Nebraska Lawmakers Mull Ending Keno Waiting Period

Nebraska has a law that forces players of keno to wait five minutes between games. A lawmaker, Senator Tyson Larson, wants to change that.

Nebraska legislators are debating a bill that would eliminate a mandatory waiting period between playing keno games in the state’s casinos.

Currently players must wait five minutes between games. Senator Tyson Larson’s bill would remove that wait. Supporters of removing the period have tried once before to pass such a bill. According to supporters it would raise the state’s collected taxes by $1.3 million annually.

Larson, who is chairman of the legislature’s General Affairs Committee, has also sponsored a bill that would define poker as a game of skill. This would bypass the wording of the state constitution that prevents the legislature from allowing games of chance.

Larson told the Journal Star: “You can be a professional poker player; you cannot be a professional coin flipper. You can lose a poker game on purpose; you can’t lose a coin flip on purpose. You can have the worst hand in poker but be the best player,” Larson said. “The math is there; the statistics are there. Poker is a game of skill; it is not a game of chance.”

Larson would like to use the extra revenue generated by legalizing poker and eliminating waiting periods between keno games to help fund property tax relief.