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Connecticut Governor Proposes Keno Gambling To Help Budget

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Governor M. Jodi Rell is again pushing for keno gambling in the state of Connecticut. This time, however, the Republican governor wants the state lottery to offer the games, and that may become a problem with tribal casinos in Connecticut.

The two tribes have an agreement in place that allows keno gambling at their casinos. The state law is unclear, according to Attorney general Richard Blumenthal, as to whether the state can legally offer their own version of the popular game.

"Most of these states have agreements where the tribe's receive exclusivity of the games they offer," said Gaming Analyst Steve Schwartz, "in Connecticut, the agreement seems to have some grey area, and the governor may choose to use that to the state's advantage."

The reason for the request from Rell is the state budget. Connecticut, like many other states, is struggling with budget cuts, and the millions of dollars that could be added in revenue from the keno games could go a long way towards balancing that budget.

Other states have used different forms of gambling to help cut into budget deficits. Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, Missouri, and Kansas are among the states that have legalized table games or added amendments to their former laws.

In the Northeast, Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania are all going after the struggling Atlantic City casino industry. Pennsylvania has added table games for their casinos, and Delaware lawmakers are considering doing the same.

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