Casino gambling in Nebraska's future?

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Updated: Wed, 22 Jan 2014 06:22:04 CST

If casino gambling were on your next ballot, how would you vote? That's one of the latest issues to hit the Senate floor...

Already the state has keno, horse racing, and the lottery; but with a constitutional amendment, one state senator is now fighting to up the stakes in Nebraska even higher.

Karpisek: It would allow voters to vote on if we have casino gambling in the state then each community would have the chance to vote if they want it or not.

Track: Senator Karpisek proposed the Constitutional Amendment this week... But wouldn't be the first time casino gambling is on Nebraska's ballot.

Karpisek: I think a lot of people were confused.  I know when I voted I was confused.  One was through an initiative process and the other was from the legislature.

Track: And why should dealers start rolling the dice?  Senator Karpisek says with casino friendly states surrounding Nebraska... We're losing valuable dollars.

Karpisek: We have buses full of people leaving the state to go there.
Almost every bank sponsors a bus, almost every farm group sometimes sponsors buses to go over to Casinos.

Track: The Amendment clearly defines where those dollars would go.
Including property tax relief, public schools, the Department of Natural Resources, Game and Parks and a Gamblers Anonymous fund.  And it's for those financial reasons why some senators are saying, bring on the blackjack.
Nordquist: If you go over to the casinos on a Friday or Saturday night in Iowa, well over half the cars, if not more are from Nebraska.
Schumacher: Today we are sending somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 million dollars a year of Nebraska money out of state, to nearby states, for the purpose of gambling.
Track: But with such a controversial amendment at hand... Not all senators are so eager to double down...
Carlson: A lot of people that spend money there spend money that they really don't have, so it's a form of a tax on people that really can't afford it.

Senator Karpisek doesn't expect an easy road for the bill. He says if it gets out of committee, he does expect the bill to be filibustered.