Nebraska Legislators Consider Constitutional Amendment

A Nebraska legislative committee recently heard testimony regarding a proposal to let voters decide if they want to legalize casino gambling. State Senator Russ Karpisek, sponsor of the bill, said casino tax revenues could help fund education and offer property tax relief.

The Nebraska General Affairs Committee recently held a hearing on state Senator Russ Karpisek’s proposal to let voters determine if they want legalized casino gambling. If approved by the legislature, the amendment would appear on the general election ballot this November. Local voter approval would be required before any city or county could allow casino gambling.

Karpisek said casino tax revenues could provide property tax relief and help fund education.

The bill would help move forward plans announced last year by Ho-Chunk, the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska’s economic development corporation, for a $30 million casino and entertainment venue at the former Atokad horse track in South Sioux City.

Pat Loontjer of the anti-gambling group Gambling with the Good Life said the social costs of expanded gambling outweigh the benefits.

The committee took no immediate action on the bill. Similar bills have been rejected by lawmakers in recent years.