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Online Casino News - July, 2008

Ohio Keno Machines Feed Remote Progressive Jackpot



  Seed Newsvine

by Elizabeth Nguyen, News Staff Writer

July 21, 2008

Come August 4, 2008, the U.S. State of Ohio is set to go keno crazy. Well, maybe not crazy, but certainly open to playing the casino-like, or should I say lottery-like game of Keno. The reason being is that legislation has been passed to regulate the use of keno machines in racetracks, taverns, dining facilities, clubs/organizations, bowling alleys and more.

Although falling well short of the 2006 casino gambling constitutional amendment to bring 5,000 slots machines to Ohio racetracks and developing full-scale Las Vegas casinos in downtown Cincinnati and Cleveland, keno machines will undoubtedly generate some badly needed revenue for Ohio's education system, namely, helping high school graduates pay in-State college tuition.

Even Governor Ted Strickland, who opposed skill-betting machines and Las Vegas casino games, has been in support of the keno machines, which is kind of ironic considering how "skill-less" keno can be. Still, the new law has its detractors, such as the Ohio Roundtable - an anti-gambling group who played a large role in helping get sill-based machines kicked out of Ohio.

But not only did skill-based games get kicked out of Ohio - so did some serious revenue. Now realizing just how badly this revenue is needed, Governor Strickland was apparently persuaded to compromise. Or perhaps the Governor was persuaded by the powerful arm of the Ohio Lottery Commission, who is now expecting to generate some $73 million by the end of this fiscal year with the help of keno machines.

700 establishments - all with Class D liquor licenses, have already been approved by the Lottery Commission to house the keno machines, which will be tied into a single wide-area progressive jackpot. Slightly different than traditional Las Vegas casino keno, Ohio's keno machines will allow players to pick from 1 to 10 numbers (our of eighty) and place bets ranging from $1 to $20. Depending on the size of the bet and matched numbers, payouts will vary - with ten out of ten matching numbers on a $20 bet paying out $2 million. Games will be played every four minutes and numbers will be chosen from a statewide computer system.



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