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Survey says Bellevue could cash in big with casino development

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jan 02, 2024

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV) — An empty field at the intersection of Ft. Crook and Fairview Roads could one day bring millions of dollars to Bellevue.

It's an effort years in the making, that would see a casino, racetrack and possibly other developments spring up south of Offutt Air Force Base.

“We’re also working on an entertainment district with a proposed water park, and some other recreational venues that come along with some hotels.” Mayor Rusty Hike, Bellevue said.

A recent survey by The Innovation Group said Bellevue is Nebraska's highest revenue generating market for casino expansion.

it estimates a casino would bring in $60 million in revenue, Hike called the estimated figure conservative and said an entertainment district would greatly benefit the city.

“We’ve got the base which is a huge revenue generator for the entire state, but outside of that we really don’t have a whole lot of vehicles that can help pay our taxes.”

John Hassett is the man behind the effort to put in a racetrack with the casino

“We’re pursuing a quarter horse track and there’s really not one in the area,” Hassett said. “We just think a city this size and county with this population, it’s a perfect size for it”

There’s also concerns, David Mike who lives nearby doesn’t think putting in a casino is a good idea.

“With casinos goes gambling and with gambling comes gambling addiction and that’s a concern and of course drinking,” Mike said. “Between the gambling addiction and alcoholism and people getting drunk into their cars at night or whatever time of day that would be a big concern for me.

Mike said he’d like to see the city develop more parks instead of a casino or racetrack.

Hike said he’d like to see Bellevue generate revenue from existing casinos across the state line in Iowa.

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