Along with the casino and hotel, the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association plans to expand its racing season to 100 days, running from early May into early fall.
McNally said she expects the expanded race schedule to begin soon after the full casino opens.
A feature of the hotel, which Morgan said is likely to be independent and not part of a chain, will be balconies for some of the rooms that will overlook the race course and allow guests to watch races, a feature McNally said is not available at any other horse track in the U.S.
McNally and Morgan touted the amount of money that will flow to the local and state economies from just the Lincoln casino. They estimated it will provide nearly $20 million in direct property tax relief to the state and more than $3.5 million in annual tax revenue to both the city of Lincoln and Lancaster County.
The annual gaming revenue for just the Lincoln casino is projected at more than $140 million, and that is not counting revenue from the hotel, restaurants and other components. The casino is expected to employ more than 680 people permanently, which does not include the estimated 230 construction jobs it will create.
The two said the Lincoln casino will be the first WarHorse Casino to open, ahead of ones planned in Omaha and South Sioux City, and they believe it will open before any other casino in the state. So far, Fonner Park in Grand Island is the only other horse track in the state, besides WarHorse, to unveil casino plans.