Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal says the state needs to be cautious before counting on Keno revenue in a new budget.
Blumenthal says there's no consensus from the courts on key questions about Keno -- whether it's a lottery game or a casino-type game, or if Connecticut would violate its agreements with the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes by making Keno available outside casinos.
He's advising the state to amend its compacts with the tribes before introducing the game. Otherwise, he warns, the Indian tribes could object and stop sharing 25 percent of casino revenues with the state.
"The 400 million dollars could be put significantly and seriously in jeopardy as a result of the state unilaterally embarking on Keno gambling," Blumenthal says.
The legislature has already broached the subject of Keno with the tribes, but neither is offering a public opinion for now. The Mohegan Tribal Council and the Mashantucket Pequot tribe say they need to see the language of a Keno proposal before they can comment.
Governor Rell estimates Keno will bringing in $60 million a year once it's up and running, though Democratic lawmakers says that's overly optimistic.
The leaders of the legislative committee that oversees gambling are doubtful all this can get worked out in time for a budget deal by the end of June. And they're split on whether this is a good idea to begin with. Senator Andrea Stillman says she does not support more gambling in the state, whether it's considered lottery or not.
"I view this as an expansion of gambling," Stillman says.
Rep. Stephen Dargin, on the other hand, says he's most concerned that all the involved parties reach a deal together. He's a gambler himself and plans to throw down some money on the horse race this weekend. He joked that others should do the same.
"Help jumpstart the economy in Connecticut!" Dargin proclaimed.