Connecticut Legislature to Mull Keno Change

Lawmakers in Connecticut are mulling a bill that would repeal the recently adopted measure that would have allowed the state lottery to introduce keno to the state’s taverns and eateries.

The Connecticut legislature is reexamining whether to allow keno in the state’s bars and restaurants.

In the light of several key Connecticut lawmakers and Governor Dannel Malloy’s statements that they would like to see a bill that authorized keno as part of the state lottery repealed, a committee of the General Assembly has begun reviewing a repeal of an earlier approval of the game.

No bill has actually been written, but the Public Safety Committee will now hold hearings on the proposal. It apparently reacted to House Speaker Brendan Sharkey’s statement that he planned to wok for the repeal.

According to Co-chairman Stephen Dargan, “We know that it’s not anything more than a bingo game, but since there’s been so much input from leadership, we thought it was important to at least have a dialogue on keno.”

Many lawmakers said they wanted to put the brakes on the keno rollout after it became apparent that the 2014 state budget was going to end in June with a $505 million surplus.

The other Public Safety Chairman, Joan Hartley, added, “The primary reason that this was enacted was not because we thought it was a good gaming option. It was always, at least my understanding is, about the revenue stream. There are some different projections now, and I think that’s how it was triggered.”