On Friday, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission granted a license to Caesars Entertainment to run a temporary casino at Ag Park in Columbus. The temporary gambling venue will operate while construction work on Caesar Entertainment’s $75 million casino project is underway.
Don Ostert, general manager for Harrah’s Columbus Racing and Casino, said that the temporary casino is to start operating as of June 12. It will welcome visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 1 a.m. The gambling venue will offer 250 slot machines and electronic table games. This is the third temporary casino in the state after Lincoln and Grand Island, which have been operating for several months now.
What Gaming Options Caesar Entertainment’s Temporary Casino Will Offer?
On May 12, Nebraska’s third temporary gambling venue finally received approval from the state’s regulator. The temporary casino at Ag Park in Columbus will feature 250 slot machines and electronic table games. However, it will not offer live dealer table games. After the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission greenlighted Caesars Entertainment’s application for a temporary casino license, it became clear that the gambling establishment is to commence operations on June 12.
The temporary gambling venue will operate until Caesar Entertainment’s permanent Harrah’s casino and racetrack in Columbus opens its doors. It will feature a new one-mile horse racing surface, a 40,000-square-foot-casino and a sportsbook. A total of 500 slot machines and 14 table games will be installed on the casino floor. Additionally, the $75-million project includes several state-of-the-art bars and restaurants as well as a luxurious hotel operated by Marriott International.
The Two Currently Operating Temporary Gaming Venues Generate Millions of Dollars in Tax Revenues
Two other temporary casinos operate in the state, including WarHorse’s Casino in Lincoln and the Grand Island Casino Resort. Last week, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission released figures showing that the two gambling venues combined paid almost $1.4 million in gaming taxes last month and a total of $1.55 in March.
Last month, WarHorse’s Casino in Lincoln generated approximately $849k in gaming taxes, while casino taxes at the Grand Island casino were $544k. The state imposes a 20% tax on operators’ gross gaming revenue, which means that the two temporary gambling establishments combined made a bit under $7 million before expenses last month.
Lincoln Casino opened its doors last September and has pumped almost $6.2 million into Nebraska’s coffers since then, while Grand Island Casino has generated nearly $2.2 million in tax revenue since its opening in December.
Both casinos unveiled plans to expand their gambling offerings. Lincoln Casino will add sports betting by the next month, while Grand Island Casino will start offering craps, roulette, and blackjack. Besides, the gambling venue will provide its visitors with the opportunity to test their luck on the new slot machines it will install.
WarHorse will break ground on its permanent Omaha casino in late June or early July, and its main casino floor is expected to open next summer. Construction on the permanent Grand Island casino is unlikely to start until September.