A proposed horse racetrack and casino in North Platte, Nebraska, could bring about $115 million in tax revenues for the city, county and state over a decade, the organization behind the project claims.
The findings come from a regional market analysis commissioned by casino proposer Global Gaming Nebraska, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation’s Global Gaming Solutions, and were shared on Thursday morning, according to The North Platte Telegraph.
“The findings of this study verify our belief that western Nebraska is an untapped market for this type of entertainment facility,” Sean Boyd, president of Global Gaming Nebraska, said. “This study confirms that, if approved for a license, the investment we will make in these communities will have a positive impact on the western part of the state for decades to come.”
The Chickasaw Nation’s commercial business arm oversees more than 26 casinos in Oklahoma and Texas. They are partnering with Brian and Breanne Becker, who operate a horse racing operation in Hastings, on the racetrack/casino proposal.
The project is a five-eighths-mile oval dirt horse track and a roughly 40,000 square foot casino. It would feature more than 600 electronic games and is set to be constructed on a 73.58-acre tract of land in North Platte, between Interstate 80 and East Walker Road.
According to Boyd, the marketing study showed that the project could draw from a population of roughly 260,000 within a 125-mile radius, including out-of-area visitors from Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado. The project would lead to more than 180 jobs being created, with about a $5.5 million annual payroll.
In order for the project to become a reality, a series of hurdles must first be cleared. The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission is set to have a public hearing on a final draft of casino regulations in Lincoln, on December 17. If passed, the rules must then be approved by Attorney General Doug Peterson and Gov. Pete Ricketts.
Given that the potential track would then have to apply for a license from the commission, a process set to take months, the North Platte track and casino is not likely to open in 2022. “Could this be open in 2023 with horse racing in North Platte? That could be likely,” said Global Gaming Nebraska’s president, according to The Grand Island Independent.
If approved, Boyd estimates construction to take about 12 months. He hopes the casino and track will be built simultaneously. A total of six to 12 casinos could be approved in Nebraska, as the state moves to expand gambling.
Global Gaming Nebraska is also partnering with the Becker family on a racecino in Gering. According to the developer, the benefits to the community and in tax revenue would be similar for this second property. It is set to be developed about 175 miles from North Platte.