Nebraska Online Poker Law
With no casinos and only keno and lottery options available to its residents, Nebraska is far behind in the race to legalize online poker.
As recent as 2004, the governor pushed hard to allow its state to host casinos, but his efforts were viciously opposed by a grassroots effort that has been successful in fighting gambling expansion in Nebraska since 1994.
And they have a heavyweight, anti-gambling supporter in the Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, who is worth about $58 billion. The stock market genius calls gambling “a tax on ignorance,” and has lent his money, time, and powerful voice to the anti-gambling movement in Nebraska for the last few decades.
There are no signs saying that these gambling opponents would have the tact or sensibility to separate the game of poker from the slots and casino games they happily vilify.
It doesn’t matter that Buffett is a casual poker player and has hosted charity poker tournaments in the past. He even said this: “If you've been playing poker for half an hour and you still don't know who the patsy is, you're the patsy.”
The grassroots anti-gambling movement in Nebraska is so embedded and politically savvy, it fought off a casino-expansion bill even though it was heavily outspent. They also fought off an attempt at legalizing charity poker tournaments, misleading its supports that the law would allow “Poker Palaces” to spring up all over the state. According to organization “Gambling with the Good Life, “These have caused heartache and hurt everywhere they have been allowed.” Sounds more like they’re gambling with common sense, not to mention the truth.
They even fought off an attempt to lessen the time between games at a bars and restaurants that have “Big Red Keno,” from five minutes to three. Just imagine how they would attack online poker.
It would be interesting to see what Warren Buffett would do if an online poker bill was introduced, wouldn’t it?
When Will I Be Allowed to Play Online in Nebraska?
Nebraska is a solid red state, and it runs with a minimal balance deficit. Despite a fairly strong push to allow casinos to open in Nebraska, it was soundly defeated. A politician who mentions the legalization of any form of gambling — and sadly, online poker is lumped into that category — will face significant backlash from the conservative members of Nebraska.
Nebraska should serve as a reminder that people like this exist in all of the states, and they get stuff done through moral threats and exaggerations. They are in charge right now in Nebraska. Don’t look for online poker legalization to come to the state unless a drastic federal law goes on the books that doesn’t allow states to opt out (which is highly doubtful).