Senate opposes Keno

May 21, 2015

BY: Citizens Count

The Senate Ways and Means Committee voted 4-1 against authorizing Keno this week.

Keno is a lottery game offered in bars and some other establishments that serve alcohol.  A player selects numbers on a slip, and a computer generates random numbers every four minutes.  The player gets a payout for matching numbers from the computer and the slip.

Sen. David Boutin, the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, cautioned policymakers about the social ills associated with Keno.

"Anyplace that sells liquor can put these machines in, you are going to have gambling in every corner in every town," said Boutin.

The House of Representatives included Keno as part of their state budget proposal, so Keno still has a chance of getting approved when House and Senate budget negotiators meet in June.

Gov. Maggie Hassan also supports Keno.

"Six of the ten most lucrative Keno locations in Massachusetts are located within five miles of the New Hampshire border. Allowing Keno and self-service lottery terminals would help bring that revenue back home to invest in our priorities," Hassan argued in her budget address.

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