The Nebraska Legislature Monday gave first round approval to LB 538, which is intended to improve regulation of skill-based games that have become a popular fixture in a variety of establishments across the state, especially convenience stores.
The measure would create an approval process for amusement devices that dispense cash prizes or similar awards with cash value and to demonstrate such devices are not gambling devices.
Columbus Senator Mike Moser questioned Steve Lathrop about the impact of the measure sponsored by the Omaha lawmaker, asking whether it enables or expands gambling. “No, it would limit it. There’s a whole class of things happening right now that are games of chance that this bill would eliminate,” says Lathrop. “There’s also ease of enforcement, you would get pre-approval instead of seizure of each machine.”
Lathrop later said he would be agreeable to amendments that would set an age limit to play the machines, and prohibit the devices from taking credit cards.
Following approval of a couple of amendments, lawmakers voted to 34 to 0 to advance the measure.