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“Racino” Bill Gets First-Round Approval

       A bill easing Nebraska into new casino development while trying to prevent a surge in new facilities won first-round approval from lawmakers Tuesday.

     Voters in 2020 approved casinos at licensed horse racing tracks as a way to support the racing industry, but applications have been filed for both the 6 existing tracks and about a half-dozen proposed new ones in cities including Gering and Kimball.

      The measure approved this week allows the existing tracks to move ahead with their plans, but requires all new applications to wait until the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission does a detailed study on the potential impact of casinos on the state.

       The study would be due by January 1st, 2025, and would be the primary factor in the commission deciding to approve or deny new tracks and casinos.

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