May 24, 2013 – A last minute addition to a Vermont state budget bill is asking Lottery officials to put together a report on Keno, a computer- based bingo game not currently offered by the Vermont Lottery.
Senator Kevin Mullin added the provision requiring the report to the bill at the last minute, according to VTDigger.org.
“We should be looking at all kinds of revenue sources,” Mullin said. He says that the state should not ignore options for generating revenue, despite anti-gambling sentiments among many Vermont representatives.
Democratic Sen. Alice Nitka says that a study of what Keno could do to generate revenue in Vermont makes sense, as legislators there are “looking under every stone for money.”
But Janet Ancel, head of Vermont’s House Ways and Means Committee, opposes any expansion of the state lottery, which generates funding for education in Vermont.
“We are less dependent on gambling than most other states, and I think that’s a good thing,” Ancel said. She noted her concern that other states “have to keep expanding [their lotteries] to attract people to games.”
Mullin is convinced that the state is missing an important opportunity.
“We’re not going to stop people from going to Foxwoods and Indian reservations in New York. It’s lost potential revenue. There’s just more and more places to go,” Mullin said.