If the Kansas Lottery has its way, thousands of people soon will be carrying small electronic slot machines — in their coat or shirt pockets.
The lottery plans to begin selling the battery-powered devices in early November for $20 each. They're about the size of a credit card, though a little thicker.
The Lottery Commission unanimously approved the yet-unnamed game Monday, and Kansas would be the second state in the nation to try it. Iowa was the first, having started sales in May.
Lottery Director Ed Van Petten said the simple but high-tech game should appeal to a new group of gamblers. "And not just younger players, but a lot of 35-year-olds and 45-year-olds who are a lot more technological than I am," Van Petten told The Kansas City Star.
Iowa Lottery spokeswoman Mary Neubauer said that when her state tested the cards last fall, they sold out faster than expected.
"People like it for the convenience and portability of it," she said. "You can set it down and come back and play it later. It turns off automatically after about 20 seconds."
Batteries that run the game's computer chip and LCD display are guaranteed to last six months. Neubauer said a few leftovers from Iowa's test batch were still going strong after more than a year.
Each game in Kansas will offer 80 "spins," with each game guaranteed to return $3 and a top potential prize of $500. Van Petten said 120,000 game cards will be put in play in November.
Van Petten said the $3 payback per card was designed to encourage gamblers to redeem the devices with lottery retailers, ensuring their hard plastic cases will be recycled while keeping their batteries out of landfills.
More money also will go back to players in prizes, 68 percent of the total gambled. With traditional scratch-off tickets, the figure is 54 percent.