Best Nebraska Sportsbooks February 2024
Following the 2018 PASPA Supreme Court ruling, the federal ban on sports betting was lifted after 25 years. This had momentous consequences in the legal landscape of many states, racing to regulate the industry. Nebraska may soon take some action towards legalizing online sportsbooks.
Currently, Nebraska online sportsbooks are illegal, but you can bet in-person at the WarHorse Casino in Lincoln, NE.
WHERE CAN I BET ON SPORTS IN NEBRASKA?
No, it is not because Scott Frost put a curse on the state-- online betting is not allowed simply because the strict laws put in place from previous years. Nebraska takes betting and wagering very serious, and it wasn't until late that a proposal was made.
However, LB561 which passed in May 2021 has finally come to fruition in June 2023, and bettors can visit the WarHorse Casino for retail sports bets.
- Most Likely Nebraska Online Sportsbooks
- Nebraska Betting Laws
- Nebraska Sports Betting: Events & Betting Markets
- Common Payment Options
- Nebraska Casinos
- Nebraska Horse Racing
- Nebraska Online Sports Betting FAQ
- Final Thoughts on Betting in Nebraska
NEBRASKA DAILY FANTASY SPORTS (DFS)
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a new way to play on major league sports teams and players in Nebraska. Try your sports knowledge skills by playing DFS, on a variety sports events like NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL PGA, MLS, and more.
MOST LIKELY NEBRASKA ONLINE SPORTSBOOKS
If Nebraska joins the wave of states legalizing and regulating online sports betting, top sportsbooks will flock to enter the market.
The following are some of the most likely Nebraska online sportsbooks, if they were to be able to offer betting in the state.
The world-famous MGM Resorts & Casino is one of the largest gambling operators in the United States. With dozens of properties in the country and around the world, the MGM brand is iconic in gambling. It has also been quick to react to changes in legislation across the nation.
Under the PlayMGM and BetMGM brands, MGM has offered online casino and sports wagering services since 2017. In New Jersey, BetMGM offers online sports betting to players physically located in the state.
BetMGM offers betting markets for the NBA, NHL, NFL, soccer, tennis, boxing, and MMA. It also offers live in-play betting and online casino games. It’s a robust gambling platform, developed in partnership with Roar Digital.
The operator provides a mobile app for players to wager on the go. BetMGM is well-suited to enter the market should state authorities move to regulate it.
A Nebraska online sportsbook and online casino offering would be the most likely, under whatever provisions the new law would instate.
The FanDuel Group was founded in New York, in 2009. In the beginning, FanDuel was a daily fantasy sports provider, enjoying tremendous success. The company quickly grew to become the second largest daily fantasy sports (DFS) provider in the United States.
Today, FanDuel has over six million customers, and is one of the top sportsbooks in the United States. It not only operates as a DFS provider, either. It’s now a full-fledged online sportsbook in states that allow it, such as New Jersey.
FanDuel is actively expanding to any US states that legalize betting activities. If the Nebraska online sportsbook market opens up, FanDuel is sure to want a slice of that pie.
Considering FanDuel already has a DFS presence in Nebraska, they’re well-poised to enter the market. They already have a significant potential player base, and the brand is favorably positioned within the state. They may well become one of the first Nebraska online sportsbooks.
FOX Bet is a joint venture developed by The Stars Group and Fox Sports. It marked the very first partnership agreement between a gambling operator and a major US sports network. This co-branded platform was announced back in May 2019.
FOX Bet offers free-to-play and real money gambling (in states that legally allow it). The platform is rapidly expanding, with generous welcome offer bonuses to attract new business. FOX Bet has its own dedicated mobile app, offering all the same functionalities as the website version.
Today, FOX Bet is one of the top sportsbooks in the United States. They offer daily free boosts across numerous sports and leagues. These include the NFL and NCAAF, NBA, NCAAM, MLB, PGA, NHL, pro soccer, pro tennis, UFC, boxing, and NASCAR.
Once Nebraska online sports betting is legalized, FOX Bet will likely be one of the first Nebraska online sportsbooks.
