South Australian Lotteries has filed an appeal to the Independent Gambling Authority after the latter has expressed its desire to pull Keno from retail shops, news agencies and existing service stations.
The recommendation by the gaming authority proposes agencies not sell Keno tickets and Keno would only be played at accredited gaming centers.
The authority claims that Keno heightens gambling problems in South Australia (SA) and the move to remove Keno from its current retailers is the best remedy.
On one hand, SA Lotteries argues that there is no concrete basis the withdrawal of Keno would eradicate or at least lessen gambling problems in SA.
It would more likely to worsen the situation as players would shift to other gambling alternatives and even alcohol if they would only be able to play Keno at certified Keno venues, according to the group.
Agencies added that to lose Keno is to lose an estimated total of $65M in a year. It would mean a loss of $34.5M a year in gambling products and $30.5M in magazines, news journals and stationeries.
SA Lotteries worries about dropping one-third of its players, hence a drop of 50 to 55% of their accumulated sales. Commissioned agents, 335 small businesses and thousands of employees, are most likely to suffer.
Their continuing service for the development of public hospitals will also be affected as its yearly donation to the Hospitals Fund will drop from $89M in 2005.
Wednesday, August 09 , 2006
John M. Thorpe