City of Bellevue & Bellevue Downs Racetrack, Support Recent Nebraska Casino Study

Bellevue Deems Studies Projected Revenues as Extremely Conservative

  • 2 January 2024
  • Author: Phil Davidson
  • Number of views: 3182
City of Bellevue & Bellevue Downs Racetrack, Support Recent Nebraska Casino Study

A recent casino study by the Innovation Group has named Bellevue as the number one revenue generating market for casino expansion in the State of Nebraska. Bellevue is the third largest city in Nebraska, in Sarpy County which is Nebraska’s fastest growing county. The study estimated that Bellevue would generate $60 million in casino revenue which the City of Bellevue and Bellevue Downs officials as well as experts in the field feel is an extremely conservative estimate.

Three other Nebraska casino studies have shown that Bellevue’s casino revenue estimates to be between $102 and $112 million. The Innovation Group study also estimates War Horse Omaha’s casino revenue as being $110 million, while a study done for Elite Gaming shows War Horse Omaha’s revenue estimate to be $194 million.  The Elite study also estimated that the combined revenue with War Horse Omaha by adding a Bellevue racino would be a net increase of $50M or 26%, adding $10M per year in tax revenue.

.The City of Bellevue & Bellevue Downs officials believe that a Bellevue location would greatly improve Nebraska’s ability to pull revenues from neighboring states, specifically Council Bluffs Iowa.  This would help accomplish the goal of maximizing tax revenue for the state of Nebraska and for the city and county that host the facility.

“We are very excited that this new study shows significant potential revenue for the Bellevue Downs Racetrack & Casino, we do feel the revenue estimate methodology of $60 million is extremely conservative and has much greater potential,” said Bellevue Mayor Rusty Hike. “Not only is the revenue figure conservative, we feel that a new racetrack & casino in Bellevue, along with the proposed regional indoor/outdoor waterpark, will also bring other huge attractions such as hotels, restaurants, and other entertainment options all combining for a huge economic development impact for the city of Bellevue, Sarpy County and the State of Nebraska.” Hike said. “As a Nebraska/Iowa border Community, Bellevue provides a unique opportunity to pull revenue from Southwest Iowa (Including Mills, Page, & Montgomery Counties & more), Northwest Missouri, Cass County, NE and Sarpy County which has a population over 200,000.  Bellevue and Sarpy County should not be denied the benefits of hosting a facility.”

Bellevue Downs officials agree with the Innovation Group’s study analysis of the Quarter Horse industry in Nebraska. The report cites there’s a pool of 500-1,000 Nebraska-bred Quarter Horses and the potential for a thriving Quarter Horse racing industry in Nebraska. “Once the racetrack opens, we would expect even more Quarter Horse breeder interest from across the country,” said John Hassett, with Bellevue Downs. “The Quarter Horse racetrack will be a unique draw. We expect it to be very popular with the public, because Quarter Horse racing provides a faster paced race experience. It’s all about speed, exciting to watch and offers a quick turnaround time between races,” Hassett said.

The city of Bellevue is encouraged by the new study’s findings about the socioeconomic impact of casino gaming. In states that have added casinos there has been little effect on crime and other social issues while providing an economic engine for growth. 

Bellevue Downs was one of first applicants proposed to the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission after expanded gaming was voter-approved in November 2020. With all of this in mind, this newest study again demonstrates that there are huge revenue opportunities for the state of Nebraska if the Nebraska Racing and Gaming Commission were to allow the Bellevue Downs application to move forward. It truly makes sense now more than ever to move forward with a new Nebraska Quarter Horse Racetrack and Casino in Bellevue, NE.

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