Residents to Vote on Allowing Keno in City

Submitted a year ago
Created by
Phyllis Muzeroll

Public Hearing Set for October

Claremont residents will be voting on whether Keno will be allowed to be offered in the City when they go to the polls this November.  The City Council voted at its last meeting to move the issue to the ballot following a presentation by Maura McCann, director of marketing for the New Hampshire lottery.  If the measure passes, the lottery commission will reach out to the businesses in the City, 21 of them, which serve alcohol (referred to as “pouring establishments”) to sell the new lottery game, which the lottery is calling Keno 603.  Keno 603 is a rapid draw numbers game; 20 winning numbers are drawn by a Random Number Generator (RNG), every 5 minutes from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., said McCann.   

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This is a NH only game, unlike any other draw game offered by the NH Lottery, she added.  The minimum play is $1. Players select up to 12 spots (numbers) from a field of 80 on a play slip, or use Easy Pick to have the Lottery terminal select the numbers. Twenty winning numbers are randomly chosen for each drawing; winning numbers are displayed on the monitor.   

Players win based on how many of the winning numbers they match to the ones randomly chosen.  

After a lengthy debate in both the House and the Senate this past legislative session, the full legislature passed a bill that funds full-day kindergarten by legalizing Keno.  Under the measure, schools would receive the additional funding starting in 2019.  

McCann said benefits for establishments that offer Keno include Increased foot traffic, Increased sales and check averages from additional winnings spent on food, beverages, and tips for staff; they earn selling and cashing commission and earn selling bonuses. Establishments that sell Keno in other states report an increase in food and beverage sales from customers staying longer to play Keno, said McCann. Establishments earn an 8% commission on every dollar sold for the KENO 603 game; estimated revenue projections from the lottery are $43,750,000 in total sales, with a Net Revenue to the Education Trust Fund of $8,472,500.  DoE will calculate and distribute grants of $1,100 per pupil (enrolled in an approved program) to each school district.  Communities would still receive the funding even if they vote down the ballot measure for their city/town.  

Councilor Nick Koloski, who owns a restaurant in Claremont, stepped down from the council while the issue was being discussed and took a seat in the audience.  He did not vote on the resolution to place the matter on the ballot.  

A public hearing on the Keno measure will be held in October at the CSB Community Center.  

Also at the meeting, departing Asst. Mayor Vic Bergeron was presented with a plaque of appreciation and a fun gift basket of Florida-related items, such as sunscreen lotion and flip flops.  He and his wife, Linda, are moving to the Sunshine State in the near future.  Councilor Carolyn Towle also announced that she will not be seeking re-election in November for several reasons, including health matters.


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