The Pennsylvania Lottery's new keno game tickets have been selling "like gangbusters" since debuting at the beginning of the month, lottery spokesman Gary Miller said.
Since May 1, the lottery took in $2.7 million in keno sales and players have already won more than $1.8 million in prizes, Miller said.
About 9,400 retailers statewide sell keno tickets. About 900 bars and restaurants have big screen monitors to play the keno game and that number continues to grow every day, he said. The gaming terminals at these locations have an animated version of the drawing.
"We've noticed at the locations with large monitors sales are a little higher. It adds a visual element of excitement. It's something new and different," Miller said. "It's off to a very good start."
Miller said what players like about the fast-paced game is it's easy to play.
Tickets cost between $1 and $20 and players can choose up to 10 numbers from 1-80 or allow the computer to choose for them.
A random drawing of 20 numbers happens every four minutes and players match the numbers to win.
"The more you match, the more you win," Miller said.
While keno has long been available in other states, Miller said Pennsylvania Lottery players have "told us for years they would like us to bring it here to the Keystone State."
He said keno is the first game specifically marketed to bars and restaurants because "it's a stay and play kind of game and people are enjoying playing it with their friends."
The lottery, with the help of Scientific Games, will launch Xpress Sports in the summer, allowing players to place bets on fantasy sports such as Inspired Entertainment's Stock Car Racing and 1st Down Virtual Football.
Establishments that have the lottery games receive a 5 percent profit from sales.
The Windsor Inn in Jermyn has a gaming terminal with a screen for keno and two more awaiting the stock car racing and football games.
Gary Urnoski, general manager of the Windsor Inn, said they also are awaiting another gaming terminal with three more screens.
He said he has seen a great deal of interest in the keno game and people have been calling and asking when the next games are coming.
"We have a lot of new faces in here," Urnoski said. "People are asking if it's the same game they see in Maryland and other states. They're not used to seeing it around here."
The Windsor Inn also sells lottery scratch-off tickets and features online lottery sales. Betting goes "hand in hand with the bar scene," Urnoski said.
Patrons of CrisNics Irish Pub on Barney Street in Wilkes-Barre can find a gaming terminal with three big screens.
Owner Mark Flaherty said one is for keno and the other two are awaiting the new stock car racing and football games.
Like other establishments that have the lottery games, CrisNics receives a 5 percent profit from sales, Flaherty said.
In October 2017, Pennsylvania passed gambling expansion laws that included the authorization of online lottery sales. The first internet lottery games hit the market in the spring.
Gov. Tom Wolf announced at the time his administration would allow the Pennsylvania Lottery to sell virtual animated sports betting games in bars and restaurants to find more money for programs that benefit the elderly.
Keno can be played at any Pennsylvania Lottery retailer that sells draw games and can be watched live in person at select retailers.
The easiest way to find the nearest Pennsylvania Lottery retailer is by using the free Lottery Places app, available on smartphones and Windows computers.