WINNEBAGO, Neb. (KTIV) - In November, Nebraska voters overwhelmingly approved casino-style gambling at the state's horse racing tracks. Now, that effort has taken another step forward.
Ho-Chunk, Inc., which is the economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, launched a new division called WarHorse Gaming LLC.
It will operate and manage the three new casinos Ho-Chunk, Inc., hopes to open next year.
WarHorse Gaming will develop the casinos at the state-licensed horse-racing tracks in Omaha, Lincoln, and South Sioux City. Ho-Chunk's President and CEO Lance Morgan says the casinos will bring tax revenue, and jobs, to Nebraska.
"We think about $90 million in taxes are going to be raised and before that, we only had talked about 60 to 70. But as we look at the markets in a more detailed analysis, about $90 million worth of property taxes will be just coming Nebraska's way, that plus about 4,000 to 5,000 jobs," said Morgan.
Morgan said the construction of the casinos will start as soon as possible and he hopes the casinos will be finished by the end of 2021.
Back in 2012, Ho-Chunk, Inc. bought the Atokad Downs property, in South Sioux City, and closed the track with future plans to open a casino on the site.
In September of 2015 Ho-Chunk Inc. initiated efforts to legalize casino gambling at the state's horse racing tracks. The constitutional amendment would have allowed casino gambling at the current tracks in Nebraska…including Atokad Downs in South Sioux City including Atokad Downs in South Sioux City.
But, in August of 2016, a proposal to allow casino gambling, in Nebraska, failed to qualify for the November general election ballot because it didn't have enough valid signatures. Then, in November of this year, Nebraska voters approved casino-style gambling at the state's horse racing tracks.