The brand new WarHorse Casino in Lincoln, Nebraska is in the works. In the meantime, the owners received permission to operate a temporary gaming facility.
Earlier this month, the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association filed the paperwork. This involved a $2.4 million building permit for the project. The idea is to transform the existing simulcast building at Lincoln Race Course.
The horse racing track is located near US 77 and West Denton Road. The proposed temporary casino floor would house as many as 300 slot machines. This was confirmed by Lynne McNally as the group’s executive vice president.
The goal is to still offer simulcast betting on a smaller scale. The rest of the building’s space would be used for adding the slot machines. It was stated that,
“we’re hoping to make it work and be able to run both operations out of the same space.”
This could be a stretch on weekends with the anticipated crowds. The construction timeline for the full WarHorse Casino is 18 to 24 months once construction begins. This would be the largest Nebraska casino venue in the state when complete.
Nebraska lawmakers recently paved the way for legal retail casinos and sportsbooks in existing horse racing tracks . There are a total of six tracks in the state that are now able to add a casino and sportsbook.
While the state’s governor has already signed off on the new legislation, the regulatory process has just begin. As the director of the Nebraska Gaming and Racing Commission (NGRC), Tom Sage is heading up this task. He is in the process of bringing in gaming consultants. He is also tasked with the review of proposed gaming rules and regulations.
The NGRC is looking to have a consultant in place by July 1. A four-week timeframe has been created for the full review. The next step in the process involves public comment on the proposed rules. This normally lasts 30 days.
From there the state’s Attorney General would have to perform a complete review. Once approved by the governor, the proposal moves to the Secretary of the State’s office for official recognition.
If this process moves along at a steady pace, applications for a license would take place in September. The vetting process for license approval would take another 30 days. This leaves several months of work tied to the regulatory approval process. WarHorse Casino’s temporary slot lounge could be the green light to launch by the end of the year at best.