Republican Senator introduces bill on gambling

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) – During the last election Nebraskans voted on a bill to authorize gambling at race tracks across the state. Now Republican Senator Ray Aguilar of Grand Island has introduced a bill to help Fonner Park in its efforts to build one on the property.

Back in 1889, there was a law enacted to prohibit gambling within 40 rods of a county or state fair and since Fonner Park hosts it every year, this poses a problem. Sen. Aguilar’s bill will change the language to allow gambling there if it’s passed.

“I’m sure they’ll be a little opposition,” Aguilar explained. “There’s still plenty of anti-gambling advocates within the body, so you gotta be concerned about that. Hopefully, you know, our arguments will outweigh what they do to try to stop it.”

Aguilar believes bringing a casino to Fonner Park will not only benefit Grand Island but also the state. The revenue generated from the casino will go directly towards property tax relief, and it will also create tons of jobs for people struggling to find one during the coronavirus pandemic.

Aguilar’s bill has already been introduced, now all that’s left to do is for the senate to deliberate. First the bill will be assigned to a committee, next they will have a hearing where people will be allowed to testify, then they will vote on whether to send it to the floor.

“It will go through three rounds of debate on the floor before it goes to the governor’s office for his signature, and then becomes law,” Sen. Aguilar said.

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