Saying they want to keep gambling dollars in Nebraska, a group of bar
owners launched an initiative petition campaign Friday to change the state
constitution and allow video slot machines in bars.
"We've got gambling in Iowa, South Dakota, Kansas and Colorado," said Joe
Young, owner of Omaha's Choo Choo Bar and Grill and a leader of the
petition drive. "All that money leaves the state and doesn't come back."
Young is a member of HELP - Help Education Through Lottery Proceeds -
which filed paperwork with the secretary of state's office to allow casino-type
gambling in Nebraska.
The proposed constitutional amendment would allow video slot machines -
like those found in Iowa casinos - in Nebraska bars and restaurants that serve
alcohol. Organizers say part of the profits would be earmarked for teacher
pay and property tax relief.
"It makes sense," Young said. "If the bars go out of business, there are jobs
gone and revenue gone. If we can't pay the teachers, we lose them."
The state would keep 45 percent of the profits from the machines, splitting an
estimated $60 million to $70 million per year evenly between teacher pay
enhancements and property tax relief, Young said.
I've heard of some states where bar owners are lobbying for video poker, but this says video slots. Any more information? I'm also wondering if these will all be quarter machines (any past experience) or will there be dollar tokens if one of these states pass the legislation for taverns to have slot machines?