Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Connecticut Governor Says State Can Offer Keno

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Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell said today that Keno can be introduced to bars and restaurants in the state as a lottery game, discounting yesterday's suggestion from the state's attorney general that gaming agreements with the Mohegans and Mashantuckets should be amended before Keno is rolled out statewide.

Gov. Rell said, "There should be no question the Keno can be introduced as a lottery game. Nevertheless, I have always intended to make sure we proceed in a way that honors and protects Connecticut's long-standing relationship with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes."

Gov. Rell proposed Keno last week as a way to fill a projected state budget deficit.

Attorney general Richard Blumenthal said yesterday that it isn't clear whether Keno could be considered a lottery game.

The state budget announced by Gov. Rell last week projects 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.

Although the budget did not include details on the establishments that would be permitted to operate Keno, it is believed that bars, restaurants and bowling alleys would be allowed to run the Keno games.

Both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods offer Keno.