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NewsCast 4.19.24: Online sports betting measure won't go before Nebraska voters; Recreational trail planned for Sioux City east edge

Biking trail
Biking trails are an important piece of infrastrucure.

The possibility of online sports betting coming to fruition in Nebraska has died for the 2024 year.

A subsidiary of Ho-Chunk Inc., which is the economic development corporation of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, has been in support of bringing online sports gambling to the state.

However, the Ho-Chunk entity and other notable sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings have dropped a push to place the gambling ballot initiative before Nebraska voters, the Lincoln Journal Star has reported.

The measure would have changed the state's constitution to allow online and mobile sports betting. A poll of Nebraskans showed only 57 percent in support of adding that new gambling, so the sportsbook organizations felt that was a lack of certainty to actually place the measure on the November ballot.

Ho-Chunk CEO Lance Morgan said the avenue ahead would be to have the Nebraska Legislature adopt online sports betting or to attempt it as a ballot initiative next in 2026. Neither are certainties, as there is a substantial number of anti-gambling groups, who fought hard in 2020 when casino gambling was brought to Nebraska.

Ho-Chunk’s subsidiary WarHorse is now developing casinos in Lincoln and Omaha.

Ho-Chunk Inc. is an underwriter for Siouxland Public Media.

Additionally, a recreational trail piece could be built in a few years in the growing east edge of Sioux City. The Sioux City Council earlier this week took two actions towards adding a trail in the Glen Ellen Road vicinity.

The trail will have two portions, totaling about two miles.

According to council memos, the trail will run in an abandoned railroad bed, including adding a bridge over a creek north of Old Highway 141 near Christy and Glen Ellen Roads.

The first work could begin in 2027, with completion aimed for in 2030. The actions this week by the council concerned funding mechanisms for about $700,000.

Sioux City Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore said the Glen Ellen vicinity trail would be a needed quality of life addition.

An agreement for the trail is being cooperatively worked out with the city and the Siouxland Interstate Metropolitan Planning Council.

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