Bill would open door to more gambling in Nebraska

State Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus

LINCOLN — A group of Nebraska lawmakers is proposing to open the door to all kinds of gambling in the state.

State Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus introduced a constitutional amendment Tuesday that would leave the regulation of gambling up to the Legislature.

He was joined by seven other co-sponsors. Among them was Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber, chairman of the General Affairs Committee, which hears and votes on gambling legislation.

Schumacher expressed confidence that Nebraskans are changing their traditional opposition to expanded gambling, especially given the amount of Nebraska money that goes into Iowa's casinos.

“I think the people are ready now to keep the money in Nebraska,” he said.

With a few exceptions, the Nebraska Constitution now prohibits gambling in the state. Exceptions include wagering on horse races, the state lottery and charitable gambling, such as keno.

Legislative Resolution 34CA would give the Legislature power to authorize and regulate any other type of gambling.

Schumacher said the change would make gambling like other businesses, which operate within laws passed by the Legislature.

To become part of the state constitution, the amendment would have to be voted out of the General Affairs Committee, pass three votes in the Legislature and be approved by voters.

Contact the writer: 402-473-9583,

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