LINCOLN — A bill that would have allowed keno lotteries to operate more games per hour has become the latest victim of anti-gambling sentiment in the Nebraska Legislature.
State lawmakers voted 20-17 Monday on the keno bill, which is five fewer votes than needed to advance a bill from first-round debate.
The vote means that the measure, Legislative Bill 1067, is likely dead for 2012.
Supporters, led by State Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber, argued that allowing keno bets every three minutes instead of every five minutes would produce more revenue for the state and for the cities and counties that have keno lotteries.
“Keno money goes to a lot of good things, like ambulances, police cars and ballfields,” Karpisek said.
LB 1067 would have allowed more frequent keno games only if a local city council or county board voted to do that.
Opponents said the bill amounted to an expansion of legalized gambling in Nebraska, which only increased the social ills of betting.
“There's a cost to gambling,” said Imperial Sen. Mark Christensen. “Unfortunately, the people who gamble are the people who don't have the money.”
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