The Christmas Tree Bill

Ernie Chambers to Kill the Christmas Tree Bill

The State Senator of Omaha, Ernie Chambers is all set to filibuster the ‘Christmas Tree Bill’. While talking about this bill, it involves fantasy sports, keno, pickle cards and lotteries on weather events. In the initial round of the debate only, the Chambers came to a decision that the Legislative Bill 970 is a pure and simple form of gambling. He further added by saying that even if people are going to favor gambling, they are not going to get it. He considers it completely unconstitutional.

ernie chambers

The Status of the Bill

Chambers moved a motion before the Nebraska Legislature in the favor of declining or postponing the bill completely. However, debates are expected to continue again after few days. The Legislature’s General Affairs Committee amended the bill and rolled three measures into one. The sponsor of LB 970, Tyson Larson has already defended the multiple subjects of the bill and calls it important to run the short legislative session. He said that the amendment of the bill was the need of the time to clear the important issues.

Three Measures of the Bill

The measures of the bill clearly define fantasy sports as the game of skill. Further, it demands the major operators of the fantasy sports like FanDuel and DraftKings to pay a registration fee of $50,000 and an annual renewal fee of $10,000. Further, a game must be a game of skill not of a chance in order to be legalized in Nebraska. To add on, the bill will include the responsibility of these operators to ensure complete customer protection.

The fantasy sports operators are required to verify the age of the participant, which should be at least 18 and must prohibit third-party auto drafters. In fact, the bill will also allow all the non-profit groups to make use of lotteries that work upon naturally occurring weather events. Keno players will also get the liberty to use their debit and credit cards in place of paying through only cash.

In the Words of Hilkemann

The Senator, Bob Hilkemann of Omaha strongly said that this bill is just worth wasting time upon. However, Larson claimed that the bill is going to prove very profitable for the non-profit groups that have always been waiting to utilize the concept of lotteries as the major fundraisers. It will also come as a boon for the cities that utilize the money collected from Keno to improve the conditions of the parks and for the 300,000 Nebraskans who are a big fan of fantasy sports and are already playing it. Larson said that there is no aim to make all these Nebraskans criminals.

However, Chambers still argue that the bill is not going to protect the residents of Nebraska. In fact, it is going to undermine their health and the moral structure of the state by taking benefit out of those gambling addicts. Therefore, the debates and discussions on the gambling bill are still going on and the final verdict is still awaited by many.