Club Keno to start May 28 in Missouri

Tuesday, May 21, 2002

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Lottery plans to begin its new Club Keno game May 28 in about 470 bars, restaurants and similar locations.

The start date announced Monday is a few days earlier than the initial June 1 target. The number of participating businesses is nearly double the amount the lottery had approved in March.

The game is expected to generate $79 million in sales annually, of which nearly $21 million would go to public schools under the budget for the state fiscal year starting July 1.

Most of the money is to be paid back in prizes but a share also goes to the retailers and to the Lottery Commission.

Gov. Bob Holden included the new keno-style lottery game as part of a plan announced in January to fund education. The Lottery Commission has the authority to implement the game and is doing so despite the objections of some state lawmakers opposed to the expansion of gambling.

Besides the state-run lottery, Missouri allows casino gambling along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. State law also allows betting at horse tracks, but none currently are operating.

The Club Keno game will feature computer-generated drawings every five minutes, from 5 a.m. to 12:50 a.m.

Players will be able choose up to 10 numbers from a field of 80. A computer then selects 20 winning numbers. The more of those 20 that a player has chosen, the bigger the payoff. Winning numbers will be shown on special television screens.

Bets can range from $1 to $20 per game with payoffs ranging from $1 to $100,000 for a $1 ticket, the lottery said.

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