HALIFAX, N.S. - Nova Scotia's finance minister has released an assessment of a controversial electronic gambling game as he tries to decide whether to keep or kill Keno.

Graham Steele had earlier promised to make the report prepared by the Nova Scotia Gaming Corp. public as he weighs the game's future.

Introduced last March, Keno has so far not met financial expectations, yielding only $700,000 - $1.6 million less than projected.

Opponents argue that the game, which allows players to pick their own numbers and monitor draw results on video screens, would further harm problem gamblers.

The Atlantic Lottery Corp. has developed a new marketing program and expects the return from Keno to improve, reaching a break-even point by March 2010.

It's estimated that dropping the game altogether would cost about $3.5 million due to a writeoff of draw equipment, computer hardware and software, installation costs, lottery retail terminals and other equipment.

Steele says he wants to consult with all stakeholders including representatives of bars and restaurants, as well as health and gaming officials, before making his decision.

Latest From ...