One of Nebraska's casinos is currently pursuing an expansion in its gambling activities. Up to now, bettors have only been able to play slot machines at the state’s two racecinos. But that may change soon, as Grand Island Casino Resort is now looking to add table games to its temporary operation at Fonner Park.
Vincent Fiala, the casino’s general manager, said the property plans to add craps roulette and blackjack tables to its existing operation. The expansion also would include additional slot machines, restrooms on the casino floor, an expanded dining area and space for entertainment on the weekends.
The planned changes, Fiala said, will allow guests to “have as much of a resort experience as they can in the temporary facility,” which currently has about 300 slot machines, the Lincoln Journal Star reported.
The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission will consider the proposal at its April 14 meeting in Columbus. Should the commission vote to approve the expansion, Fiala said it would likely be July before table games are up and running; and that the actual timeline will depend on how long construction takes and how long it takes to hire the train dealers.
By the end of February, the Grand Island casino had already generated more than $1 million in gaming taxes in just over two months of operation with just slot machines. WarHorse Casino in Lincoln, which has been open since late September, has generated nearly $4.4 million in gaming taxes.
Interior of the Warhorse Casino in Lincoln.
Table games are likely to attract more gamblers, and the Grand Island operation could be the only one offering that option for a long time. WarHorse does not plan to add table games at its temporary Lincoln casino because it does not have space for it, notes the cited source.
However, it does plan to have sports betting, which officials hope to have the infrastructure for by mid to late May. WarHorse intends to have table games at its temporary Omaha casino once it opens, but that will not be until early 2024, said Pete Graziano, vice president of marketing for WarHorse Gaming.
Caesar’s Entertainment is planning to open a temporary Harrah’s Casino at Ag Park in Columbus later this spring, but it also will have only slot machines to start.