Nebraska: Racetrack casinos generate $7.91M gross revenue in September, tax revenue sees an uptick

Racetrack casinos in Nebraska generated a total of $1.58 million in tax revenue in September for the state, cities, and counties, as per the latest records. The number reflected a 20% tax on the casinos’ total gross revenue for the month, which was $7.91 million, according to Omaha World-Herald.

The September tax revenue was up from July and August when the state recorded $1.54 million and $1.55 in taxes respectively. Three racetrack casinos are currently open in the state. These include WarHorse Casino in Lincoln, Grand Island Casino Resort in Grand Island, and Harrah’s Columbus NE Racing & Casino.

Sports betting also sees a rise in September 

The revenue generated from sports betting at the racetrack casinos rose in September for the second straight month owing to the football season, with sportsbooks open at the Lincoln and Grand Island casinos.

The gross revenue from sports wagering represented about 3.1% of the total gross gambling revenue posted by casinos during September, a narrow slice of the pie. Meanwhile, slots and electronic gaming devices at the racinos raked in nearly 30 times the gross revenue of sports betting.

Legal sports betting was launched in Nebraska on June 22nd with the opening of the sportsbook at WarHorse Casino in Lincoln, while the Grand Island Casino Resort in Grand Island launched sports wagering on August 23rd. Bettors in Omaha still are awaiting the opening of a sports betting window at the Warhorse Casino at Horsemen’s Park near 63rd and Q Streets, as per the report.  

The WarHorse Casino in Lincoln generated gross revenue of $180,224 from sports betting in September. This was up from $82,113 in July and $103,285 in August. The gross sports betting revenue was $67,382 in September at Grand Island, up from $2,366 in August, when the sportsbook there was open for only nine days.

The gross revenue from table games offered at Grand Island surpassed what came in for sports betting. The table games, like blackjack, craps, and roulette at the site brought in $151,737.

Racinos generated $12.9 million in taxes in the first nine months 

Nebraska voters approved ballot Initiatives 429, 430, and 431 to allow for casino-style gambling at licensed horse tracks in November 2020. Initiative 431 imposes a 20% annual tax on gross gaming revenue from games of chance operated at licensed racetrack locations.

In the first nine months of this year, the casinos have generated total gaming taxes of nearly $12.9 million. The report notes that seventy percent of the tax revenue goes to the state’s Property Tax Credit Cash Fund, twenty-five percent goes to the county where the racetrack is located, and if the racetrack is located partially within a city or a village, the county and city or village split it. The remaining 5% is split between the state’s general fund and the Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund.