Nebraska Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in NE

Learn about Nebraska's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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You’re stepping into a state where pari mutuel betting at licensed racetracks is not just legal, but a celebrated tradition. As you explore, you’ll find that while the state is home to six racetracks, live racing days are limited, making each one a unique event. Keep reading to learn more about these tracks and the ins and outs of the betting opportunities they offer.

Most Popular Nebraska Race Tracks

Fonner Park

Address: 700 E Stolley Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68802
Phone: 308-382-4515

Fonner Park is a premier destination for Nebraska horse racing enthusiasts. From February to May, you can enjoy simulcast betting and live racing, with options ranging from Show, Place, Win to more complex bets like Pick 4/5/6, Exacta, and Superfecta.

Fonner Park

With a downloadable betting app, 170 screens, and 5,800 seats, your experience is guaranteed to be immersive. The racetrack, an oval 5/8 of a mile long with a 700-foot homestretch, is perfect for thoroughbred racing, while a smaller training track caters to preparatory needs.

Aside from horse racing, Fonner Park also hosts hundreds of events. Other events include the 11-day Nebraska State Fair.

Lincoln Race Course

Address: 7055 S 1st Street, Lincoln, NE 68512
Phone: 402-474-5374

At Lincoln Race Course every October you can enjoy live racing, with simulcast wagering available daily. The facility boasts 250 screens and 3 projection walls, providing a 360-degree view of the one-mile-long racetrack. You have a variety of betting options, from Show, Place, Win to Daily Double, Pick 4/5/6.

Lincoln Race Course

With 5,380 seats, you’ll be part of an exciting crowd. The track’s surface, a blend of dirt and sand, ensures the safety of the horses. For just $5, immerse yourself in the action of thoroughbred racing at Lincoln Race Course.

Ag Park / Columbus Exposition & Racing

Address: 822 15th Street, Columbus, NE 68601
Phone: 402-564-0133

Ag Park is a hub of equine excitement. Every year between September and October, you can watch live thoroughbred racing on a 5/8 mile dirt track. With a variety of betting options like Show, Place, Win Exotic bets, and Pick 3/4/6, you can test your luck and strategy.

Ag Park

Enjoy the comfort of the 4,000-seat Grandstand or take advantage of their betting app. Simulcast and off-track betting are available daily, broadening your wagering opportunities. While general admission is free, the energy is priceless, especially on the 11 race days held mostly on weekends.

Horsemen’s Park

Address: 6303 Q Street, Omaha, NE 68117
Phone: 402-731-2900

Every October, this 5/8 mile dirt and sand racetrack comes alive with thoroughbred racing over three days. With a variety of betting options such as Show, Place, Win, Exacta, and Pick 4/5/6, you can feel the excitement of live racing.

Horsemens Park

The park offers a betting app and simulcast betting, providing you with multiple ways to place your bets. With 3,000 seats and 700 screens, you won’t miss a second of the action. Though there’s no grandstand, the $5 general admission fee offers an unbeatable view of the 65-foot wide track and the 680-foot homestretch.

Comprehensive List of Nebraska Race Tracks

Here is your comprehensive guide to all the Nebraska race tracks you can explore.

RacetrackAddressPhone NumberBetting Allowed?
Fonner Park700 E Stolley Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68802308-382-4515Yes
Hastings Fairplay Park947 S Baltimore Ave, Hastings, NE 98901402-463-2331Yes
Lincoln Race Course7055 S 1st Street, Lincoln, NE 68512402-474-5374Yes
Atokad Downs1524 Atokad Drive, South Sioux City, NE 68776402-494-5722Yes
Ag Park822 15th Street, Columbus, NE 68601402-564-0133Yes
Horsemen’s Park6303 Q Street, Omaha, NE 68117402-731-2900Yes

Simulcast Wagering in Nebraska

Simulcast wagering, a popular betting method that allows you to place bets on horse races happening elsewhere, is legal at all licensed racetracks in the state. Here are all the details for where you can enjoy the excitement of live horse racing from across the country.

Betting LocationAddress
Fonner Park700 E Stolley Park Rd, Grand Island, NE 68802
Hastings Fairplay Park947 S Baltimore Ave, Hastings, NE 98901
Lincoln Race Course7055 S 1st Street, Lincoln, NE 68512
Atokad Downs1524 Atokad Drive, South Sioux City, NE 68776
Ag Park822 15th Street, Columbus, NE 68601
Horsemen’s Park6303 Q Street, Omaha, NE 68117

Popular Nebraska Horse Racing Events with Dates

While the state may not host any major Nebraska horse racing events, there’s no shortage of famous horse races you can place your bets on online.

Horse RacesRacing DatesBetting Location
Cheltenham Gold CupMarchSimulcast
Grand NationalAprilSimulcast
Kentucky DerbyMaySimulcast
Preakness StakesMaySimulcast
Kentucky DerbyMaySimulcast
Preakness StakesMaySimulcast
Belmont StakesJuneSimulcast
Melbourne CupNovemberSimulcast
Breeders CupNovemberSimulcast

Types of Legal Horse Betting in Nebraska

In Nebraska, you have the freedom to place almost any type of bet, from straight bets such as Show, Place, Win, to exotic bets such as Exacta, Superfecta, Trifecta, Daily Double, and Pick 4/5/6. These bets offer you a chance to predict not just who will finish first, but also the subsequent positions.

You’re not limited when it comes to the type of race either. Whether you’re a fan of thoroughbred betting, quarter horse, standardbred, or harness racing, Nebraska’s betting scene has you covered. It’s a diverse and exciting landscape for any Nebraska horse racing enthusiast.

Other Types of Gambling in Nebraska

Learn more about Nebraska gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Nebraska Horse Racing

The history of Nebraska racing all started in 1934 when Nebraska amended its constitution to legalize horse racing betting. That same year, the Nebraska State Racing Commission was created to oversee the industry. Fast forward to 1988, and the constitution was amended again to allow local Nebraska race tracks to accept simulcast wagers on horse racing events hosted outside the state.

Nebraska law requires a minimum number of live racing days before a racetrack can be approved for a simulcast facility license. In 2012, the number of days required was decreased from 103 to 73 days.

In 2010, the legislature voted down two measures that aimed to expand the racing industry. One would have allowed racetracks to have slot machines, and the other would have allowed non-track facilities to offer simulcast wagering.

In 2012, Sen. Lautenbaugh introduced LB806, which would allow players to wager on past horse races on video terminal machines, considering it to be pari mutuel wagering. But the Attorney General disagreed, stating the machines weren’t constitutional and refused to sign the bill. In 2013, Sen. Lautenbaugh tried again with LB590, but opponents viewed it as expanded gambling, and the measure was postponed indefinitely.

It’s important to note that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) has had an impact on Nebraska’s horse racing industry. While PASPA primarily focused on sports betting, its repeal in 2018 opened up the potential for states to expand their gambling offerings, including horse racing. However, the future of expanded gambling in Nebraska’s horse racing industry remains uncertain.

Nebraska Gambling FAQ

Is Nebraska horse racing legal?

Yes, horse racing is legal in Nebraska. The gambling laws in the US states all differ, as they can independently set rules and regulations. However, in Nebraska, you can place bets on horse races and simulcast facilities. The industry is overseen by the Nebraska State Racing Commission, which ensures that all racing activities comply with the state’s laws.

Can I wager on horse races from other US states?

Yes, you can place bets on horse racing events from other states. This is made possible through the use of simulcast facilities at the racetracks. These facilities broadcast races from other states, allowing you to place bets on them as if you were there in person. It’s a convenient way to enjoy and participate in horse racing beyond your local area.

What’s the biggest of all Nebraska race tracks?

The largest racetrack in Nebraska is Fonner Park located in Grand Island. This track is not only the largest in terms of physical size, but it also hosts the most races and attracts the largest crowds. It features a one-mile dirt track and offers both thoroughbred and quarter horse racing.

Can I place bets online in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, the state law doesn’t specifically address the legality of advance deposit wagering, which is the technical term for online horse race betting. This means that it falls into a legal gray area. While it’s not explicitly illegal, it’s also not explicitly legal. Therefore, while you might find online platforms that allow you to place bets, you should proceed with caution due to the unclear legal status.

Where can I place bets on horse races in Nebraska?

If you want to bet on Nebraska horse racing events, you have a couple of options. If you prefer live racing, you can place your bets at the racetrack during live racing events. Alternatively, you can participate in simulcast wagering, where you bet on races that are broadcast live from other locations. These options are available at licensed racetracks in Nebraska.

What age can I wager on horse races in Nebraska?

In Nebraska, you must be at least 21 years old to place a bet on horse races. This age requirement for gambling is strictly enforced, so be prepared to provide valid identification if asked. Remember, it’s important to gamble responsibly and within legal guidelines.

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