No casino vote for Nebraska

15 August 2016

A vote on the introduction of casino gambling in the US state of Nebraska will not take place this year after it failed to make November’s ballot.

Secretary of State John Gale said supporters of the casino industry did not submit the 117,188 verified signatures that were required to put the issue before voters.

Officials said that while 119,666 signatures were collected, some 41,710 were rejected after being reviewed by county election officials.

Organisations such as the Ho-Chunk, the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska's economic development corporation, spent nearly $1.4 million in trying to place the issue on the ballot, according to state campaign finance records.

"It's definitely a disappointment," Ho-Chunk chief executive Lance Morgan said after the announcement. "The primary disappointment is that so many people support it."

According to the Des Moines Register newspaper Ho-Chunk has said it wants to reopen Atokad Downs, a racetrack that closed in 2012, and operate a casino on the site.

Morgan said his group's polling indicated strong support for casino gambling in Nebraska, which has a population of almost two million, even though voters have rejected gaming measures in the past.

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