Bill would eliminate time limit between Keno games

The General Affairs Committee heard testimony Jan. 26 on a bill that would remove the time limit required between Keno games.

LB250, introduced by O’Neill Sen. Tyson Larson, would eliminate the current 5-minute time limit that Keno operators must wait between games.

Larson said the bill would not result in instant gaming because time still would be required between games for players to select their numbers and have their games activated.

“There still wouldn’t be instant Keno,” he said, “since players can’t start their own games.”

Bill Harvey, general counsel for Big Red Keno, testified in support of the bill, saying Keno gaming has generated more than $350 million for community betterment projects across the state.

He said LB250 would eliminate unnecessary regulations and give Nebraska communities more freedom to structure their Keno operations.

“This should be a matter between Keno operators and the cities,” Harvey said.

Al Riskowski of the Nebraska Family Alliance testified in opposition to the bill. Research should be done to explore the impact of removing the time limit between games before implementing such a change, he said.

“As we look at LB250, we believe it’s much more than a technical bill,” Riskowski said. “This does change the complexion of Keno in bars.”

David Wimmer of West Point also opposed the bill, saying those who lose money playing Keno often are not financially equipped to underwrite community betterment projects with their gaming losses.

“I don’t really believe that it’s good public policy to make this type of practice go faster or to enable more of it,” Wimmer said.

The committee took no immediate action on the bill.

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