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US – WarHorse leads the way in Nebraska’s stellar first year of casinos

By - 22 January 2024

Nebraska’s first full year of casino gambling saw the state’s four racetrack casinos generate GGR of $89m spent on slots, tables and sports betting.

This total gave $17.8min casino taxes, of which, 70 per cent went into a state property tax credit fund. December raked in $8.9m, marking the second consecutive record monthly amount.

Lincoln’s WarHorse Casino accounted for the lion’s share of that total at $51.5m with $50.m spent on slots and $1.3m on sports betting. WarHorse in Lincoln opened in September 2022 as Nebraska’s first state-sanctioned casino.

Pete Graziano, Vice President of Marketing at WarHorse, said: “We’re very happy with the results we’ve seen so far.”

With a strong performance in 2023, WarHorse is looking to expand its Lincoln casino in the fourth quarter, doubling the size of its gaming floor, increasing its slots from 425 to 800 and adding 10 table with construction on a hotel to start soon after that. Construction is also ongoing at Legacy Downs WarHorse with live racing later in 2024.

The second was Grand Island Casino and Resort in December 2022, a temporary facility with a permanent one planned. It generated close to $30m in GGR for the year with $27.8m coming from slots, $1.1m from electronic table games and about $730,000 from live table games. Sports betting genrated $245,000.

Vincent Fiala, the casino’s general manager, said results were ‘above initial projections.’ It plans to have the full casino open in the first quarter of 2025.

Nebraska’s two other racinos were only open for some of the year.

Caesar’s Entertainment opened a temporary Harrah’s Casino at Ag Park in Columbus in mid-June. In just over six months, it generated $7.4m in revenue. It expects to open a brand new racetrack and casino at a new location later this year.

Nebraska’s Racing and Gaming Commission recently heard a proposal for a casino and race track in Fremont, Nebraska.

“We’d love to have this be a part of their community and help it grow,” said KWElite realtor and consultant Paul Bauer. “Not only with people and great jobs, but also financially as well.”

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