February 1st (my Birthday) was a long and difficult day at the Capitol. Five of us testified (including Tom Osborne) and some of us were there until after 6 PM. The hearings just went on and on and on with so many pro gambling advocates including a rep from the national Draft Kings corporation. They brought out every big gun they could but we feel that we held our own. After 5 hrs. of testimony the 5 Sports Betting bills will now to be discussed behind closed doors. We testified on 3 of the bills, on 2 we were neutral as they just cleaned up language. This is where prayer and Senator contacts will begin. (email addresses below) Our prayer is that all 3 Sports Betting bills will die in committee with the exception of LB 560 which does give some consumer protection, If they will remove the Sports Betting clause we are fine with that one. It gets very confusing. We may be setting up personal meetings with the committee members to see where they stand and if we can influence them in any way. I will keep you informed.
PS: They did not ruin my Birthday totally as I got to go to dinner with friends at 7:15 PM that night.
This was my testimony:
2020 was a very difficult year for many reasons. It was especially disappointing for GWGL. It was the end of 25 years of successfully stopping expanded gambling in Nebraska. We had worked so hard for so long only to see our Constitution changed and our good life changed forever. I truly believe that the voters were so desperate for any form of “Property Tax” relief that they fell for the lie that $6 M of false advertising told them and had no idea the ramifications of their choice.
The day after the election the Winnebago’s publicly admitted that they had made a deal with the horsemen, “We’ll pay for the campaign and we get to run the casinos”. They said they now had $300 M to build the 1st 3 casinos, in Omaha, Lincoln & So. Sioux. A few weeks later they announced that $100 M wasn’t enough for Lincoln and they were upping that building to $200 M.
And now the gambling interests aren’t content with that, they want to add Sports Betting to their menu. This is an insidious “business” and it is never satisfied. It will go on and on with a total disregard to how it will affect our families and businesses. It is a sad day for Nebraska one that I believe we will live to regret in the near future.
We believe that our job now, besides opposing any additional gambling is to work for consumer
protection. We will do our best to minimize the damage that these casinos will inevitably bring. That is why we support the provisions in LB 560 that address consumer protection but are forced to oppose it unless the Sports Betting provision is removed. You have the power to do that and we sincerely pray that you will.
Please contact the members of the General Affairs committee and ask them to vote “NO” on all sports betting bills !
Sen. John Arch: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sen. John Cavanaugh: email@example.com;
Sen. John Lowe: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sen. Justin Wayne: email@example.com;
Sen. Mike Groene: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sen. Tom Brandt: email@example.com;
Sen. Tom Brewer: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sen. Tom Briese: email@example.com