In an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration Secretary Larry Walther indicated that the state-run lottery might like to offer Keno and Internet gambling in Arkansas.

Lottery officials have floated the idea of offering Keno and electronic gambling in the past in order to bolster lottery sales and entice more people to play the lottery.

But lottery ticket sales surged in Arkansas during the COVID-19 pandemic last spring, and the Lottery just finished its best best fiscal year ever, in terms of revenue.

Clearly the Arkansas Lottery is doing just fine without Keno or online gambling.

Lottery officials lobbied unsuccessfully for Keno in 2013 and 2014, but lawmakers soundly rejected that proposal.

Keno is different from games like Powerball or MegaMillions. Drawings usually take place every few minutes rather than once a day, and the odds of winning a jackpot prize tend to be worse than other lottery games.

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 Lottery creating miniature casinos in bars, convenience stores, and gas stations all over Arkansas.

If the Arkansas Lottery authorizes Keno — and especially if lottery officials make it possible for people to gamble online — that’s going to increase problem gambling and gambling addiction in Arkansas.