Nebraska gaming commission unveils catalog laying out what sports bettors can wager on ahead of June launch

The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission approved on Friday a sports wagering catalog that lays out what sports bettors will be able to wager on. Retail sportsbooks, which are expected to start accepting bets within the next month, will be allowed to offer odds on all major league sports as well as professional bull riding, rodeo, tennis, golf, and motorsports. The list also included college sports such as football, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, water polo, swimming, and field hockey. However, there are no international sports included.

Tom Sage, Executive Director of the Racing and Gaming Commission, said the goal is to start with a reasonable amount of sports, make sure the operators and commission can handle the level of betting activity, and then consider expansions later. “We felt it was better to start out slower, with less wagering types (and) less product to bet on,” he said, as reported by Lincoln Journal Star

The list does not include international sports, meaning no bets on this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup or European soccer games. “This catalog more than likely will grow,” Sage noted. “I was not comfortable putting in some of the sports I did not understand.”


The executive explained that the main requirement is that any sport proposed to be added to the catalog has to be a sport and/or league that has a regulatory body. 

The temporary WarHorse Lincoln Casino

WarHorse Lincoln is expected to be the first location to allow sports betting. However, a precise official launch date has yet to be confirmed.

Lynne McNally, CEO of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which is a partner in the Lincoln casino with Ho-Chunk Inc., said the casino had hoped to start offering sports betting this month, but some of its vendors have not completed all of their necessary application materials.

According to McNally, WarHorse is now shooting for a mid-June start for betting. “We would love to be able to accept bets on the College World Series,” she said, which begins June 15.

Nebraska sports betting was approved by voters along with casino gambling in the November 2020 election, but the commission focused on getting casinos up and running first. Sports betting rules finally went into effect at the beginning of February after Gov. Jim Pillen signed off on them.

The rules, as approved by the Legislature, require bets to be made in person at a casino and also do not allow people to bet on Nebraska college teams when they are playing in games in the state. That prohibition will apply not only to the state’s three Division 1 universities — Nebraska, Creighton, and Omaha — but also to smaller colleges. Betting will be allowed on college basketball down to the Division 3 level and college football down to the Division 2 level.

According to the above-mentioned media, Sage said that as difficult as it was to get casinos started, it’s been harder, at least from a regulatory standpoint, to get sports betting up and running.We all thought slot machines, table games, and such was difficult to get going … Sports wagering is double difficult to get going,” he said.

Access here to see the full catalog of allowed sports.