A popular keno parlor in the Benson area is facing another face-off with the Omaha City Council. Omaha Keno King proprietor Jeff Rothlisberger will go before the council on March 2nd, 2010 to fight to retain the liquor license of his keno parlor. A petition has been going around the area were Rothlisberger's keno facility is located at 65th and Ames.
Proponents of the petition say that the facility has broken a deal it made with the Omaha City Council last year, which prohibited certain types of gathering at the former Claiborne Center, a longtime trouble-prone area for police officers and neighbors alike.
Rothlisberger admits that unruly customers plagued the establishment but he said that his customers have changed since he transformed the same facility into the current keno establishment. Omaha Keno King has tapped a security organization to help control the crowds at night.
Rothlisberger said that they also feature stand-up comedy routines and a poetry reading night. But some residents in the area say that they were under the belief that the large crowds and problems would not be happening once the facility's identity was changed last year.
Resident Steve Rydberg said that the whole area is just filled with cars and you just never know what is going to happen with that amount of people. A petition in support of the keno parlor is also circulating and more than four hundred names have already signed it.
Rothlisberger said that the deal he had signed with the Omaha City Council only prohibit him from renting out the facility and from holding dance parties. He added that the neighbors are mistaken if they think that anything that is not allowed is happening.
The Omaha Keno King liquor license issue will be up for deliberation within seventy-two hours at the City Hall.
John M. Thorpe