by Hillary LaClair, Senior Editor
While the United States claims it exercises no discrimination against foreign nations in its implementation of the UIGEA, Ohio has announced that it intends to allow online and televised keno as early as August of this year. The legalized form of online casino play will add to the state’s lottery revenue and is expected to reach $70 million a year. U.S. Representatives might as well just approach WTO officials with a slap in the face in the next hearing with Antigua. Online keno in Ohio is obviously an important step toward removing the ban on internet gambling, but adds to the long list of double standards in the U.S.
Ohio state Spokesman, Joe Caputo was very direct when telling reporters his motivation in allowing the internet casino gambling. He said that the introduction of online keno was Ohio’s response to player demand and that it creates much needed funding for education and balancing the state budget during the country-wide economic crisis. “It’s just another shot to keep us afloat with the way things are going,” said Caputo.
Some are in awe as to how the U.S. government would permit such activity, when it clearly has a hostile position on online casino gambling and sports betting. However, most of us are not surprised to learn that U.S. legislation can be generous in making exceptions to the UIGEA. Take horse racing, state lotteries, fantasy games and the World Series of Poker for example. Each of these forms of gambling promotes and contributes to online gaming. The announcement to launch internet keno comes right on the heels of Representative Jim McDermott’s bill to regulate internet gambling.
The online keno that will now be available to Ohio citizens will draw winners every four minutes, and there have been many enthusiastic responses for sales venues, including bar owners whose business have decreased since the current public smoking ban.