STATE LOTTERIES ADD UNIQUE TOUCHES TO ONLINE KENO

It doesn’t matter if you play at a land based casino, an online casino or in a lottery or Native American run game there are plenty of places to play video keno. In fact, it’s now significantly easier to find video keno than more ‘traditional’ keno games. There are some that combine the traditional with the modern, using modern technology to better facilitate play of the time honored ‘live’ keno game.

Of the many entities offering online keno some of the most innovative are run by state lotteries. The lotteries have not only formulated unique and hi tech ways to play the game they’ve streamlined the deposit, payment and ‘bookkeeping’ components of the process. Of course, the state lotteries have an unfair advantage in this regard–they’ve had their ‘competition’ eliminated or significantly disadvantage by state and federal government. Lotteries offer any number of technological niceties that would be found illegal should a privately held casino do the same thing. Such is the hypocrisy of government.

STATE LOTTERY KENO GAMES

There are two primary formats for state lottery run keno games with a number of differences within each category. The first format is the lottery operating what could be described as a ‘video keno terminal’. If you’ve read our other articles on the subject you already understand that not all of these games are operated the same. Some states use a machine based random number generator (RNG) to conduct the ‘ball draw’. This is the way it is done in Nevada and other well regulated gaming jurisdictions and–on balance–is the most advantageous format for the player. Alternately, the numbers can be ‘drawn’ with some degree of randomness from a central computer at lottery headquarters. Since most technology of this type is proprietary, it’s difficult to determine how much ‘influence’ the lottery has over outcomes. The argument for centralized operation of games is that payout odds can be kept constant and winning percentages monitored from this central computer. That strongly suggests that many video keno games aren’t truly random. Other video keno games make no bones about it–they’re essentially high tech video ‘scratch cards’. You have the autonomy to pick your numbers but the ‘match’ numbers are already programmed into the computer and not selected at random.

All of this being said, it might not matter to you. Lottery commissions and the companies that manufacture their computer systems suggest that their odds are comparable to the ‘Las Vegas style’ (Class III) video games. In a game completely based on chance like keno or slots they very well might be. Still, some players might have an issue with the fact that many VLT’s and Class II video games aren’t ‘really random’ at all.

STATE LOTTERY SUPPORT TECHNOLOGY

This is an area of even greater innovation than the games themselves. State governments are finding new ways to allow their players to access information, check winning numbers and in some cases make deposits, collect payouts or even play games online. While many states still require that you ‘buy your numbers’ at a lottery retailer the actual draws are conducted online. Other states allow the entire process–depositing money, buying tickets and collecting winnings–to take place online.

The Georgia state lottery has a very interesting product called the ‘iHope Card’. It’s a DISCOVER branded debit card that lottery players can use to buy tickets. Players can transfer funds from a personal debit card or bank account to their ‘iHope Card’. They can then use those funds to buy tickets and play online games. All winnings are automatically credited to the debit card which the player can then withdraw, use for future lottery purchases or even use at stores that honor Discover credit cards.