The latest voice to be heard is that of State Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus. The good senator seems to have been inspired by Michael Corleone in the Godfather Movies. He has made an offer that Nebraska’s neighbor states cannot or should not refuse.
His “unique” and original approach to get a share of the online casino gambling pie is to threaten that Nebraska will build its own casino unless their neighboring states with casinos give Nebraska a “cut” of their proceeds and taxes they receive from casino gambling.
Sen. Schumacher believes that Nebraska’s share in the cut could reach anything from $50 to $100 million from Iowa alone should they decide to agree to the offer. Should Iowa refuse Schumacher’s offer then he would push the legislature to authorize the approval of casino gambling casinos in Nebraska.
Schumacher claims that his motive is not to expand casino gambling but rather to expand revenue.
Currently there are about 4,000 slot machines located in Council Bluffs which is on Nebraska’s doorstep. According to Schumacher the only reason they are there is to plunder Nebraska’s resources and to keep the cash in Iowa.
Schumacher continued with his interesting persuasion tactics,” We’re satisfied that three casinos are probably enough in the Omaha metropolitan area, so give us our tax money and we’ll keep the status quo.”
Schumacher’s newest approach follows previous failed attempts to raise the issue of casino gambling. In 2004 voters defeated no less than four pro gambling measures that were on the ballot including one proposal which would have allowed two casinos in Nebraska.
Despite the fact Nebraskans already spend millions of dollars in casinos in Iowa, Kansas and South Dakota, all attempts to legislate legal casino gambling have also failed.
Schumacher’s ideas were not received with optimism by the chairman of the legislative committee who is responsible for overseeing casino gambling. He believes that Nebraska is losing money to Iowa yet he does not believe that Iowa is going to hand over any money.
Other state lawmakers were also pessimistic regarding any pro-casino measures. The lest legislature member Sen. Les Seiler summed up the pessimistic mood,” I’m here with an absolutely open mind, but we’re a little late getting in the (casino) game.”
Currently studies have shown that Nebraska looses more than $300 million in annual losses from Nebraska casino gamblers playing at casino gambling facilities in Council Bluffs.
Schumacher tried to justify his proposed legislation as a way of getting revenue from casino gambling from neighboring states without authorizing any casinos in the state of Nebraska itself or in any of the Indian reservations.
The option of state legislators to authorize any future casinos in Nebraska would only apply should the neighboring states refuse Schumacher’s “offer”. Schumacher summed up his thinking behind the proposed legislation, “It is simply, simply wrong to be so generous to other states that are poaching our resources.”
Schumacher believes that even anti casino gambling proponents should support the bill as if it works there will be no need to build any new casinos in the state of Nebraska and furthermore Nebraska would benefit from much needed additional sources of income from neighboring states’ casino gambling revenues.