Keno promotions must target right audience

November 25, 2014 3:00 AM


You must check that the keno game you're playing is mathematically viable Keno, like all the other gambling games will have promotions from time to time.

As a casino owner or keno manager, you will decide at one time or another to do a keno promotion. To the general public, this may seem like an easy thing to do, but believe me, it is not. A promotion can do wonders for the bottom line, or you can lose your donkey and have to walk.

First, you must decide which kind of keno player you are trying to reach. Do you want regular keno players to play more, to attract new players, use the keno promotion to fill rooms, or another of the many reasons?


Promotions can be very simple, such as buy 10 games and get one game free. They can be involved, such as a tournament to increase the keno “write” (wagers total) and to have a captive audience in the casino for 1-3 days.

The promotion must be easy to understand so people will use it. Do not use fine print if possible. The type should be big enough to be read even by those with poor eyesight. Nothing causes more ill will than a player thinking he has qualified then finding out he did not do something mentioned in the fine print and cannot receive the value of the promotion.

The promotion must be mathematically viable. Years ago the Fiesta Casino ran a promotion paying double on four of a kinds in video poker for a few days. They lost millions as they gave the good players up to a 6% edge and even the bad ones 1% to 3%.

Make sure the mathematics of the promotion are well checked. If, for example, you decide to pay double on a SOLID hit during a certain time, find out what house or player advantage you might be creating. Giving the players a slight edge to bring in business is one thing, giving them the keys to the count room is another.

The promotion needs to be well advertised. What good is it if only the parrot in the cage behind the counter is aware of it? The promotion should be interesting and fun. It should entice players to buy more or higher-priced tickets.

The preliminary work for the promotion needs to be addressed. Make sure you have adequate staff to run it. Don’t make players wait in line to do a promotion. Also, if the promotion is for prizes, make sure you have enough to give out.

If, for example, you give away a t-shirt for every SOLID 4-out-of 4 hit and above, make sure you have all sizes in the right proportions. And, the prize items should be of good quality. If they wear out quickly or get torn easily the player will think you are cheap.

Do not be afraid to consult with others to see their reaction to a proposed promotion. Ask your regular players what they think of the idea. Do your homework! I offer my services to any casino manager who wants an opinion or an analysis of a suggested promotion.

Lastly, make sure your staff knows all the ins and outs of the promotion so mistakes are avoided. If the promotion is only good on the Big Wig $5 tickets the staff needs to know that so the players will not be disappointed.

Basically, just think things through and run the best promotion you can.

Pesach Kremen is a former UNLV Masters Gaming student, has won and placed in multiple local keno tournaments, and has written several academic papers on Keno. You can reach him at

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