Zoning changes see first approval for Lincoln casino project


A proposed casino by WarHorse Gaming is moving ahead. The venue would be located in southwest Lincoln, and recently received approval for zoning changes. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission gave the green light this week after a unanimous vote.

The land has a planned use development designation from 2006 when it was going to be used for a shopping center including a Walmart property. Those plans never came to fruition, so the zoning changes needed to be made so that the Lincoln Race Course could be developed, featuring horse racing and simulcast services.

Moving Ahead

The planned WarHorse Casino can move ahead as scheduled soon thanks to the recent approval. However, an amendment must be added to the development to cover the various uses the operator plans for the site.

The existing zoning allowed for 1.3 million square feet of commercial property in Lincoln. This amount has now been decreased to 980,000. This square footage includes the casino, which will be around 225,000. The amended plan would also allow hotel rooms and dwelling spaces. Up to 650 hotel rooms could be added along with as many as 700 dwelling spaces.

The casino property will have over 1,200 gaming stations. It will also include several restaurants and a spa facility. Convention and event space are included in the plans.

The City Council will consider the zoning change in early April.

Other Potential Developments

WarHorse Gaming is also considering additional developments on the site. apartments might be added and a second hotel. A convenience store and separate restaurants are also being considered. Executive vice president of the horsemen’s group, Lynne McNally, commented that as many as 500 to 600 people will be hired to work at the casino and associated venues.

The apartments and convenience stores would be there to serve this community of employees. Essentially, a sort of community would be created with the overall development.

As the economic development arm of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, WarHorse Gaming released a conceptional rendering of its casino plans for Lincoln back in January. The plans were quite detailed and gave an inside look at what could be expected from the new venue. With a video rendering, visuals provided a good idea of what the project will look like once completed.

On top of creating this new venue, WarHorse Gaming has plans to bring casino games to its Horsemen’s Park facility located in Omaha. A Sioux City local racetrack is also expected to gain such games. The group announced in 2020 that it was working with the Nebraska Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association to bring casino games to the tracks.




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