Mick’s takes a gamble on Keno

By , on May 31, 2018

Pa. Lottery’s live Keno wagering launched Tuesday at Mick’s

Though locally elected state and municipal officials have directly opposed the opening of neighborhood gambling sites, Mick’s All American Pub of Lititz Tuesday quietly launched live Keno wagering on its bar video screens. Though PA Lottery rolled out Keno May 1, Mick’s is the first tavern in the Lititz area–and one of the first pubs in Lancaster County–to offer the service to their guests.

“We are very excited for this,” said owner Mick Owens. “We’ve been asking for small games of chance in our bars, and Keno is fairly low-impact and not labor intensive.” Keno is part of Gov. Tom Wolf’s expansion of casino-style gambling which he signed into law last October. The game can be played at participating locations across the state. But unlike most traditional lottery games of the past, customers will now have the added advantage of purchasing tickets not only at convenience stores, but also at many neighborhood taverns and bars.

State Senator Ryan P. Aument, who has an office in Lititz, led the Lancaster County delegation in Harrisburg that worked closely in 2017 with local municipalities to ensure no mini-casinos were approved in the area.

He was joined by state Sen. Scott Martin and state Reps. Mindy Fee, David Zimmerman, and Steve Mentzer. While Aument said he respected the decisions made by businesses “to take advantage of what they see as opportunities made available to them by law,” he was not in favor of the idea.

Keno, which is sold at all of Pa Lottery’s 9,400 retailers, also can be “played” live, watching drawing results on big-screen monitors found at Mick’s and locations. Pa Lottery tells players to request “your favorite restaurant or bar” to sign up to sell the game.

“I am hopeful that the General Assembly’s appetite for more gambling has finally been satisfied,” he said. “I went to Harrisburg to make things better, not worse, and gambling expansion in Pennsylvania in no way promotes healthy families, strong communities, a vibrant economy or high-performing schools. On Tuesday, Owens also launched Keno at Mick’s locations in Mount Joy and Lancaster. He noted that Keno and similar games are offered in many other places such as in taverns in Maryland.

“Surrounding states have been offering this service for awhile, and we’re excited to finally have this for our customers,” Owens said. “I think even more places will follow once they see how successful it is.”

In addition to live betting, locations will also have the ability to pay cash out for winning tickets up to $600. Keno, which is sold at all of Pa Lottery’s 9,400 retailers. Pa Lottery encourages players to request “your favorite restaurant or bar” to sign up to sell the game. The game, which starts at $1 and goes off every four minutes, involves players selecting up to 10 numbers (or spots) from 1 to 80. Players may also choose to have their numbers randomly selected via Quick Pick.

The more spots the players match, the more money they can win. For an additional fee, a multipler can also be added to each game which increases the potential winnings. At participating lottery locations, players can fill out a betting slip in advance at the bar, restaurant, or store, and then will watch the numbers drawn live on a monitor. At Mick’s, customers, who can win up to $100,000, play the game seated at the bar.

“It’s fast, it’s active, and it gives our customers something to do while they are enjoying our food and beverages,” Owen said. Earlier this week, staff and employees of Mick’s were trained by lottery officials on how to operate the game. Kelly Carlucci, General Manager of the Mick’s in Lititz, is looking forward to bringing this added level of service to her customers.

“We’re very excited,” she said. “We’ve already had many phone calls asking when we are starting.”

In the near future, Mick’s will also offer XPress Sports, which will allow participants to bet on “fantasy” football games as well as car racing. These virtual sporting events will be run by computer software, and will not feature real races or actual games.

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at cvanbrookhoven@lnpnews.com or 717-721-4423. 

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