LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) – With the passage of all three casino gambling initiatives last month, stakeholders are moving forward with massive plans, hoping to build multiple casinos across the state. That includes one in Lincoln with a $200 million price tag.
Right now, the Lincoln Racecourse is a single building and a track.
If all goes to plan, Warhorse Gaming, LLC hopes to make it an all-inclusive destination.
“Keep that building and use it for a sportsbook and then build around it,” said Lance Morgan, the CEO of Ho-Chunk, Inc., who runs Warhorse Gaming. “We’re talking about a couple hundred-room hotel, a large gaming floor, restaurants, everything you possibly need.”
On Wednesday, Warhorse Gaming announced it expects some form of expanded gaming at the Lincoln Racecourse by the second half of 2021, and full casino operations by 2022.
Lincoln’s casino will be one of three expansions to existing fixtures across the state.
Ho-Chunk owns a racetrack in Sioux City and it’s working with Horsemen’s Park in Omaha.
“If you have a good gaming market, it’s not hard to raise capital,” Morgan said. “That process is well underway right now and we have people lined up to participate.”
In Omaha, Horsemen’s Parks renovations are a little more set in stone.
The Omaha Warhorse Casino concept has been locked in, and Morgan says Lincoln’s casino will share the same name but the concept will look different.
“We’re going for a very modern and contemporary look,” Morgan said. “Lincoln is a destination place for a lot of people in Nebraska and I think this will be the place to stay.”
While Wednesday was the first time that Lincoln’s upgrades were discussed, Morgan said they are starting to put a timeline in motion to get things going.
“Everything in place to start in the spring,” Morgan said. “Then it takes about nine months to a year to build. If we don’t have any problems, this time next year we can hopefully get open before New Years.”
While these plans are in motion, it’s important to note that they will not be able to move forward until licenses are granted and approved by the State of Nebraska, which is in charge of overseeing new gaming operations.
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