Nebraskans wagered their most money ever last month at the state's two horse track casinos.
WarHorse Lincoln and the Grand Island Casino Resort combined to produce more than $1.25 million in gaming taxes in January, the first time that both casinos were open for the entire month.
The state's casino tax is 20% of gross revenue, so that indicates the two casinos made nearly $6.3 million combined in January.
WarHorse Lincoln accounted for more than $809,000 in tax revenue. That was better than December numbers, but slightly below October and November, when the Lincoln casino had no competition. WarHorse opened in late September.
The Grand Island casino produced almost $450,000 in tax revenue in its first full month of operation. The casino at Fonner Park opened in late December.
The bulk of the tax collections, 70%, goes into a state property tax relief fund. That distribution was more than $566,000 in January and is more than $2.5 million since the casinos opened.
Cities and counties where casinos operate split 25% of the gaming tax proceeds. In January, that was a little over $100,000 each to Lincoln and Lancaster County, and since WarHorse opened, each has received a little over $450,000.
In Omaha, WarHorse Gaming is in the process of transforming Horsemen’s Park into a casino, racing and entertainment complex. The project — which involves renovating the existing complex and adding nearly 67,000 square feet in new construction — got underway in July.
At the time, WarHorse said it anticipated opening the renovated space in the spring, with the entire facility coming online in early 2024.