On Friday the Arkansas Lottery’s director floated the idea of offering Keno and some form of electronic gambling at a legislative oversight committee meeting, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The director reportedly told lawmakers,

“[T]he future requires a lot of touchless and remote purchasing, so we have considered an iLottery situation, and again, that is not imminent. . . . If we are in a situation where this [pandemic] continues and people are not wanting to go to stores and people are not wanting to [go to convenience stores]. That’s where we sell our tickets.

It’s worth mentioning lottery ticket sales surged in Arkansas during the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, and May was the Arkansas Lottery’s best month ever.

Clearly the Arkansas Lottery is doing just fine without Keno or electronic gambling — despite the coronavirus.

Lottery officials lobbied for Keno in 2013 and 2014 as part of an unsuccessful push to bring casino-style gambling to Arkansas under the state lottery.

Lawmakers soundly rejected that proposal.

In a typical Keno drawing, players choose upwards of 10 or 20 different numbers between 1 and 80. If their winning numbers are drawn, they win a prize.

But Keno is different from games like Powerball or MegaMillions in that drawings usually take place every few minutes rather than once a day.

Its fast pace makes Keno a popular casino game, because players can pick numbers and place bets over and over again in a short amount of time.

As a result, Keno often is played in a live room full of gamblers.

One of the reasons lawmakers rejected Keno a few years ago is that they did not want the state creating miniature casinos in bars, convenience stores, and gas stations as part of the Lottery.

That’s something that could still happen if Arkansas authorizes Keno or other forms of electronic gambling under the state-run lottery.