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Governor Adds Keno to Lottery

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February 1, 2008

COLUMBUS, OH - Gov. Ted Strickland announced yesterday he was adding keno to the state lottery to generate an additional $73 million to the lottery revenues which were $669 million last year. After his public fight against the expansion of gambling last year, many were surprised by his decision.

The Governor said "I'm making a distinction that I think is a legitimate distinction between casino gambling or other kinds of gambling in Ohio and the lottery, which is an activity that has been voted on by the people.".

"It's been supported by the people of this state for a long time, and this is an activity that is state-controlled, state-regulated. I think there's a vast difference between what we're proposing and what has been proposed by some entities in the recent past."

The introduction of keno will not need approval from neither legislators nor voters, but opponents were quick to react.

"The people have spoken and roundly defeated gambling in Ohio -- with this governor's help," said Sen. George V. Voinovich, a former governor. "This is in no way an expansion of the lottery. From a public-policy standpoint, I urge the legislature to reject this idea and do what I did when I was governor in this situation, which was to work harder and smarter and do more with less. This would be a foot in the door for full-blown gambling and, once that happens, Katie bar the door."

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