The state lottery director Kathleen Burke said on March 5th, 2010 that the keno game of the Ohio Lottery is finally getting closer to revenue projections after lagging behind revenue expectations for one year and a half. Keno, a fast-pace numbers game that made its debut in the state lottery in August 2009, experienced its sales record in Ohio on Friday.
Burke said that three of the past four weeks have been the highest ever profits weeks that the game experienced since it started in Ohio. Burke did not specify any sales figures. The apparent change comes after months of disappointing performances for keno, which is available in about 1,100 bars around the state.
The game earned a total of $30 million in profits in its initial year of offering, short of the $73 million that Ohio officials had been expecting from the game. Connecticut Lottery Director Burke said that the initial revenue projections were mainly based on the experience when the game was first introduced in Michigan, which unlike Ohio had no smoking ban and was not in the middle of an economic recession when keno started there in 2004.
Keno's performance in Ohio improved because of aggressive marketing of the game and education of bar staff and players as well as the introduction of automated machines. The new multiplayer automated machines allow gamers to enjoy keno without the help of bar staff, freeing them to serve beverages and food. Burke said that Ohio's 1,100 keno retailers have a total of four hundred to five hundred multiplayer machines.
Kathleen Burke, who was named lottery head in August 2009, said that the expecting opening of casino facilities in Ohio's biggest cities should not deeply affect lottery profits. Burke said that the state lottery is prepared to install thousand of video slot machines at state horse racing tracks if it receives approval from state voters or a court.