N.C. lottery will soon offer new Keno-based draw game

Mar 15, 2017 10:07 AM

North Carolina's state-run lottery, in an effort to attract younger players, will soon offer a new Keno-based draw game. State legislators are seeking to generate more revenue for education initiatives.

The North Carolina Education Lottery Commission agreed Tuesday to offer the new game, already offered by lotteries in 16 other states. An outside audit estimates Keno lottery games could generate as much as $66 million by the fifth year, and $220 million in cumulative revenues over five years.

A part of any new state lottery revenues would go to the state for public education. North Carolina’s lottery generated $634 million overall for education last year, roughly 25 percent of the nearly $2.4 billion in gross sales of numbers drawings and scratch-off tickets.

Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper and Senate Republicans are hoping to use new lottery funds for school construction and pay raises for principals and some teachers.

Keno lottery games are played in public places, such as restaurants and bars, unlike other numbers games, where people buy tickets at convenience stores and results are announced twice a day on television and online.