The head of the Arkansas State Lottery and Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe met for the first time on June 30th, 2009 but did not discussed much about their opinion regarding keno. State lottery director Ernie Passailaigue's meeting with Gov. Beebe came 5 days after the Governor announced that he would opposed keno being included in the Arkansas State Lottery.
Passailaigue stated that he envisioned the game of keno being enjoyed in bars and pubs by individuals watching keno for their numbers that come up every 5 minutes but he wanted the feedback of Beebe and the legislative officials about the intent of the state lottery.
Gov. Beebe and Passailaigue did not discuss the game on their meeting other than the Gov. Beebe stated through his spokesperson Matt DeCample that he is not looking to place himself in the middle of the lottery issue. DeCample stated that Gov. Beebe introduced some of his staff to Passailaigue.
Arkansas Lottery Commissioner Ben Pickard from Searcy, one of Gov. Beebe's three appointees to the lottery commission, accompanied lottery director Passailaigue to the meeting with Gov. Beebe. Pickard described the meeting as a sort of introduction. The 9-member commission appointed Passailaigue. He answers to the commission, not Gov. Beebe.
After the meeting, Passailaigue stated in an interview that the game of keno is a low priority compared to beginning Powerball ticket sales. As to when the lottery commission would decide on the game of keno, Passailaigue stated that maybe in twelve to twenty-four months. He added that the any keno game approved by the state lottery would be a minimum percentage of lottery revenue. Passailaigue said that they are hopeful that they will be able to offer Powerball as soon as possible.
The lottery commission is scheduled to study Passailaigue's recommendation for the state lottery to accept the multi-state Powerball group's invitation to join the Ohio lottery. The Multi-State Lottery Association The average cash jackpot for Powerball is about $136 million. Powerball tickets cost one dollar and the chances of winning the jackpot are about 1 in 195 million.
Passailaigue said that their goal is to launch the game by Christmas. The state lottery commission indicated that it wants to begin scratch-off tickets sales on or before October 29th, 2009 and ticket sales for games settled through lottery drawings on or before December 14th, 2009 in its request for proposals from different lottery vendors.