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Connecticut Tribes Not in Favor of Keno Plan

Governor Jodi Rell's plan to allow the game of keno in Connecticut to raise additional money for the state budget may not such be an excellent plan after all. Governor Rell's plan were put on hold on March 22nd, 2010 because the state's two casino facilities are not in favor of the pan and it could violate the gaming agreement between Connecticut and the two Indian tribes.

Gov. Rell proposed the keno idea in the state before, but most legislators have been against it. However, with the economic recession, legislators felt that they had to give it some thought. , which bears a lot of similarities to bingo, could produce an estimate $40 million a year for Connecticut. That is why Gov. Rell place it in her plan to reduce the budget deficit.

Now, Gov. Rell is worried about the plan's effect to the state's relationship with the Indian tribes. The Office of Policy Management's Michael Cicchetti said they are not going forward with the keno plan until they have a solid agreement.

The two Connecticut Indian tribes, which manage two of the state's casinos, are against the keno plan. They expressed their criticism at a public hearing.

The tribes said that it would violate the gaming compact they have with Connecticut. Legislators could push for the plan and get the legal opinion of Attorney General Richard Blumenthal but considering the casino facilities give Connecticut $400 million annually from their slot machine earnings, they may not want to do anything that may affect that revenue stream.

Legislators said that the keno plan is not necessarily finalized. Connecticut lawmakers said that if they can raise enough revenue to scale down the $1.3 billion budget deficit, they may not pursue the keno plan after all.

 

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John M. Thorpe