NEBRASKA BETTING LAWS
Lawmakers must overcome several legal hurdles to get Nebraska online sports betting legalized. Gambling is prohibited in Nebraska under a very broad definition, which includes wagers on the outcome of chance events, games, contests, and elections.
It's notable that a May 2021 legislative bill made it legal for bettors to place sports bets at retail casinos on an in-person basis. The first casinos started to accept sports bets in June 2023.
Gambling crimes in Nebraska include the promotion of gambling activities, collection of gambling debts, possession of gambling records, and possession of gambling devices. Residents are prohibited from gambling outside the state.
Existing laws also prohibit Nebraskans from betting over the telephone and internet lines. This bars Nebraska residents from downloading and betting real money on mobile sportsbooks.
Any Nebraska online sports betting regulation would require amending the state Constitution, to modify the definition of gambling, and its legality. Even with considerable support for such a bill, it would likely take quite some time to pass through the state legislature.
Until that time comes, the only legal forms of gambling in Nebraska remain in-person sports betting, the state-run lotteries (State Lottery, Powerball and Mega Millions), charitable bingo and keno games, and the handful of tribal casinos in the state.
The current minimum gambling age in Nebraska is 18 for charity games, 19 for the lottery, and 21 for casinos. Not all attempts to legalize sports betting in the state are necessarily going to have to face down the State Constitution, though.
Nebraska state senator Justin Wayne introduced new Games of Skill Act (LB990) to the floor of the senate. This act would have legalized sportbooks, DFS and poker. Stud games would not be classified as games of skills, only draw poker games and games with community cards.
By defining some games as skill-based, legislators would circumvent the need to redefine gambling, speeding things along.
NEBRASKA ONLINE SPORTSBOOKS: EVENTS AND BETTING MARKETS
Should the state go forward legalizing Nebraska online sportsbooks, numerous betting markets are likely to become available. The following are some of the most common types of bets you may find on sports betting sites, and can be found at retail books like the one at WarHorse Casino:
COMMON TYPES OF BETS
These are the most common types of bets in the market. Expect to see them available in the top Nebraska sportsbooks now that in-person betting is available.
- Moneyline or Win bet: Moneyline bets are the simplest wager you can place on a sporting event. The bookmaker provides each possible outcome (either team to win, or a draw) with odds. If you like the odds, you put up a stake. If you win, you get your stake back, times the odds.
- Point spread bet: A point spread bet is somewhat more complex. Bookmakers estimate the performance of each team, assigning them a certain margin of points (the “spread”) that they must beat. Favorites need to win by more than the spread, and underdogs need to win, or lose by less than the spread, in order to “beat” the spread.
- Handicap bet: Handicap bets are a lot like point spread bets, with a few key differences. The purpose of a point spread is to balance the odds of each bet in the market. Handicaps are assigned at intervals, simply to offer bettors more options and risk levels to consider.
- Totals or Over/under bet: Betting on totals, or betting on the over/under, is one of the most popular types of sports bets in the US. The over/under or total score is estimated by bookmakers for a team or match. Players bet on whether the actual score will be over or under the one set by the sportsbook.
- Special bet: Special or prop bets involve very specific events in a game. These include the first player to score, the score by a certain time, number of rebounds or touchdowns for a player, etc.
- Parlay bet: Parlay bets involve multiple markets on a single ticket and big potential payouts.
MOST POPULAR SPORTS TO BET ON
The following are some of the most popular sports to bet on in the United States. There’s a good chance these will become staples of the NE sportsbook scene once the state decides to legalize online betting--- and you can already bet on these in-person!
- NFL and XFL football
- MLB baseball
- NBA, WNBA and NCAA basketball
- MLS, UEFA and Premier League soccer
- Pro Tennis
- Horse Racing
- Greyhound Racing
- NASCAR and Formula 1 Motor Racing
- Professional Golf
- NHL ice hockey
- CS:GO and League of Legends eSports
POPULAR NEBRASKA EVENTS
Nebraska is a state with a long history of high attendance in spectator sports, with baseball and hockey at the top of the list in terms of overall popularity. The following are some of the most popular Nebraska sporting events.
