A bill that sets up the framework for voter-approved casinos in Nebraska appears headed to the finish line. But a compromise stripped mobile betting and left wagering on Husker football home games on the sidelines.”We’re making sausage here and that’s about counting votes,” State Sen. Steve Lathrop said.Lathrop introduced an amendment to LB 561.It would not allow bets to be placed on mobile devices.Prohibit wagers on any Nebraska college sports team playing a game in the state.And it helps protect existing keno operators by requiring casinos offering keno to follow the same rules.”So we’ve leveled the playing field,” Lathrop said.He said without adopting the amendment, he didn’t think the bill had the 33 votes that are needed to pass.”When you are trying to get something as consequential as 561 across the finish line and you need 33 votes to do it you got to make some accommodations,” Lathrop said. But some senators didn’t like the last-minute audible on sports wagering.”If the football team is playing at home and you live in Omaha, you just have to drive across the river, take your dollars with you, that could be used for Nebraska property tax relief, and give them to Iowa,” State Sen.Tom Brandt said.”Eliminating the usage of mobile devices keeps Nebraska in the dark ages like we have been,” State Sen. Terrell McKinney said.State Sen. Adam Morfeld said people are betting illegally on Husker games using their phones.”It makes no sense whatsoever. It is literally just puritanical nonsense,” Morfeld said.”In the meantime, we don’t get the revenue,” Morfeld said.State Sen. Tom Briese said he would vote for the amendment, though he was concerned it continued to “chip away” at what voters overwhelmingly approved.”In the interest in moving things along and to ensure we can get this in place with all the safeguards and restraints that we have in this bill,” Briese said.In the end, 39 senators voted to adopt the amendment and send the bill to final reading.Lawmakers are expected to take a final vote on the bill next week.

A bill that sets up the framework for voter-approved casinos in Nebraska appears headed to the finish line.

But a compromise stripped mobile betting and left wagering on Husker football home games on the sidelines.

“We’re making sausage here and that’s about counting votes,” State Sen. Steve Lathrop said.

Lathrop introduced an amendment to LB 561.

It would not allow bets to be placed on mobile devices.

Prohibit wagers on any Nebraska college sports team playing a game in the state.

And it helps protect existing keno operators by requiring casinos offering keno to follow the same rules.

“So we’ve leveled the playing field,” Lathrop said.

He said without adopting the amendment, he didn’t think the bill had the 33 votes that are needed to pass.

“When you are trying to get something as consequential as 561 across the finish line and you need 33 votes to do it you got to make some accommodations,” Lathrop said.

But some senators didn’t like the last-minute audible on sports wagering.

“If the football team is playing at home and you live in Omaha, you just have to drive across the river, take your dollars with you, that could be used for Nebraska property tax relief, and give them to Iowa,” State Sen.Tom Brandt said.

“Eliminating the usage of mobile devices keeps Nebraska in the dark ages like we have been,” State Sen. Terrell McKinney said.

State Sen. Adam Morfeld said people are betting illegally on Husker games using their phones.

“It makes no sense whatsoever. It is literally just puritanical nonsense,” Morfeld said.

“In the meantime, we don’t get the revenue,” Morfeld said.

State Sen. Tom Briese said he would vote for the amendment, though he was concerned it continued to “chip away” at what voters overwhelmingly approved.

“In the interest in moving things along and to ensure we can get this in place with all the safeguards and restraints that we have in this bill,” Briese said.

In the end, 39 senators voted to adopt the amendment and send the bill to final reading.

Lawmakers are expected to take a final vote on the bill next week.



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