By Grant Schulte
Associated Press

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP June 30) – Nebraska voters may decide next year whether to legalize casino gambling in a ballot measure that could tip the number of states that allow commercial gambling into the majority.

Supporters of legalized casinos have launched a petition drive to place the issue on the 2020 ballot with financial backing from the economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says 25 states allow casino gambling with games such as slot machines, craps and roulette wheels. That includes Nebraska’s neighbors of Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and South Dakota. Iowa casinos, in particular, cater to Nebraska residents looking to gamble.

The measure is certain to face opposition from casino opponents, who say it will worsen the social ills associated with gambling.