoting gambling activities, collecting gambling debts, and possessing gambling records or gambling devices. Organizing and promotion gambling can be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending frequency of the offense and the amounts wagered.

Section 29-1110 bans gambling (by residents) that takes place outside the state, “it shall be no defense to a prosecution under any provision of this article relating to gambling that the gambling is conducted outside this state and is not in violation of the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is conducted”.

Section 29.1110 refers to sports betting made over telephone lines and the Internet, much like the 1961 Wire Act bans such gambling. That being said, the above passage could refer to any form of online or mobile gambling, so long as Nebraska residents are gambling across state lines. While Nebraska law makes most forms of online gambling illegal, that does not mean Nebraska law enforcement prosecutes such infractions.

Nebraska Gambling Laws

Most forms of gambling are illegal in the State of Nebraska, though charitable gambling is widespread and the major forms of lottery gambling are available. Land-based casinos are restricted to five tribal gaming venues. The state of Nebraska continues to ban commercial casinos, though most of its neighbors have both.

One gets the idea Nebraska would ban anything but state-sponsored and charitable gaming, if possible. The 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act keeps Nebraska from an outright ban of tribal casinos, but the legislature has no interest in allowing commercial land-based casinos, online casinos, online poker sites, or sportsbooks.

Nebraska Gambling Laws

Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions

  • Online Gambling – No – Online poker and casinos have not been legalized.
  • Land-Based Casinos – Yes – 5 tribal casinos. No commercial casinos.
  • Charitable Gaming – Yes – Bingo, Pickle Card Games, Raffles, and Keno.
  • Lottery Betting – Yes – State Lottery (1993), Powerball (1994), Mega Millions (2010).
  • Minimum Gambling Age – 18 for charitable gambling, pari-mutuels. 19 for lottery. 21 for casinos.

Does Nebraska have land-based casinos?

Yes. Nebraska has 5 land-based tribal casinos. Class II gambling is legal in the state under the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (1988), a federal law which allows tribes which are accredited by the US Indian Affairs Bureau and which has signed a gaming compact with their state. Class III or Las Vegas-style gambling is illegal, so no commercial land-based casinos exist in Nebraska.

CASINOS

City Name of Casino Address Phone Number Detais
Emerson Iron Horse Bar & Casino 1106 South Main Street, Emerson, Nebraska 68733 (402) 695-0180 89 Gaming Machines
Lincoln Lincoln Race Course 7055 South First Street, Lincoln, Nebraska 68512-1000 (402) 474-5371 Race Book
Niobrara Ohiya Casino & Resort 53142 Highway 12, Niobrara, Nebraska 68760-7055 (402) 857-3860 408 Gaming Machines
Walthill Lucky 77 Casino 200 Main Street, Walthill, Nebraska 68067 (402) 846-5545 64 Gaming Machines
Winnebago Native Star Casino 1500 Industrial Parkway, Winnebago, Nebraska 68071 (402) 878-2901 85 Gaming Machines

Does Nebraska have any legal betting tracks / shops?

Yes. Nebraska has 5 racetracks which have pari-mutuel betting. The racetracks are found in Omaha, Columbus, Hastings, Grand Island, and South Sioux City. Each has a racebook, though the gaming facilities do not have betting shops or racinos.

Does Nebraska allow off-track betting?

No. Nebraska leaves its pari-mutuel betting to the official racetracks. The state does not allow off-track betting, a move designed to help the local racetracks themselves.

HORSE TRACKS

City Name of Casino Address Phone Number Detais
Columbus Columbus Races 822 15th Street, Columbus, Nebraska 68601-5370 (402) 564-0133 Race Book
Grand Island Fonner Park 700 East Stolley Park Road, Grand Island, Nebraska 68801-2200 (308) 382-4515 Simulcast Racing
Hastings Adams County Fairgrounds 947 South Baltimore Avenue, Hastings, Nebraska 68901-6718 (402) 462-3247 Race Book
Omaha Horsemen’s Park 6303 Q Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68117-1696 (402) 731-2900 Race Book
South Sioux City Atokad Race Track 1524 Atokad Drive, South Sioux City, Nebraska 68776-5423 (402) 494-5722 Race Book

Does Nebraska allow charitable gambling?

Yes. Nebraska has a varied set of charitable gambling options. Bingo halls are available throughout the state. Local raffles are held by charitable organizations. Keno betting is legal. So are “pickle card games”, which are similar to the pull-tab games that are popular in other states. Pickle cards look a bit like scratch cards, though they have a different game mechanic.

BINGO HALLS

City Name of Casino Address Phone Number Detais
Lincoln Cornhusker Bingo 2940 Cornhusker Highway, Lincoln, Nebraska 68504-1518 (402) 464-2558 400 Bingo Seats
Lincoln Superior Bingo 4400 North 48th Street, Suite 4, Lincoln, Nebraska 68504-1483 (402) 464-8000 300 Bingo Seats

Is Social gaming allowed in Nebraska?

Social gaming has not been formally legalized in Nebraska. Social gaming sites operate, but lawmakers and residents alike question the legality of such gaming. Sites like Big Fish Games, which offer “casual games”, operate in a legal gray area. Zynga and Double Down Casino sign up players, but the activity might be deemed illegal in due time. Nebraska players should check back periodically to make sure their social gaming is legal.

Nebraska is one of a handful of states in Middle America which have alternative forms of gaming, which are not considered gambling: bone fide games.

Are “bona fide” games allowed in Nebraska?

Nebraska allows “bona fide” games and skill machines. A “bona fide” game is a skill game in which the player bets against themselves. Nebraska’s official government website describes the type of games includes, stating, “Skill activities might include darts, bowling and pool tournaments.” Putting money in an arcade game or pinball machine is considered a bona fide game.

Poker and sports betting do not fall on the list of bona fide games, though. If the game has an element of chance, then it is not considered a skill game. In Nebraska, skill machines are defined as gaming machines that mostly involve skill. The Omaha World-Herald described skill machines thusly, “A slot machine, according to state law, is illegal when it’s primarily a game of chance or luck. A game becomes legal when it’s mostly a game of skill.”

The same article stated, “These so-called ‘skill’ machines, which also go by names like Nebraska Skill, Big Daddy, and Banilla, are thriving across Nebraska, tripling in number over the past three years.”

As one can see, US gambling is multifaceted, complex, and fragmented state-by-state.

 

Nebraska Online Gambling Laws FAQ