Legislation that aims to expand and enhance Nebraska’s horse racing industry is before state lawmakers this session.
The measure, LB806, is sponsored by Senator Scott Laughtenbaugh of Omaha.
Senator Tyson Larson of O’Neill is making the measure his priority for this term. Larson says horse racing has many positives.
“People make the argument that horse racing is a dying industry in the state of Nebraska and we should just let it die,” Larson says. “You know? A lot of people say rural Nebraska is dying and people are leaving, but we’re doing everything we can to save rural Nebraska because it’s an economic benefit for Nebraska and I feel the same way about horse racing.”
Larson says horse racing should not be tied to gambling, in general.
“It’s not slots, it’s not Keno, it takes skill,” he says. “You look at a race card. You have historical precedence and you have training times and all those things. It’s a game of skill. Is there a little bit of chance involved? Yes, but there’s chance involved when you invest in the stock market.”
He says by investing in the horse racing industry, the state is investing in itself, noting, all of those horse trainers are buying tremendous amounts of hay and grain from rural farmers, continuing to stimulate local economies.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton