Local restaurant and bar owners aren't entirely sold on the prospect of keno being offered in Pennsylvania.
Executives from Camelot Global Services told senators at a Finance Committee hearing Monday that the key to expanding lottery profits will be to win over people who never play, play infrequently or stopped playing.
Part of the British company's strategy will be an expansion of gambling that includes installing keno monitors in restaurants and bars and providing online access to games, for instance.
Keno could bring in additional customers to the White Rose Bar & Grill, said its owner, Tom Sibol.
"I think it would spur on interest in customers," he said Monday night. "If it would generate revenue, it would be a good thing to have around."
Issues: But keno monitors may not be coming to your local tavern or favorite restaurant anytime soon.
Some lawmakers, the state lottery employees' union and state Treasurer Rob McCord say the expansion of the lottery, including keno, appear not to be allowed by state law.
McCord has threatened not to pay Camelot until he is satisfied that its plans to expand gambling are legal.
The monitors face other hurdles besides legal ones.
Sibol said depending on how the game is run, it could eat up time employees normally devote to customers.
"If it would take away service from our regular customers, I wouldn't do it," he said.
Profit margin: Dannette Small-Shultz, co-owner of Shultzies and a member of the York County Restaurant and Tavern Association, said a decrease in service to customers and not large enough profit margins for restaurants are issues that need to be hashed out.
The York Township restaurant and bar currently offers lottery to customers and receives 5 percent of sales, she said.
"It's not really worth it because it ties people up," Small-Shultz said. "The five cents on the dollar isn't worth it."
Depending on which version of the game Camelot goes with, it could mean added work for employees without added income for the establishment.
Small-Shultz said she hasn't received definitive information about what version of keno is proposed but remains open having the games in restaurants and bars.
"We are open to look at any additional revenue," she said. "We'd really have to see what percentage we'd get."
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.