Harrah’s Nebraska Sets June Opening Date After Receiving State Gaming License
Posted on: May 15, 2023, 10:11h.
Last updated on: May 15, 2023, 05:42h.
Harrah’s Nebraska is poised to become the third casino in the Cornhusker State to commence gaming operations.
Last Friday, the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission found Caesars Entertainment and its local investors suitable to receive a state gaming license. The regulatory agency subsequently issued the group a permit to operate a temporary gaming facility at the Platte County Agricultural Park in Columbus.
The permanent Harrah’s Nebraska is being built northwest of the downtown area roughly 70 miles west of Omaha. The $75 million casino will span about 40,000 square feet and offer approximately 500 slot machines and 20 table games.
Harrah’s is partnered with a local investor that plans to separately build and operate an on-site hotel. The hotel will be managed by Marriott International and is expected to open in conjunction with the casino next year.
The permanent casino will also feature several restaurants, bars, and retail shops.
Temporary Casino Greenlit
While construction continues at Harrah’s Nebraska along Route 81/Howard Blvd., Caesars will open a temporary casino inside the existing Ag Park racetrack. The provisional gaming venue will be placed inside the track’s grandstand.
Harrah’s Nebraska’s temporary casino is to include about 250 slots and electronic table games. No live dealer tables will be offered.
Harrah’s Nebraska is currently hiring in anticipation of opening the temporary casino next month. Caesars has set an opening date of Monday, June 12, with hours scheduled for 9 a.m. through 1 a.m. daily.
Property officials are seeking to fill various positions, including cashiers, count room employees, slot attendants, and slot technicians.
Harrah’s Nebraska will be the third casino to open following WarHorse Casino Lincoln in September and Grand Island Casino at Fonner Park’s debut in late December. Both of those venues are also temporary casinos.
WarHorse Gaming, an entity controlled by Ho-Chunk Inc., the commercial business arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, is spending $300 million to overhaul the Lincoln Race Course into a casino resort. Iowa-based Elite Casino Resorts, a gaming operator focused on the Midwest, is investing about $100 million to transform Fonner Park into a gaming resort destination.
WarHorse has another $300 million set aside to build WarHorse Casino Omaha at Horsemen’s Park.
Nebraskans approved of a commercial gaming referendum during the November 2020 election that allowed the state’s live horse racetrack racinos to become full-fledged casinos with slots, table games, and sports betting. A condition of the law requires that casinos only operate at facilities where live horse racing remains.
Harrah’s Nebraska and its casino are building a new racetrack northwest of the city to satisfy that requirement.
Horse racing has been ingrained in the history of Columbus for decades. We’re thrilled to contribute to that history and bring an all-new, one-mile racetrack for the community to enjoy,” said Joe Morris, Caesars’ senior vice president of racing.
Harrah’s Nebraska is Caesars’ first investment in the state.
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