Nebraska’s WarHorse Casino Lincoln to double in size with Phase 2 expansion

WarHorse Casino in Lincoln, Nebraska is poised to begin phase 2 of its expansion project, aiming to double its existing size. The successful approval and issuance of essential building permits have set the stage for the development to start this week.

According to a news report by Lincoln Journal Star, the casino’s expansion, slated to take approximately one year, is focused on creating an addition 900 gaming positions, including 10 table games such as blackjack, and improvements to the simulcasting and sportsbook areas.

Lynne McNally, CEO of the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, and partner of Ho-Chunk Inc. in the Lincoln casino, confirmed the development. “You’ll be able to bet the horse races and bet on a football game at the exact same time,” McNally said. “The gaming space will be much more spread out, much more comfortable, and we’re doubling the number of gaming positions.”

According to McNally, Phase 3, which involves the construction of a hotel, will commence shortly after the completion of Phase 2 and is anticipated to take approximately 18 months to finish.

I think that the potential is absolutely there in Lincoln for a destination casino. I’m actually looking forward to Phase 3 because that’s when the hotel will be complete,” McNally was quoted as saying. “When the hotel is finished, we’ll be the only racetrack in the nation that has all the south-facing rooms on the finish line so you can watch the races from your room.”

State casinos have been contributing significantly to state and city revenues. According to Racing and Gaming Commission reports, statewide gaming tax receipts experienced a notable increase of over 5% in June to $1.35 million compared to May, following the launch of Nebraska’s third casino in Columbus.

However, taxes collected at WarHorse Lincoln and the Grand Island Casino Resort saw declines of 8% and 9.8%, respectively, in comparison to the previous month. This occurred despite the much-anticipated opening of Lincoln’s sportsbook.

According to McNally, the current period is considered downtime for most sportsbook operations, often seen as the annual lull before the football season kicks in. During this time, betting options are limited, and wagers are typically centered around sports like tennis and baseball.

In the meantime, WarHorse is making strides towards introducing in-game betting, which will expand the wagering options available to customers, including prop bets throughout the course of a game.