ebraska State Legislature's Appropriations Committee on Monday heard several proposals dealing with setting up a Gaming Commission to regulate the casinos at racetracks approved by voters last November.
Committee chairman Sen. John Stinner said one proposal is for $225,000 to get the commission set up to operate between now and June 30, NET Nebraska reports. The commission is going to be a combination of the existing five-member Racing Commission with the addition of two members appointed by the governor.
Lynne McNally of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association said as soon as it’s set up, it will have applications to deal with. “The day that they announce they are willing to accept an application, you will have three applications on your desk. One for Omaha, one for Lincoln, one for South Sioux City. So that, along with three $1 million checks will also be sitting on Tom (Sage)’s desk. So the day that that’s available is the day that we apply. We are ready, willing and able to do that,” McNally said.
In addition to the three tracks whose casino applications McNally is involved with, there are also tracks in Columbus, Grand Island and Hastings that will be eligible to run casinos. Tom Sage, executive secretary of the Racing Commission which will receive the $1 million license applications, said things could move quickly once they’re received.
“What I’m being told by gaming operators, if everything’s going right and the commission’s able to receive applications by July 1, we more than likely could see some type of devices installed by the end of the year. That’s not a sure thing. But that’s a possibility,” Sage said.
He said the state would be getting tax revenue from a 20 percent tax on gross receipts, which he estimated at $245 million two years from now.