Nebraskans Rally for Mobile Betting with Public Poll

Ever since the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018, sports betting has been rapidly expanding across the country. Currently, 38 US states as well as DC offer some form of legal sports wagering, with several states currently working to legalize the activity and some that do not have any active legislation in place.

In Nebraska, only retail sports betting options are available, while neighboring states such as Iowa, Colorado, Kansas, and Wyoming all offer mobile sports betting. Efforts to legalize mobile betting in Nebraska are ongoing, with a bill proposing the legalization of online sports betting and industry stakeholders exploring options to push for the activity to be legalized.

A coalition consisting of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s economic development arm, Ho-Chunk Inc., along with leading sports betting operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Caesars, and BetMGM are leading the effort to support the legalization of online sports wagering in Nebraska.

The coalition is currently evaluating the likelihood of residents supporting the addition of mobile betting either through lawmakers or by adding a poll to the upcoming ballot in November. To gauge support, the coalition has launched a public opinion poll on the topic, with the results expected to shed light on residents’ views about mobile wagering.

Lance Morgan, Ho-Chunk’s CEO, emphasized the importance of public support for their “big plans,” and noted the growing number of requests for online sports wagering at WarHorse’s retail betting outlet. He explained that many people prefer to use their smartphones to place a wager rather than travel long distances to visit a retail sportsbook or go to a nearby state.

If supporters choose to legalize mobile betting through a petition drive, they would need to collect approximately 122,000 signatures from residents in the state by July 2024. Morgan expressed hope that if the public opinion supports the expansion of gambling with the addition of mobile betting, lawmakers will take the initiative and add the matter to the upcoming ballot.