Nebraska measure could tip the number of states with casinos

In this June 28, 2019 photo, the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is seen across the river from downtown Omaha, Neb., rear, where casino gambling is prohibited. Nebraska voters may decide next year whether to legalize casino gambling in a ballot measure. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2019, file photo, patrons play the slot-style machines at the Ponca Tribe's Prairie Flower Casino in Carter Lake, Iowa, near the Nebraska border. Nebraska voters may decide next year whether to legalize casino gambling in a ballot measure that could tip the number of states that allow commercial gambling into the majority. Supporters of legalized casinos have launched a petition drive to place the issue on the 2020 ballot with financial backing from the economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. The National Conference of State Legislatures says 25 states allow commercial casinos. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)
In this June 28, 2019 photo, the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is seen across the river from downtown Omaha, Neb., rear, where casino gambling is prohibited. Nebraska voters may decide next year whether to legalize casino gambling in a ballot measure. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. — Nebraska voters may decide next year whether to legalize casino gambling in a ballot measure that could tip the number of states that allow commercial gambling into the majority.

Supporters of legalized casinos have launched a petition drive to place the issue on the 2020 ballot with financial backing from the economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 25 states allow casino gambling with games such as slot machines, craps and roulette wheels. That includes Nebraska's neighbors of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota. Iowa casinos, in particular, cater to Nebraska residents looking to gamble.

The measure is certain to face opposition from casino opponents, who say it will worsen the social ills associated with gambling.

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