"...and please God, don't do that." - Jim Horan, Connecticut Association for Human Services on Where We Live
That's pretty much been the reaction to Governor Rell's plan to raise some $60 million through the introduction of the popular lottery/bar game Keno into Connecticut.
First reading: For a full historically-accurate explanation of how Keno will impact state residents, see Colin McEnroe's column in the Courant this weekend.
Second reading: Fellow columnist Rick Green has covered gambing in the state for years, and has appeared on Where We Live to talk about the topic. Here's Rick's take on his blog. He also provides a link to this handy odds table (you can be a winner!).
Update: Since this blog orignially posted, Rick has written a column about Keno's dangerous addictive qualities.
Today's news: Attorney General Blumenthal says the state might violate the agreement with its two Indian casinos, and that might cost the state precious slot machine revenues. He told a press conference today: "The 400 million dollars could be put significant and serious jeopardy as a result of the state unilaterally embarking on Keno gambling."
Our benchmark: The game has been so "successful" in Massachusetts, that it's been expanded into a kind of "take-out" Keno called "Keno-to-Go." This excerpt from a story in the Springfield Republican gives a sense of concerns of Keno gone wild just North of the border: "We feel we didn't want to turn every convenience store, every gas station, into Keno parlors," said Councilor Robert E. Rossi, chairman of the License Committee, which reviewed the matter. "We want to keep it conducive to the neighborhood."
The last word: From Anna Sale's story about the AG's opinion, a description of one state lawmaker, who obviously doesn't view gambling as a social ill - Rep. Stephen Dargin, a self described gambler who plans to bet on this weekend's horse race. He told the assembled captiol press corps that maybe a little betting wouldn't be a bad thing: "Help jumpstart the economy in Connecticut!" he yelled.
Below, a YouTube video captures the excitement of Keno! (My favorite line, "We'll play another $2200, then we'll go home...")