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Keno changes proposed in legislature

Posted: 01/29/13 08:58

Nebraska cities are pushing for a bill that would reduce the minimum amount of time that keno players have to wait between games, a proposal that gambling opponents have fought for years. Lobbyists for Omaha and the League of Nebraska Municipalities told a legislative panel Monday that tax revenue from the games has helped pay for police cruisers, park renovations and substance-abuse treatment programs. The bill is also supported by the state's keno operators. Opponents argue that the bill would contribute to gambling addictions and disproportionately affect the poor. The bill by Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber would cut the wait-period between keno games from 5 minutes to 3 minutes, which could allow more games per hour. Lawmakers rejected a similar measure last year, 20-17.