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Connecticut Lottery makes its pitch for keno

Connecticut LotteryConnecticut Lottery: Connecticut Lottery makes its pitch for keno

Proponents told members of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee on Wednesday that bringing keno to Connecticut is essential to keeping the state's lottery competitive with other states', while opponents decried the game as a short-sighted and ill-advised way to generate revenue.

The bill would allow the Connecticut Lottery Corp. to offer keno throughout the state and is projected to generate $5 million in its first year after startup expenses. After that, proponents say keno will generate $20 million in the second year and $30 million in the third year.

"(Keno) will ensure that the lottery will remain a stable and sustained source of revenue for the state, not in the short term but in the long term," Connecticut Lottery Corp. President and CEO Anne Noble said.

With the waning popularity of Powerball and MegaMillions, the lottery needs to diversify its offerings, Noble said.

Keno is offered in neighboring states including Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island, and has the potential to become more popular than Powerball, she said.

"Unfortunately, keno has been repeatedly mischaracterized to all of you as electronic gambling," she told committee members. "It is not. It is not a slot machine. For those that want to play the lottery and play keno, it's another form of entertainment while dining. For those who don't want to play, it will often go unnoticed."

Retailers who already sell other Connecticut Lottery games are eager to add keno, she said. If the bill is passed, the game could be played in bars, restaurants, and convenience stores.

"It's a great way to bring more lottery business to small-business owners throughout Connecticut," testified Chintan Patel, owner and operator of Dada Deli in Waterbury. "(Keno) should help small-business owners, not only casinos."

Currently, keno is permitted only at the Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resort Casino through a compact the casino owners entered with the state. The proposed legislation is contingent upon the state reaching agreements with the Mohegan Tribe and Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, and would give a cut of the lottery's keno proceeds to each tribe.

The tribes have "deep concerns" about the specific language of the new legislation, said Charles Bunnell, chief of staff of external affairs for the Mohegan Tribe.

"Specifically, the definition of keno has changed to something too loosely defined to be acceptable," Bunnell testified.

The tribe is eager to work with lawmakers but wants to do it "in a way that does not impact the revenue-sharing agreement that has been in place with the state for over 20 years," Bunnell testified.

Keno has been proposed in Connecticut previously in 2010 and 2013. It was adopted in 2013 to close a budget gap, but quickly repealed in 2014 before it could be established.

"The public, through the General Assembly, has spoken that this is not what they want," Sen. Tony Hwang, R-Fairfield, said while testifying against the bill. "We as a state should not be in the business of condoning gambling as a revenue source."

Hwang said bringing keno into restaurants could lead to higher rates of gambling addiction in the state and expose children to gambling at a young age.

"A parent, in an innocent way, could expose their children to the idea that gambling is acceptable in a formal dining experience," he said. "We are looking at creating a generation of people who would be addicted to gambling."

Gambling addiction has "shattered" people's lives, Hwang said, and that cost must be weighed against potential revenue the game would bring the state.

"This kind of expansion is an ill-advised foray in seeking a short-term solution in revenue," he said, adding that with too much gaming expansion Connecticut will begin to resemble Atlantic City.

The bill is not just about generating revenue for the state, but also about ensuring the lottery remains competitive, said Rep. Jeffrey Berger, D-Waterbury, co-chairman of the Finance committee.

"It's unfair to the Connecticut Lottery to say that, if we institute keno, then Connecticut's going to be like Atlantic City," Berger, who supports the legislation, said. "That's a whole different (business) model."

Berger and Noble both noted that the lottery financially supports gambling cessation programs for those with an addiction.

"It's important for the state of Connecticut to support the Connecticut Lottery," Berger said. "They need to be competitive. If we enact keno, that's not taking care of our revenue problem, but what it will do is support the Connecticut Lottery in its business model."

Berger refuted Hwang's claim that having keno in restaurants is anti-family, saying that most who opt not to play the game would not notice its presence.

Rep. Russell Morin, D-Wethersfield, also said he supports the legislation.

Other committee members, however, were more hesitant about the bill.

Rep. Roland Lemar, D-New Haven, the committee's vice chair, said he is "very reluctant to support (keno) at this point."

