Ricketts objects to gambling mandate

SOUTH SIOUX CITY– Gov. Pete Ricketts renewed his objections Friday to broaden gambling in Nebraska, alerting a proposed ballot measure to legislate gambling establishments would bump up the state’s social costs.


“Gambling is bad for financial development. For each dollar you collect in tax revenues, you are spending three (dollars) in social services, whether it is kid abuse, spousal abuse, embezzlement. Gambling is not a financial driver for the state,” Ricketts said.

The first-term Republican guv spoke during a stop in South Sioux City, where Ho-Chunk Inc. plans to develop a brief horse track, sports bar and simulcast betting and events center at the website of the former Atokad Downs.

Ho-Chunk, the economic advancement corporation for the Winnebago Tribe, also has actually contributed more than $700,000 to keep the cash in Nebraska, a group distributing petitions for a constitutional modification that would legislate casinos at the state’s horse tracks.

The pro-gambling proponents hope to put the tally step prior to voters in November. Ricketts has actually lent his assistance to an anti-gambling group battling to defeat the step to play and have fun.

Last month, Alexcia Boggs, Ho-Chunk’s director of advancement, stated the South Sioux City track will be constructed no matter what happens with the casino ballot concern with.

Ricketts, an Omaha entrepreneur who won his very first term as Nebraska governor in 2014, said studies of medium-sized counties in neighboring Iowa with solitaire grand harvest free coins gambling establishments such as casinos online have actually revealed that dollars streaming to companies and pertaining to the state in sales taxes drop when compared with counties without gambling at.

While Ricketts said he would continue to speak publicly against an expansion of best gambling games in Nebraska, the governor said “there hasn’t been any discussion” on whether he would get on board with unique interest groups who are lobbying to oppose the mandate.

Ricketts spoke Friday at an occasion hosted by the South Sioux City Area Chamber of Commerce.

Ron Hartnett, of Dakota City, said he disagrees with the guv’s stance on expanded gambling. Hartnett said the 3 gambling establishments in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City draw ratings of patrons from Nebraska, so it would be better to have their gambling money turned into profits at the Cornhusker state.

“Sioux City has got a huge shot in the arm. It would be beneficial for tasks (in Nebraska),” Hartnett stated of the Ho-Chunk project.

Ho-Chunk’s strategies require building of a new track with bleachers near the goal and a 6,000-square-foot structure with a full kitchen and bar capable of accommodating 200 to 250 people.

The track, which would have one live racing date each year, is awaiting approval of its license from the state Racing Commission. Ho-Chunk makes strategies to construct the track this summertime and run a race at some point in September.