Introduction of new game comes a year after Assemblyman introduced bill to add Keno to lottery offerings to help boost revenue for social services and programs
(TRENTON) – Assemblyman Tim Eustace, who sponsored a bill to allow keno games in bars and restaurants to help boost sluggish lottery revenue, today welcomed news that Quick Draw has been added the games of chance now offered by the New Jersey Lottery Commission.
The bill (A-422) sponsored by Eustace (D-Bergen) requires the state Lottery Commission to issue licenses for the operation and playing of keno games in bars and restaurants with liquor licenses.
Eustace said the purpose of the bill is to boost revenue for the services supported by the lottery, and is glad New Jersey has finally joined the other states that already offer these games.
“The lottery supports important social services. Revenue projections have consistently fallen short since the lottery was privatized by Gov. Christie. This threatens the state’s ability to provide these services adequately to the millions of residents that rely on them,” said Eustace. “That is why I proposed adding Keno to our lottery offerings, to bring needed revenue to the state. I’m glad the Lottery Commission recognized the need, and has added this new lottery game to its product line.”
The Lottery Commission unveiled the keno-like game in Hoboken last week. The game is now available at 400 bars, restaurants and other locations, according to a media report. The game is anticipated to net $20 million during the remainder of 2017. That figure is expected to grow as the game catches on and more locations are approved as “retailers” of the game, according to the report.
In Massachusetts, keno brought in $900 million in sales last fiscal year and sales have climbed 20 percent since 2010, according to The Boston Globe. Massachusetts is the country’s leading purveyor of the game by far, accounting for almost one-quarter of all keno sales in the country.
Eustace said he would like to see New Jersey benefit from similar returns, and hopes his bill will go through the legislative process to further support and solidify the expansion of these profitable games in New Jersey. The bill has been referred to the Assembly Tourism, Gaming and the Arts.
Since its inception in 1970, the lottery has dedicated more than $24.8 billion to programs and institutions that benefit millions of New Jersey residents, according to the lottery website. According to the news report, the lottery nets nearly $1 billion a year from annual sales of more than $3 billion for state programs benefiting higher education, military veterans, and services for the disabled.
“This helps ensure that programs that are so important to our young people, our veterans and our most vulnerable residents are well-funded, while giving our businesses an added attraction that will hopefully bring more customers through their doors,” said Eustace. “It’s a win all around.”