Proposed Nebraska Casino Loses Oklahoma Tribal Partner

Proposed Nebraska Casino Loses Oklahoma Tribal Partner

An Oklahoma tribe is withdrawing its proposed partnership to develop a new US casino and horse track in North Platte and Gering, in southwestern Nebraska. 

Tom Sage, executive director of the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission, said Global Gaming Solutions, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Tribe of Oklahoma, is no longer pursuing either project. 

According to the North Platte Telegraph, the tribe, which operates tribal casinos and racetracks in Oklahoma and Texas, has yet to give a reason for withdrawing from the agreement.

Will the Nebraska casino projects move forward?

Last year, Brian Becker filed applications for Scottsbluff Expedition and Racing in Gering and North Platte Exposition and Racing. Becker’s family operates a one-day annual quarter horse meet at FairPlay Park at the Adams County Fairgrounds.

At the time, Becker and Global Gaming proposed two oval racetracks with accompanying casinos. 

Now, the Sovereign Properties Holdoco of Ada, Oklahoma, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation, owns the Becker group’s planned casino site south of North Platte. The tribe purchased the 77-acre site for a little over $2.4 million.

Nebraska’s casino law

The original law passed by Nebraska voters in 2020 permits casinos at the state’s six licensed horse tracks. 

North Platte Exposition and Racing won a conditional use permit for its racetrack-casino in August 2021. North Platte Mayor Brandon Kelliher approved the proposal after a 4-4 city council tie.

The Scottsbluff project won its conditional permit in September after a 6-2 vote from the city planning commission. 

Legislative Bill 876, which would permit the construction of casinos beyond the original six race tracks, was tabled by lawmakers until they could study the socio-economic impact of Nebraska casinos. Per language in the law, such research studies must be done by Jan. 1, 2025. 

In May, Gov. Pete Ricketts signed off on casino regulations clearing the way for regulators to begin reviewing license applications.

Other Nebraska casino developments in the state

In June, WarHorse Gaming announced plans to redevelop racetracks in Omaha, Lincoln, and South Sioux City. 

WarHorse Gaming is a partnership between the NE Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and Ho-Chuck Inc., the development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. 

The group’s first project, Horsemen’s Park, will consist of 1,200 slot machines and an unspecific number of table games.

Additionally, the property will include NE sports betting. 

As mentioned, the state will have six casinos at each of the existing racetracks.

Those include:

Columbus – Caesars
Grand Island – Elite Casino Resorts
Hasting – Chickasaw Nation
Lincoln – WarHorse
Omaha – WarHorse
South Sioux City – WarHorse

Author: Tyler Gutierrez