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Opinion: Connecticut leaders make right call on expanded gaming


Filed Under: Connecticut | Opinion
More on: democrats, republicans
   
Writers praise the death of Keno games in Connecticut and warn against an expansion of any forms of gaming:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and state legislative leaders finally bowed to public pressure this month and began a hasty retreat on keno, the bingo-like gambling game legalized last year but not yet implemented.

The Democratic-controlled legislature passed keno as part of the state budget in an effort to raise $28 million annually by authorizing the game for restaurants, bars and convenience stores, but did so without hearings or debate, drawing sharp criticism from Republicans and the media. The governor, House Speaker J. Brendan Sharkey, and Senate President Pro Tem Donald Williams all defended keno as a money-generator being used by a number of other states.

Since then, a Quinnipiac University poll has shown that nearly 60 percent of Connecticut residents oppose the keno measure, numerous editorials have called for its repeal, including this newspaper, and there has been a rising tide of public opposition as people have focused on the fact that the law would put a highly addictive form of gambling in up to 3,000 venues where it does not currently exist, including restaurants where children are present.

It took eight months, but the state's political leaders finally responded to the mounting opposition. On Feb. 12, Malloy stated that he would be willing to sign legislation to repeal keno if the legislature passed a bill to that effect. Keno was not his idea, the governor said. In fact, he had nothing to do with it, he claimed, and was surprised when it was passed at the last minute.

Get the Story:
Robert Steele and Tony Hwang: Connecticut's keno retreat a hopeful step away from gambling expansion (The New London Day 3/2)

Related Stories:
Connecticut lawmakers back off from implementing Keno games (02/20)

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