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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