Studies have shown that keno can be more addictive than lottery scratch tickets, Lemar said, and he wants more assurances that the lottery will work to combat problem gambling.

Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford, said he worries about turning to the lottery to solve revenue problems. "It does concern me, the road we're going down," he said.

If the bill were to pass, Noble said much of the needed infrastructure is already in place from when it previously seemed like keno would be legalized.

Retailers would be trained in how to offer keno "responsibly" and how to connect problem gamblers with resources that can help them, she said. The lottery also would launch at least two widespread awareness campaigns addressing gambling addiction, she added.

"We recognize at the Connecticut Lottery that, even if it's just a small portion of the population that has a problem gambling, we have an obligation to act," she said. "We do that."

New Haven Register

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10 comments. Last comment 2 years ago by Stack47.
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CTNY's avatar - Lottery-062.jpg
New Haven, CT - Queens, NY
United States
Member #98740
October 13, 2010
5432 Posts
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Posted: April 16, 2015, 8:50 am - IP Logged

Cool!!

The goal is to approach the Pick 3 & Pick 4 game sensibly and systematically!! Wink

 I'm not like the guy who predicted the end of the world and nothing happened.

    music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
    Happy California
    United States
    Member #157856
    August 2, 2014
    1506 Posts
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    Posted: April 16, 2015, 1:28 pm - IP Logged

    Wink I believe that Power Ball will experience a come back ! Embarassed

      lottobrain's avatar - box
      Smyrna, DE
      United States
      Member #10074
      January 1, 2005
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      Posted: April 16, 2015, 5:54 pm - IP Logged

      It will certainly be a money maker for the state, but not for the players.  It will most likely be the same computerized keno game that we now have in Delaware and that Maryland has had for years. The first year they had it in Maryland, the state lottery income soared. The game operates like a slot machine game, programmed to calculate all of the bets made each game and control the payout to a percentage favoring the state by locking out numbers that would result in a big payout.  Anyone who has this game in their state will no doubt know what I mean.  One can play to hit one number only, up to 10 numbers, but the program will only give you just enough numbers to keep you hooked without winning anything.....and the numbers that come will be just one off of your number....or your number will be surrounded by all of the numbers around it so you will think that you might win next game.  Delaware is trying desperately to get people to play it, but not many are biting. I have on occasion tried playing 14 or 15 cards with 10 numbers picked by covering 10 numbers in each corner, 10 numbers in the center and 10 number groups all in between these groups without winning even one minimal amount in any group.   The power and speed of today's computers make this possible. The only way to play Keno would be with actual ball machines.

        Avatar
        Kentucky
        United States
        Member #32652
        February 14, 2006
        7295 Posts
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        Posted: April 17, 2015, 2:08 am - IP Logged

        It will certainly be a money maker for the state, but not for the players.  It will most likely be the same computerized keno game that we now have in Delaware and that Maryland has had for years. The first year they had it in Maryland, the state lottery income soared. The game operates like a slot machine game, programmed to calculate all of the bets made each game and control the payout to a percentage favoring the state by locking out numbers that would result in a big payout.  Anyone who has this game in their state will no doubt know what I mean.  One can play to hit one number only, up to 10 numbers, but the program will only give you just enough numbers to keep you hooked without winning anything.....and the numbers that come will be just one off of your number....or your number will be surrounded by all of the numbers around it so you will think that you might win next game.  Delaware is trying desperately to get people to play it, but not many are biting. I have on occasion tried playing 14 or 15 cards with 10 numbers picked by covering 10 numbers in each corner, 10 numbers in the center and 10 number groups all in between these groups without winning even one minimal amount in any group.   The power and speed of today's computers make this possible. The only way to play Keno would be with actual ball machines.

        "The game operates like a slot machine game, programmed to calculate all of the bets made each game and control the payout to a percentage favoring the state by locking out numbers that would result in a big payout."

        If you could prove that is actually happening, it would be the biggest lottery scandal ever. The odds and payoffs give the lottery enough edge making cheating pretty stupid.

