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Major events in Nebraska gaming history


Ak-Sar-Ben opens in June for its first official race meeting after holding informal races the previous two years


The State Racing Commission is created and the modern pari-mutuel era begins


Columbus Races holds its first horse race meeting


Fonner Park opens in April


Atokad Park opens in September


Bingo is legalized for charitable purposes


A constitutional amendment is passed authorizing lotteries and raffles


Local option lotteries are authorized for counties, cities and villages


Effective January 1, gaming machines are banned for local option lotteries
The City of Bellevue is the first to implemented a keno lottery


Simulcasting begins at the racetracks


Scratch-off instant tickets are prohibited as a local option lottery game


Voters approve a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery


The Lottery begins operations in September


In July, Powerball becomes the Lottery’s first draw game


Last year of racing at Ak-Sar-Ben
The Lottery introduces its own lotto game, Pick 5


Ohiya Casino opens in February


Horsemen’s Park opens in July, replacing
Atokad fails to run a live race meet and is sold at auction


Atokad is renamed Horsemen’s Atokad Downs and reopens after a three-year hiatus


The multistate 2x2 is the Lottery’s third lotto-style game


Iron Horse Bar & Casino opens in July


The Lottery launches Pick 3 in May


MyDaY sales begin in October, a unique date-based lotto-style game


Lincoln Race Course opens on the grounds of the old state fairgrounds


The Lottery adds Mega Millions in March


Horsemen's Atokad Downs is sold in May and closes for good

Casinos and casino-style gaming

Counties and municipalities have offered fast-draw keno games since 1985. Local option lotteries for community betterment purposes were legalized in 1977; early offerings included electronic gaming machines (video poker) and instant scratch tickets, but these were banned in 1985 and 1991, respectively. There are currently about 145 counties, cities and villages licensed to conduct keno lotteries, and games are available in about 700 individual locations.

Charitable Gaming Division
Nebraska Department of Revenue
1800 “O” Street, Suite 101
P.O. Box 94855
Lincoln, NE 68509-4855
Phone (877) 564-1315 or (402) 471-5937

Tribal gaming

Three tribes offer Class II gaming at casinos within Nebraska; a fourth tribe (Rosebud Sioux) is based in South Dakota and operates a casino just south of the state line in Nebraska.

Omaha Tribe of Nebraska – Lucky 77 Casino
Rosebud Sioux Tribe of the Rosebud Indian Reservation (South Dakota) – Rosebud Casino
Santee Sioux Nation – Ohiya Casino
Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska – Iron Horse Bar & Casino, Native Star Casino


The Nebraska Lottery began operations in September 1993. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Pick 3, Pick 5, 2x2 and MyDaY.

Since 2004, Lottery proceeds have been distributed 44.5 percent to education, 44.5 percent to the Nebraska Environmental Trust Fund, 10 percent to the Nebraska State Fair and one percent to the Compulsive Gambler Assistance Fund.

Nebraska Lottery
P.O. Box 98901
1800 “O” Street, Suite 101
Lincoln, NE 68509
Phone (402) 471-6100


Pari-mutuel facilities

There are four racetracks offering Thoroughbred racing and one track licensed to offer Quarter Horse racing.

Columbus Races
822 15th Street
Columbus, NE 68601

Fonner Park
700 E. Stolley Park Rd.
P.O. Box 490
Grand Island, NE 68802

Lincoln Race Course
P.O. Box 84876
Lincoln, NE 68501

Horsemen’s Park
6303 Q Street
Omaha, NE 68117

Hastings Fairplay Park (Quarter Horse)
947 S Baltimore Ave.
Hastings, NE 68901

Nebraska State Racing Commission
5903 Walker Ave.
Lincoln, NE   68507
Phone (402) 471-4155  

Charitable gaming

Qualifying non-profit organizations may offer lotteries, raffles, bingo and pickle cards (pulltabs) for the purpose of revenue generation.

Charitable Gaming Division
Nebraska Department of Revenue
1800 “O” Street, Suite 101
P.O. Box 94855
Lincoln, NE 68509-4855
Phone (877) 564-1315 or (402) 471-5937

Last updated on March 15, 2016