Nebraska Supreme Court receives casino gambling initiative arguments

The Nebraska Supreme Court heard familiar arguments Wednesday as it considered a challenge to Secretary of State Bob Evnen's decision to withhold a three-pronged initiative legalizing casino gambling at horse racetracks from the general election ballot.

Evnen said the proposal did not adhere to ballot requirements for a single topic when it was split into three votes and he said it contained unclear language.

Lawyers for sponsors of the issue told the court that division into three separate votes was designed to adhere to the single-topic requirement.

And they suggested that the court has never withheld a proposed constitutional amendment from the ballot based on the possibility of voter confusion. 

Opponents of the measure have also argued that it contains a hidden authorization for casino gambling on tribal lands; supporters told the court there is no such hidden authorization.

A court ruling is anticipated before a Sept. 11 deadline for Evnen to certify whether the issue will appear on the November ballot. 

The Keep the Money in Nebraska proposal was sponsored by Ho-Chunk Inc., the Winnebago Tribe's economic development corporation, in partnership with the Nebraska Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association.