NC Rotary Club receives update on Nebraska casinos

Julie Davis
Nebraska City News-Press

Three casino projects in eastern Nebraska await the governor’s approval of rules and regulations so that construction can begin.

WarHorse Casinos in Omaha, Lincoln, and South Sioux City were approved by Nebraska voters in 2020.

WarHorse Gaming LLC, part of Ho-Chunk Inc., has partnered with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA), to bring casino gambling to the state.

NHBPA Executive Vice President Lynne McNally and President Robert Moser Jr. spoke to the Nebraska City Rotary Club June 16 to discuss the next steps in the project, which they hope will be operational next year.

Moser said future plans at the Lincoln Race Course include an eventual 200-day racing season.

However, barns must be built before the current racing calendar can begin to expand.

The Lincoln site will also eventually house a 5-story hotel with rooms overlooking the finish line, he said, and convention center space, along with an expanded sports book.

Moser said additional development, including apartments, a convenience store, and a possible truck stop, are also on the drawing board as the casino project gets underway.

McNally said construction will take 16 to 18 months after Gov. Ricketts approves the rules and regulations.

The Lincoln site had formerly been a Super Walmart site that had not been developed, said McNally.

“We intend to be a productive partner to the city of Lincoln and Lancaster County,” she said.

The Omaha site at Horsemen’s Park, which is on a 53-acre site, will not include a hotel or event space in the casino, she said.

For comparison, the Lincoln project is located on a 118-acre site.

The Nebraska City Rotary Club meets at noon Wednesday at Valentino’s, 1710 S. 11th St.

The presentation for tomorrow (June 23) is scheduled to be Nebraska City Public Schools Superintendent Mark Fritch, who will discuss the next steps in the school’s plans following the levy override veto in May. 

The June 30 presentation is scheduled to be Kevin Knorr, who will discuss “Drones in Agriculture and Other Uses.” 

Cole Sharp is the club president. Call (402) 873-0530 for more information.