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Keno criticism keeps coming, but it's too late now

Government politicians have joined the ranks expressing worry aboutbringing electronic keno to Nova Scotia, but the finance minister saidit’s too late to stop it.

Government politicians have joined the ranks expressing worry about bringing electronic keno to Nova Scotia, but the finance minister said it’s too late to stop it.

“Philosophically, I personally am not a big fan of gambling,” said Environment Minister David Morse when asked if he supported bringing keno to Nova Scotia.

“Your question is about whether we really need to have another avenue to gamble, and I’m not a big fan of any forms of gambling.”

Keno has come under heavy fire from gambling awareness groups and opposition parties. The game, which involves placing bets then watching the results a few minutes later on a bar TV screen, was originally rejected in 2007. But a modified version has been approved by the government.

Acting Finance Minister Chris d’Entremont said it’s too late to change that now.

“That’s the problem we have now. It’s so late in the day that the contracts have been signed, the equipment has been installed in most places. There’s very little opportunity for us to stop the program from going,” said d’Entremont.

But he said this version of keno will include anti-gambling messages and breaks in play to mitigate addiction. He said the government can review the machines and cancel them again in one year.

 
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