Nebraska casinos move one step closer toward reality

Nebraska casinos move one step closer toward reality
Published: Dec. 17, 2021 at 9:39 PM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Nebraska has taken one step closer in the process of getting casinos up and running in the state — some, even here in the Tri-Cities.

Last November, Nebraskans voted to bring casinos and gambling to the state. The Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commissioners held a meeting Friday to discuss rules and regulations on casinos, and during that meeting, they voted to approve those rules.

However, this was not the last step in the process. Those rules and regulations first had to make it past the desk of the governor and the attorney general.

If they were approved, Fonner Park was planned to be home to one of the state’s first casinos. Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak said he was fairly confident the rules would pass. Kotulak also said, they had a ways to go before they could get the Grand Island Casino built and opened at Fonner Park.

“I’m appreciative with the energy and interest that the racing and gaming commissioners have put forth in getting the rules and regulations, but this is just one step in the process of getting casino gaming up and going, specifically at Fonner Park,” he said.

If the rules and regulations got the get-go by the state officials, Kotulak said their next step in the GI casino would be licensing the facility.

He added, the gaming would come to Fonner Park in two phases. The first, being the construction of a temporary facility that would house around 200 slot machines, the next step would be to get the permanent building open. Kotulak said they could potentially welcome their first guests into the casino in approximately two years.

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