Lottery chairman thinks there’s hope for Keno

Updated 3:57 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, with Larry Cafero, Bob Duff, Gail Lavielle and Chris Perone comments.

By Hugh McQuaid

HARTFORD, Conn. – Despite widespread political support for repealing keno this year, the chairman of the Connecticut Lottery Corporation’s board of directors said Tuesday he’s still optimistic lawmakers will choose to allow the corporation to implement the game.

“Absolutely not,” Frank Farricker said when asked if keno was bound for repeal this year. “I think that many people are discovering or remembering or referring back to the fact that this is a lottery game and this is something that is positive for raising revenue for the state.”

Keno was added to last year’s budget as a revenue generator late in the session and to the surprise of many lawmakers. It was passed without the benefit of a public hearing. This year, the state has an estimated $504 million surplus and lawmakers are considering a bill to scrap the state’s plan to implement keno.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey favors repealing the game, Sen. President Donald Williams has said he welcomes the conversation, and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has indicated he would sign such a repeal if it were passed.

Norwalk’s state delegation who responded to NancyOnNorwalk stated their opposition to implementing keno.

“I have been consistently opposed to keno and vehemently opposed the Democrats’ push to ram through the keno legislation at the and of the last session with no public hearing or vetting,” said House Minority Leader Larry Cafero (R-142) through a spokesman Wednesday afternoon. “It was done to paper over the last $30 million the Democrats needed for their budget. Now, of course, no one in the Democratic Party, including the Governor, will take responsibility for it, despite the fact that they were the ones who put it in the first place.

“Recently released e-mails from the governor’s office clearly show that they were working on the proposals for days, if not weeks, before it was made public,’’ Cafero said.

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) said in an early Wednesday email that he supports a repeal of the keno bill. “It was never vetted properly through the legislative process,” he wrote.

Rep. Chris Perone (D-137) and Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) also responded by email Wednesday morning, and both said they are against allowing keno.

(NancyOnNorwalk contributed to this report)

See the original story at CT News Junkie.



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