Key Economic Impacts

of the Keep the Money in Nebraska Ballot Initiative

Economist Jonathan B. Taylor studied the economic impact of expanding casino gaming at Nebraska’s horse tracks. His April 3, 2020, report key findings in brief include:

  • Keeping the money in Nebraska would bring in more than $65 million a year in gambling taxes to help defray property taxes, bolster local government budgets, and provide counseling to problem gamblers.
  • Nebraskans can be assured of net economic benefits by developing in-state racinos, or they can continue bearing whatever social costs come with Iowa gambling while sending hundreds of millions to out-of-state companies and tens of millions to the Iowa State Treasury.
  • More than seven in ten Nebraskans live within 60 miles of an out-of-state slot machine.
  • The largest concentration of Iowa’s gaming positions is in Council Bluffs.
  • Council Bluffs casinos have earned more than $11.1 billion in 23 years, about 80% of it from Nebraskans, meaning Nebraskans have left $8.88 billion in Council Bluffs, $1.8 billion of it going to the Iowa government directly.
  • After they are up and running, Nebraska racetrack casinos will be associated with 4,653 Nebraska jobs and $320 million of the gross state product, $40.5 million of which would be Nebraska state and local government revenue, on top of the $65 million in gambling taxes.

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