Thursday, May 28, 2009

Connecticut Governor Proposes More Gambling In Latest Budget

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Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell included expanding the game of Keno outside of Indian casinos and into bars and restaurants in the budget proposal she unveiled today.

The budget shows that Keno would generate $20 million for the state in its first year and $60 million every year thereafter. Once Keno is in place, the state could borrow money in the bond market backed by the future state revenues collected on the game.

The Division of Special Revenues, which oversees gaming in the state, believes that Keno is already authorized under current state law although others believe adding the game requires new legislation. Keno has strong backing from some lawmakers, but others have raised concerns over the extension of new forms of gambling.

Representative Stephen Dargan, D-North Haven, is reported to be seeking a formal opinion from state attorney general Richard Blumenthal as to whether implementing Keno would violate the gaming compacts with the Mohegan and Mashantucket Indian tribes.