G2E: keno lost & found

Nov 24, 2009 5:02 PM
Cluster Keno by L. J. Zahm |

I only had one day to walk the G2E exhibit hall, which contained something like 270,000 square feet of space, so I had to make the most of it.

Of course, I wanted to gather all the information on the new video keno games and include them in this week’s column.

Unfortunately, the major gaming manufacturers have apparently abandoned keno; there was virtually nothing new on the Expo floor.

I found a new game in the Konami booth, though I wasn’t sure whether it was keno or electronic bingo, and started to snap a photo.

But I was stopped by a hard-charging woman who came at me like a ninja out of "Kill Bill." She explained photos weren’t allowed, even though I showed her my press credential.

She said it did not matter, so I uttered something vulgar in Japanese to her and stormed off.

A few feet away I approached someone at the WMS Industries (WMS) booth and asked for a press kit or a product catalog or a CD, and was told by someone behind the counter that I had to speak to a public relations creature. Not having the time to invest in a PR "flack," I again departed and sought more fertile ground.

Thank God I found the GameTech International booth. Based in Reno, GameTech makes a whole line of different keno games, but they’re not available in Nevada (not yet, anyway).

Their machines are the most popular keno games in Montana. In fact, they have nearly double the number of machines in Montana as the next largest machine manufacturer.

Here’s something else I learned. Keno is to Montana, like video poker is to Las Vegas – it’s the game of choice of most of the locals.

I’m hoping GameTech gets all or part of its roster of keno games eventually approved in Nevada. And I’ve heard that could be something for the future.

These games have delightful graphics, sound effects, bonus rounds, second screen bonuses, instant multipliers and other innovative features that really take keno to new heights.

And how can you not love a keno game with an adorable theme like Cow Abduction or the luscious chocolate theme of Sweet Success.

Hopefully we in Nevada will one day soon have these games in our casinos. If not, Montana can’t be that far a drive, can it?

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: LJ Zahm

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