This story was published more than 4 years ago.
Residents of Nebraska are fighting to put a gambling referendum on the 2020 ballot, looking to legalize casino gambling in the state.
The move comes after lawmakers have taken steps to legalize sportsbetting in the Cornhusker State, but residents are looking to legalize casino gaming, as residents currently travel to neighboring Iowa to do their betting. Residents are working to gather signatures, and need to gather a large number to get the measure on the 2020 ballot, which will join presidential, congressional, and other measures to be voted on.
Residents for casino gambling say that they want to try to and keep money within Nebraska, while also providing tax relief in some areas.
"Now is the time. Casino gambling has been legal been next door in Council Bluffs for 25 years," said Mike Newlin, general manager of Nebraska Horseman. "People don't fear casino gaming the way they used to, they look at it more as an entertainment venue."
With that said, not all Nebraskans want casinos within their state. Pat Loontjer, the executive director of Gambling with the Good Life is one of those opposed. Speaking about the measure, he remarked: "You'll have an increase in crime, divorces, bankruptcies, abuse, a lot of negatives that come with gambling."
"The whole state of Nebraska would be affected. So if we change our constitution and allow slot machines to come in, you're going to have that poison all across the state."
We'll follow this story and update readers if numbers of signatures on the petitions are released.