Casino gambling, regulation, distribution of funds on ballot
Three ballot issues from the initiative petition process cover casino gambling at licensed Nebraska horserace tracks, the regulation and taxation of that activity and the distribution of the proceeds.
They are: Initiative Measure 429, a proposed constitutional measure allowing casino gambling at licensed horse race tracks; Initiative 430, a proposed law setting up a regulatory framework for the casinos; and Initiative Measure 431, a proposed law to tax the casinos and direct most of the tax revenues to property tax credits.
It took a ruling from the Nebraska Supreme Court to clear the measures for the ballot. It’ll take a minute to grasp the domino effect of the three-part proposal.
Initiative 429 would allow for the enactment of Initiative 430, which would authorize and regulate gambling at licensed racetracks, and Initiative 431, which would impose an annual tax of 20% on gross gambling revenue of licensed gaming operators. Without the approval of Initiative 429, Initiatives 430 and 431 would not take effect.
Together, Initiatives 429, 430 and 431 would allow, authorize, regulate and tax gambling at licensed racetracks.
Nebraska Initiative 429 would add a new Section 24 to Article III of the state constitution to exempt laws authorizing gambling at licensed racetracks from the state’s constitutional prohibition on gambling. Currently, the Nebraska Constitution prohibits gambling, except for the state lottery, which was authorized in 1992, and authorized raffles intended to raise proceeds for charitable causes.
Revenue raised from the lottery is allocated to the Compulsive Gamblers Assistance Fund, the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund, the Nebraska State Fair Board and the legislature to fund education.
Gambling in some form is legal in 48 of the 50 states, with Utah and Hawaii completely banning it. Twenty-five states have legalized commercial gaming and 30 states have authorized tribal casinos.
Three states will be voting on measures concerning gambling. Colorado would allow local jurisdictions where gambling is legal to approve a maximum single bet limit of any amount and expand allowable game types in addition to slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette and craps. A second Colorado Amendment would lower the number of years an organization must have existed before obtaining a charitable gaming license