- 2020 Big Ten Baseball Tournament
- Nebraska Cornhuskers Spring Game
- Lincoln Nebraska Big Red Challenge 2020
- UFC Fight Night Anthony Smith vs Glover Teixeira
BEST TEAMS TO BET ON
Nebraska has several professional and collegiate sports teams that attract attention from sportsbook bettors. These are the most popular professional teams in the state.
- Lincoln Saltdogs (American Association Baseball)
- Omaha Beef (Champions Indoor Football)
- Omaha Storm Chasers (Pacific Coast League AAA baseball)
- Omaha Heart (Legends Indoor Football League)
- Nebraska Bugeaters FC (United Premier Soccer League)
- Omaha City FC (Major League Futsal Indoor Soccer)
- Union Omaha (USL League One soccer)
The following are the most popular collegiate teams in the state.
NCAA Division I
- Creighton Bluejays (Big East conference)
- Nebraska Cornhuskers (Big Ten conference)
- Omaha Mavericks (Summit Conference)
NCAA Division II
- Chadron State Eagles (Rocky Mountain Conference)
- Nebraska-Kearney Lopers (Mid-America conference)
- Wayne State Wildcats (Northern Sun conference)
COMMON PAYMENT OPTIONS
Online casinos and sportsbooks in the United States have implemented several different payment methods for customers to use. If Nebraska online sports betting is legalized, these payment options will probably be available through operators in the Cornhusker state.
- American Express
- Instant Bank Transfer
- Cash at an affiliated retail sportsbook
While Nebraska currently has a complete prohibition of commercial for-profit casinos, that doesn’t mean there are no casinos anywhere in the state. In fact, Nebraska has a handful of legal Indian casinos.
The following list comprises all legal Indian casinos in the state of Nebraska. Should Nebraska legalize sportsbooks, they may become partners with large mobile sportsbook operators to share their state licensing, as other states have done recently.
- WarHorse Casino: Located in Lincoln, NE, this is Nebraska's premiere location for offering sports betting. Bettors can get on kiosks right on the casino floor and bet on their favorite sports for real money!
- Iron Horse Bar & Casino: Located in Emerson, Nebraska's South Main Street. Offers Class II video gaming devices that provide bingo games.
- Native Star Casino: Located in Winnebago, Nebraska, the Native Star offers Class II video gaming machines that offer bingo games, with promotional spinning reels.
- Ohiya Casino & Resort: The Ohiya Casino & Resort is north of Niobrara, Nebraska, on Highway 12. It offers Class II bingo video gaming machines.
- Lucky 77 Casino: The Lucky 77 is located on Waithill, Nebraska's Main Street. It offers Class II bingo video gaming devices, with spinning reels for entertainment purposes.
LAWS ON NEBRASKA ONLINE CASINOS
Gambling in Nebraska has been prohibited for a number of decades now. Under present law, Nebraska severely restricts commercial gambling, including Nebraska online casinos, online sportsbooks, poker rooms and horse race track casinos (racinos).
Legal forms of gambling in Nebraska are currently limited to in-person sports betting kiosks and Class II machines offering bingo games at tribal casinos. Charitable casino events are also permissible under current state law. The state also has a legal lottery game that residents may partake in.
Online sports betting is not allowed in the state. Commercial casinos are banned outright in Nebraska, online casinos included. Changing these laws would likely require amending the state constitution.
However, tribal casinos are allowed to offer sports betting on kiosks.
Another form of gambling that is legal in Nebraska is pari-mutuel horse betting. Horse betting in the state saw its peak in the early 20th century. Racetracks have seen a sharp decline since, with only three race tracks currently available in the state. They are the Lincoln Race Course, Fonner Park, and Horsemen's Park Horse Track.
NEBRASKA CASINO APPS
As there are currently no legal Nebraska online casinos, casino apps are scarce in the Cornhusker state. If the state senate moves forward with the LB990 Games of Skill Act, or any other similar bill, things could change quickly.
