Nebraska has several laws prohibiting and regulating different forms of gambling. However, there is no Nebraska law that mentions online gambling specifically. This means that the legality of of online gambling must be determined through the broader application of the entirety of Nebraska’s gambling laws rather than a single specific law.
A clear definition of gambling in needed in order to understand whether online gambling is illegal in Nebraska. The state of Nebraska considers gambling to be made up of three elements. These elements are Consideration, Chance, and Reward. Consideration is when a person wagers something of value. Chance is when the outcome of an event is randomly determined or determined by events outside of the person’s control. Reward is when the person can win something of value. When all three elements are present, the state of Nebraska considers gambling to have taken place.
The Nebraska constitution places a flat ban on gambling of all sorts. However, there are several amendments making specific forms of gambling legal. Horse racing tracks that are licensed by the state are legal. Raffles, lotteries, and other gift enterprises are legal if they are held for charitable purposes. Unfortunately none of these amendments makes games such as poker, blackjack, or video slots legal. As long as an online game requires a player to bet something, has an element of chance, and offers prizes, it is considered gambling of a sort not allowed by the Nebraska constitution.
Although it may be argued that online gambling has a loophole due to not occurring inside state lines, there is a law in Nebraska that may cover this. Section 29-1110 states “It shall be no defense to a prosecution under any provision of this article relating to gambling that the gambling is conducted outside this state and is not in violation of the laws of the jurisdiction in which it is conducted.” While this section does not specifically mention the Internet, it is possible to interpret this law in such a way that it applies to online gambling.
Online gambling, including but not limited to poker, blackjack, and slots, would indeed be considered gambling under Nebraska law. Furthermore, none of these games are of the type constitutional amendments have made legal. Nor is it legal to gamble outside of the state of Nebraska. Taking these facts into account means online games would be considered illegal by Nebraska law.