On July 14th, 2008, around one thousand bars, bowling alleys, social clubs and other facilities in Ohio will start selling keno for the first time. The game will officially start on the first week of August 2008. A lot of business owners like Jim Velio, this is a good opportunity for businesses in Ohio to earn more profits and recoup their losses from the smoking ban that was imposed on the state of Ohio.
Keno is a very hot issue in the state since Governor Ted Strickland announced in January 2008 that he will push for the game as one of the solutions to solve the budget deficit and raise $73 million annually and avoid cuts to school funding. It will be the biggest gaming expansion of the Ohio Lottery since the state became a member of the multistate Mega Millions game in 2001.
Some critics said that keno is no different from other forms of gaming in the state. Business owners like bar owners are hoping to earn from the commissions that are expected to reach more than $13,000 a year, aside from attracting new customers.
Dan Metelsky, the Ohio Lottery sales director said that host businesses will earn 6.2% of the keno ticket sales, which is equal to the portion of convenience stores and other business establishment's lottery tickets. The Ohio Lottery acquired $18 million worth of monitor and other keno paraphernalia from GTECH and is placing them in businesses that applied for a keno license.
John M. Thorpe