Neighboring Iowa, where sports betting was regulated in 2019, saw a quick rise in casino apps. Numerous online operators applied for Iowa state gambling licenses and joined the program. Nebraska online casinos may have a similar fate in store for them.
There are a handful of tribal casinos operating in the state of Nebraska. However, they are only licensed to offer Class II bingo gaming devices and sports betting kiosks to customers at their establishment.
Nebraska online casinos would require significantly more permissive licensing to operate. The best online casinos offer online slots, table and card games, live dealers and sportsbook services. If Nebraska wants to catch up with the market, they have their work cut out for them.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON CASINO GAMBLING IN NEBRASKA
Nebraska isn’t the friendliest state to online gambling operators. The state has a long history of restricting and prohibiting gambling activity. Factors like a changing national climate regarding sports betting, and increased competition across states line, may drive a change in that history.
It’s impossible to tell when, or if, Nebraska will choose to legalize online gambling and sportsbook apps. The state stands to gain significant tax revenue already leaking to its neighboring economies if they do.
Furthermore, both de facto DFS legalization and current proposed legislation signal strong official interest on the matter. There’s a strong possibility that Nebraska online casinos and sportsbook apps will begin popping up sometime soon-- and you can already bet in person.
NEBRASKA HORSE RACING
Horse racing has long been legal in Nebraska, another exception to the strict gambling prohibition. Nebraska legalized parimutuel betting in 1935. Horse racing in the state experienced a peak in the early 20th century, entering a slow decline ever since.
Of several original racetracks in the state, only a handful remain, including the Lincoln, Columbus and Fonner Park tracks. These race tracks also offer mobile horse racing betting apps for download.
The apps are “mobile-tethered”, meaning you need to register your account at the physical track. You also need to visit the track to fund your account. It’s not a particularly convenient situation. The racing schedule is quite limited in the state as well.
NEBRASKA ONLINE SPORTS BETTING FAQ
The following are some of the most common questions from players regarding Nebraska online sports betting.
ARE SPORTSBOOKS LEGAL IN THE UNITED STATES?
Following the 2018 PASPA Supreme Court decision, sports betting stopped being banned at the federal level. This doesn’t make it legal by default, though. States have to approve sports betting legislation and regulations for it to become fully legal.
Several US states have enacted such legislation, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Iowa, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New York, West Virginia, Nevada, New Mexico, Indiana and more. Several other states have been considering or are reviewing bills.
WHAT DO I NEED TO REGISTER AT AN ONLINE BETTING SITE IN NEBRASKA?
The first thing you’ll need is to wait for the state to legalize online sportsbooks and casinos. Afterwards, registration should be straightforward, providing your personal and contact details and verifying them to open an account.
It’s possible that Nebraska may pass a bill requiring player accounts to be originally registered with the casino. In that case, you may have to visit one of the Indian casinos, horse racing tracks or some other retail gambling facility created for such a purpose.
IS IT SAFE TO DEPOSIT MONEY AT SPORTSBOOKS IN NEBRASKA?
When Nebraska online sports betting becomes fully legalized, using a licensed and regulated casino operator will be perfectly safe. Your money will be protected by the legal framework and the oversight authorities designated to control operators.
However, in the meantime, any sports wagering that happens in Nebraska cannot be legally enforced. This means that any option available now are probably not safe places to place your money.
CAN I SET BETTING LIMITS?
Absolutely. Virtually all legal gambling operators today offer players the ability to restrict their own play. There are often several different limits you can apply to your account for certain periods. Other operators allow players to set custom limits as they wish.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BETTING IN NEBRASKA
With a large audience of dedicated sports fans, Nebraska could stand to gain a lot from legalizing sports betting. While not every voice in the state agrees with a bill proposal or with legalizing sportsbooks as a whole, the idea has built up considerable momentum.
Recent legislation in neighboring Iowa regulating sports betting and casinos is also cause for concern. Many fear that if Nebraska doesn’t legalize and regulate gambling, their players will simply go to Iowa to spend their money. With that in mind, it seems likely that the state will implement some type of legalization act in the near future.