House kills keno lottery bill, would have generated an estimated $3 million annually - Casper, WY Oil City News
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House kills keno lottery bill, would have generated an estimated $3 million annually

Rep. Bob Nicholas, R-Cheyenne. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — Keno is a lottery-like gambling game which some in the Wyoming Legislature think could generate funding for the state.

House District 29 Representative Mark Kinner said during the Wyoming House of Representative’s Thursday, Feb. 13 floor session that the lottery in Wyoming raised about $6 million in 2019 and added that allowing keno kiosks could generate about $3 million in annual.

“Several years ago we approved the lottery in Wyoming,” he said. “That has been working quite well.”

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“Several partners around the state [have been] asking for diversified games.”

A bill which would have made keno kiosks legal in bars and grills in the state failed on an introductory vote in the House on Thursday. While a majority of the House voted in favor of introducing the bill, the 35-23 vote failed to meet the two-thirds majority required for introduction during budget sessions.

“These are called kiosks,” Kinner said ahead of the vote. “They would only be in bars and grills. It would look more like an ATM where [people] can purchase tickets.”

He explained that the bill would have allowed up to four kiosks per location, adding that an estimated 150 vendors would have taken advantage of the ability to add the kiosks.

Kinner said that about 450 retail vendors in the state sell lottery tickets.

House District 08 Representative Bob Nicholas said that keno is “by definition” not “instant gratification.”

He added that the Wyoming Lottery has the ability to create keno already. The bill would have authorized the ability to implement kiosks.

Further details of the failed legislation are available online.

Concerned about this or other legislation? An online hotline system allows Wyomingites to have messages delivered to legislators on issues they are concerned with.