As Mark Twain is credited with saying, history doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.
On Thursday the Arkansas Legislature’s Lottery Oversight subcommittee met to review reports from the Arkansas Lottery’s director and consulting firm.
Among other topics, legislators heard about ways the Arkansas Lottery could grow revenue in the future.
One of the charts shown to lawmakers appeared to highlight Keno as a lottery game for Arkansas to consider.
We’ve been down this road before.
Lottery officials lobbied for Keno in 2013 and 2014 as part of an unsuccessful push to bring “monitor games” — casino-style gambling machines — to Arkansas.
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 other lottery games. While drawings for Powerball or MegaMillions happen once a day, drawings for Keno usually take place every few minutes.
Its fast pace makes Keno a popular casino-style 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 efforts that would have brought Keno to Arkansas in 2014 was 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 happen if Arkansas authorizes Keno or similar games under the state-run lottery.