Nebraska is yet another state with a less-than-peppy sports market. They do plant allegiant flags in the Creighton basketball and Nebraska football programs, but their ties to professional franchises are nonexistent. They don’t have any teams representing them across either of North America’s four major leagues, and as such, they typically find themselves rooting for squads located in Missouri—or, in some cases, cheering for no one at all.
Nebraska Sports Betting Law
Sports betting laws in Nebraska are, for the most part, pretty standard. Sportsbooks will not be found at their casinos, and they are, like basically every other state, intolerant of domestic bookies and on-site or online wagering entities.
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Tribal Casinos Only
Four tribal casinos are peppered throughout the state of Nebraska, all in different cities. The gambling experience at these establishments differs from most others in that they’re very slot-heavy and don’t promote themselves as destinations.
Patrons won’t find places to spend the weekend on-site. Nebraska isn’t about that pomp. The casinos do not place an emphasis on entertainment, because again, they’re not trying to be a long-term destination. In fact, some of them don’t even stay open that late. The Lucky 77 Casino, for instance, closes up shop at 8 p.m.—and that’s on a Saturday night. Corporate casinos, meanwhile, are not yet allowed. Nebraska has its four tribal locations, and that’s it for now.
A lot of people are under the impression that poker is illegal in Nebraska.
It’s not. Instead, it’s specifically identified as a form of gambling. Where other states have taken the position that these card games are ones of skill, Nebraska has essentially drawn a line in the sand saying they’re more contests of chance.
Regardless, your poker night at home is more than fine. Legal infractions only come into play when you’re promoting them and profiting off them outside of the game itself, since it’s an official form of gambling and the state of Nebraska doesn’t allow for companies or individuals to pimp products and events and services pertained to wagering.
Pending Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
Nebraska isn’t all conservative when it becomes to gambling. Well, almost. Daily fantasy sports aren’t yet accepted as games of skill, but there is proposed legislation that would make sites like Draft Kings and FanDuel completely and totally allowable.
Granted, it’s unclear what side of the fence Nebraska will ultimately fall on. Parsing state views on poker is typically a good barometer for determining the chances of daily fantasy sports being approved, and since Nebraska considers it a patented method of gambling, the pending bills may ultimately be rejected. At the very least, it’s probably going to take some time, tweaks, amendments and resubmissions before anything is passed through in the affirmative.
Gambling Online: The Best Kind of Betting
Like pretty much every other state, Nebraska isn’t in the business of shedding clarity in the area of online betting. They cannot track revenue streams as easily as they can for casinos, so stateside sportsbooks and digital casinos are out of the question, but they’re not going to waste resources trying to monitor overseas betting.
They leave that up to the federal government, which, aside from asking you to report winnings on tax sheets, doesn’t really get caught up in outlawing online wagering. Given the small pack of on-site options in Nebraska—race tracks and four casinos—turning to international sites online is a more convenient and comprehensive way to sate your appetite for betting.
Nebraska Gambling Law Overview
Please see below for a more specific breakdown of what betting types are and aren’t allowed in Nebraska at this time.
- Casino Gambling: Not legal
- Tribal Gambling: Legal (but Maine has rejected past proposals from tribes)
- Poker: Legal
- Horse-Race Betting: Legal
- Dog-Race Betting: Not legal
- Lottery: Legal
- Daily Fantasy Betting: Not legal (but there is a pending proposal)
- Social Gambling: Legal
- Charitable Gambling: Legal
- Online Gambling: Not specified
Nebraska Sports Teams
Nebraska Cornhuskers (College Football)
The Nebraska Cornhuskers are by far the most popular sports team in the state. Nebraska has a population just large enough (a little under $2 million) to routinely pack its 86,000-plus seat Memorial Stadium, while playing under the Big 10 classification takes care of the rest.
In their 118 years of existence, the Cornhuskers have gone to 53 Bowl games, grabbed 43 conference championships and finished the season ranked as one of the AP’s top 25 teams on a whopping 48 occasions. While they have a losing record in Bowl games, they’ve earned the right to play in such big-time tilts through each of the last nine years, and they’ve closed the season with a sub-.500 record record just twice since 2008.
Creighton Bluejays (College Basketball)
The Creighton Bluejays have been around for 97 seasons, but they weren’t always the national college basketball powerhouse they are now.
They didn’t start gaining real traction until the end of the 1990s—the 1998-99 campaign to be more specific. That began a run of five straight NCAA tournament appearances, which turned out to be relevancy they have parlayed into modest success ever since.
No, the Bluejays have never won a national championship. They haven’t even made it past the third round since 1974. But they’ve been good enough, for long enough, to wedge their way out of the Missouri Valley Conference and into the vaunted, albeit slumping, Big East, where they reside now.
Omaha Storm Chasers (Minor League Baseball)
Initially called the Omaha Royals and Omaha Golden Spikes, the Omaha Storm Chasers are the Triple-A affiliate for MLB’s Kansas City Royals. Despite the semi-frequent name-changes, the Storm Chasers are one of the more prominent minor league baseball organizations in the nation. They’ve been an affiliate of the Royals since 1969, and at the Triple-A level, they’re now the final stop (usually) for prospects looking to make their way to an actual MLB clubhouse.
Nebraska’s Biggest Sporting Event of the Year
College football and basketball take precedence over everything else in Nebraska, but the state is nevertheless home to the College World Series, which takes place every June in Omaha, Nebraska.
It has been up and running since 1947, during which time no college has raked in more championships than USC’s 12 titles.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers do have a viable baseball program. How could they not when their home state plays host to the College World Series? Their existence is just overshadowed by a juggernaut football program. They haven’t won any titles over the last decade, but they do have three championships to their name—all of which came in a five-year span (2001, 2002, 2005).