          SilverLion's avatar - 8ball

          United States
          Member #165541
          April 12, 2015
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          Posted: April 17, 2015, 2:23 am - IP Logged

          Keno is too difficult!!  To many numbers!!!  No discernible patterns.  Electronic gaming keno is prone to fraud!

            casino crawler's avatar - Lottery-049.jpg
            San Diego, CA
            United States
            Member #165351
            April 3, 2015
            86 Posts
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            Posted: April 17, 2015, 3:36 pm - IP Logged

            Keno is too difficult!!  To many numbers!!!  No discernible patterns.  Electronic gaming keno is prone to fraud!

            There are a lot of avid keno players so I think this would be a great move for the state.  If you go to the casino, there are definitely "keno regulars" that have won using pattern recognition.  I know many who have gotten multiple jackpots on electronic or video keno machines.  There are keno books out there and these folks have verified so many wins.

            I guess anything is subject to fraud without the right regulation and hopefully the gaming commissions are going to do their job.  I guess we all have our opinions, but results speak volumes.Lurking

              Avatar
              Kentucky
              United States
              Member #32652
              February 14, 2006
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              Posted: April 17, 2015, 4:02 pm - IP Logged

              There are a lot of avid keno players so I think this would be a great move for the state.  If you go to the casino, there are definitely "keno regulars" that have won using pattern recognition.  I know many who have gotten multiple jackpots on electronic or video keno machines.  There are keno books out there and these folks have verified so many wins.

              I guess anything is subject to fraud without the right regulation and hopefully the gaming commissions are going to do their job.  I guess we all have our opinions, but results speak volumes.Lurking

              I Agree!

              And some businesses created very Keno friendly environments; was at a sports bar in Michigan that had Keno runners.

                eddessaknight's avatar - nw paladin.jpg
                LAS VEGAS
                United States
                Member #47729
                November 22, 2006
                4492 Posts
                Online
                Posted: April 17, 2015, 9:16 pm - IP Logged

                It will certainly be a money maker for the state, but not for the players.  It will most likely be the same computerized keno game that we now have in Delaware and that Maryland has had for years. The first year they had it in Maryland, the state lottery income soared. The game operates like a slot machine game, programmed to calculate all of the bets made each game and control the payout to a percentage favoring the state by locking out numbers that would result in a big payout.  Anyone who has this game in their state will no doubt know what I mean.  One can play to hit one number only, up to 10 numbers, but the program will only give you just enough numbers to keep you hooked without winning anything.....and the numbers that come will be just one off of your number....or your number will be surrounded by all of the numbers around it so you will think that you might win next game.  Delaware is trying desperately to get people to play it, but not many are biting. I have on occasion tried playing 14 or 15 cards with 10 numbers picked by covering 10 numbers in each corner, 10 numbers in the center and 10 number groups all in between these groups without winning even one minimal amount in any group.   The power and speed of today's computers make this possible. The only way to play Keno would be with actual ball machines.

                I Agree!

                Recently, at a lodge meeting I was engaged in conversation with a trusted gent who works for a major Vegas based slot machine mfg, so on ostensibly good authority, he privately revealed this covert piece of VK info: "Each machine employs standard telephone dialing technology for memory & redialing and remembers the big hits & that's why very, very rarely after the big payout, will it repeat that number!" 

                This all I have on the subject, so via Ripley Believe It or Not Wink you consider & judge

                "When you own the game (roulette wheel), ts no longer a even chance game "
                ~Damon Runyon

                 

                FAIRGAME ???

                Keep in mind, rarely are important things as presented to us @gaming ground zero as Vegas is also the Magic (misdirection & illusion) capitol

                 

                For Video Keno aficionados & related others to consider the possibilities.....

