New game of chance finds fans, but not among students

Bo Gemmel

Kent Lanes now offers Keno, a game of chance in which patrons can place a bet on a selection of numbers from a main board. The game was recently introduced in Ohio. Daniel Owen| Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

Although a new gambling game has seen some success among Kent locals, the odds of finding a Kent State student who plays Keno are about as likely as catching nine out of 10 numbers on the new game: very slim.

“I haven’t been aware of it,” said Greg Wacker, senior business management major. “If the bars do have it, they don’t really advertise it.”

Even so, several local Kent establishments offer Keno, which was legalized in Ohio in February and debuted in state bars and restaurants earlier this month.

Keno, a lottery style game, requires players to match numbers they select with numbers randomly drawn by the Ohio Lottery. The maximum payout for a $1 bet is $100,000.

Kent Lanes-11th Frame began Keno games Aug. 4. A new game begins every four minutes between 11:04 a.m. and 1:44 a.m. daily via a statewide system. The Pub on West Day Street also offers Keno.

Jim Palmer, owner of Kent Lanes- 11th Frame on South Water Street, said although his establishment hosts college bowling specials throughout the week, college students who come don’t seem to play Keno.

“I haven’t had a ton of kids flock in yet,” he said, adding that he thinks it is still too early to tell.

Palmer said most of the game’s players are in their 40s or 50s, and many couples like to play together.

Bowling leagues begin this week, and Palmer said he thinks they might like it.

Tony Yang, senior exercise science major, said his grandmother plays.

“It seems like an older people kind of thing,” he said. “I don’t really see it around.”

Yang said he doesn’t watch the television screens at bars, but he wouldn’t mind giving the game a try.

“Throw down a couple bucks, have a couple beers – I’d be down with that,” he said.

Palmer said Keno has brought in new customers at Kent Lanes-11th Frame. Other Kent businesses, however, want to avoid it.

“I don’t think we ever even considered it,” said Joel McAdams, a server at Zephyr Pub & Spirits on Main Street.

McAdams said Zephyr is mostly a college bar, and he doesn’t see a demand for Keno.

Wacker said he doesn’t go to bars to gamble.

“I don’t need to be wasting my money on a game I don’t know how to play,” he said.

Contact general assignment reporter Bo Gemmell at [email protected].