Keno, a good or bad bet? - KATV - Breaking News, Weather and Razorback Sports

Keno, a good or bad bet?

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(KATV) The Arkansas Lottery considering a new game to bring in more money but it's not a game everyone wants Arkansans to play.

About 15 states currently have the fast paced lottery game, Keno, others are on the verge and Arkansas lottery officials are considering it.

Right now, the lottery commission is expecting a shortfall in profits from sales and the Lottery Oversight Committee is looking for a way to boost revenue. 

Keno is a video monitor game like bingo. Other than casino's, it is at public businesses in about 15 states. Mark Perry is the co-chair of the Lottery Oversight Committee. He says legislation allows for the game, but it hasn't been brought up, until now. "It is about more money for scholarships, helping more students in Arkansas."

The game of Keno uses balls numbered 1 through 80. The computer draws 20 balls at random and displays the numbers on the screen. Like with Powerball and Mega Millions, you fill out a keno ticket and the object of the game is to guess some of the numbers the house will draw.

Perry says it is too soon to think about where the monitors will go, but he gave some ideas. "VFW organizations, sports clubs, sports bars, country clubs. Where there is a captive audience where people can sit down because you sit down and view a monitor and play bingo and keno."

Some opponents argue this style game will pray on the elderly, lead to more gambling addictions and expose kids to gaming. "You look at the number of people that are traveling across the river to go to Tunica; you could flip that story either way."

Governor Mike Beebe says instead of focusing on the 8 million dollars less the lottery is expected to bring in for scholarships; people need to focus on the 90 million dollars going to scholarships because we have a lottery. "Just for addition games, I don't think it is productive. All you are going to do is further exacerbate the issues in my opinion."

The Lottery Oversight Committee still needs to vote to have a study done. Not all committee members are on board with Keno at this time. After the study, the lottery commission would have to agree to implement the new game. So it is in the early stage. 

The rough estimate is that keno can bring in about 10-million dollars.

The next time the lottery commission meets is July 15.