                 

                Fortes Fortuna Juvat

                Eddessa_Knight Sun Smiley

                  Avatar
                  Westfield, MA
                  United States
                  Member #132920
                  September 15, 2012
                  51 Posts
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                  Posted: April 18, 2015, 2:00 am - IP Logged

                  It will certainly be a money maker for the state, but not for the players.  It will most likely be the same computerized keno game that we now have in Delaware and that Maryland has had for years. The first year they had it in Maryland, the state lottery income soared. The game operates like a slot machine game, programmed to calculate all of the bets made each game and control the payout to a percentage favoring the state by locking out numbers that would result in a big payout.  Anyone who has this game in their state will no doubt know what I mean.  One can play to hit one number only, up to 10 numbers, but the program will only give you just enough numbers to keep you hooked without winning anything.....and the numbers that come will be just one off of your number....or your number will be surrounded by all of the numbers around it so you will think that you might win next game.  Delaware is trying desperately to get people to play it, but not many are biting. I have on occasion tried playing 14 or 15 cards with 10 numbers picked by covering 10 numbers in each corner, 10 numbers in the center and 10 number groups all in between these groups without winning even one minimal amount in any group.   The power and speed of today's computers make this possible. The only way to play Keno would be with actual ball machines.

                  The sad part is you are basically correct. I will tell you of an experience my friend and I had while I was with him about 15 years ago. We were playing Keno in a mall dining area. We had been playing for a while when all of a sudden my friend gets excited and says to me that all of his numbers are coming out ( I think he played a 6 or 7 spot). At first the numbers come out one at a time, then after that, they show all 20 on the screen together. The problem was that now with all 20 numbers shown together, my friends numbers were no longer in the picks. In other words, some of numbers were replaced. It just so happened to be the numbers my friend had played that game. We were both a bit shocked, as I knew what numbers he played. So I walked over to the counter and then told the person behind the counter what just happened. All he said was "That happens sometimes". If that is not proof that Keno is rigged, I don't know what is! Also, very few people play Keno here in MA now, I think everybody knows...

                  If MA rigged it, don't you think CT will also? I sure do. Except now you won't see that "Glitch" of them showing the numbers, then changing some of them for the final showing. After all, this was 15 years ago. Now they will just have the software change the numbers before they pop on the screen one at a time, so you will never know that you could have won, or that you should have won much more than you actually did.

                    Avatar
                    Kentucky
                    United States
                    Member #32652
                    February 14, 2006
                    7295 Posts
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                    Posted: April 19, 2015, 6:34 pm - IP Logged

                    The sad part is you are basically correct. I will tell you of an experience my friend and I had while I was with him about 15 years ago. We were playing Keno in a mall dining area. We had been playing for a while when all of a sudden my friend gets excited and says to me that all of his numbers are coming out ( I think he played a 6 or 7 spot). At first the numbers come out one at a time, then after that, they show all 20 on the screen together. The problem was that now with all 20 numbers shown together, my friends numbers were no longer in the picks. In other words, some of numbers were replaced. It just so happened to be the numbers my friend had played that game. We were both a bit shocked, as I knew what numbers he played. So I walked over to the counter and then told the person behind the counter what just happened. All he said was "That happens sometimes". If that is not proof that Keno is rigged, I don't know what is! Also, very few people play Keno here in MA now, I think everybody knows...

                    If MA rigged it, don't you think CT will also? I sure do. Except now you won't see that "Glitch" of them showing the numbers, then changing some of them for the final showing. After all, this was 15 years ago. Now they will just have the software change the numbers before they pop on the screen one at a time, so you will never know that you could have won, or that you should have won much more than you actually did.

                    "We had been playing for a while when all of a sudden my friend gets excited and says to me that all of his numbers are coming out"

                    Most people would say "came out" because it's known after the numbers were drawn.

                    "At first the numbers come out one at a time, then after that, they show all 20 on the screen together."

                    That's a common procedure in just about every Keno game including live ball drawings I saw. Some will show the 20 numbers in the order they were drawn then switch to numerical order making it easier for players to check the tickets.

                    "The problem was that now with all 20 numbers shown together, my friends numbers were no longer in the picks. In other words, some of numbers were replaced."

                    I wondered why you said "are coming out" as opposed to "came out" because it sounds like the numbers never came out. There is a feature on the MA Lottery website that repeats the drawings so you could have checked that if you really thought the lottery singled out your friend, out of thousands of players to cheat.

                    "If MA rigged it, don't you think CT will also?"

                    The MA Lottery pays out a higher percentage than any other lottery so you need more evidence than he said "all of his numbers are coming out" if you're trying to prove the drawings are rigged.

                    Personally if I thought a game was rigged, I wouldn't play it regardless of in which state.