Feb 13, 2015 5:48 PM
Kevin Landrigan: Keno - Will Hassan's Casino Lite plan win favor with NH Legislature?
"But you drive around here to certain bars and look at the cars, 30 to 40 percent of the people here are from New Hampshire."
That's retired, Hanscomb Air Force Base worker Ray St. Onge of Nashua describing who plays Keno in bars and restaurants south of the border.
Governor Maggie Hassan said it's the biggest reason why New Hampshire needs to legalize Keno playing.
"Six of the 10 most lucrative Keno locations in Massachusetts are located within five miles of the New Hampshire border,'' Hassan said in her budget address.
Here's the Bay State map and sure enough top Keno spots are in Methuen, Andover, Salisbury, Haverhill right on our doorstep.
And NH1's own inspection at Thirsty's Bar in Tyngsboro found 60 percent the cars had New Hampshire license plates.
Keno is a Bingo-like game in which players make bets on their numbers being called in all kinds of combinations.
Back inside Thirsty's, construction worker Paul Gormley of Dracut says he only bets 15 or 20 bucks at a time.
"What's the most you have ever won playing Keno?'' we asked Gormley.
"$300. I've won it several times. I can't seem to break that, go above that,'' Gormley answers.
Bartender Shannon Belanger explains the danger of too much success [-] any win over $600 has to be cashed in at MA State Lottery and reported to the IRS.
At the State House, Senate President Chuck Morse says Keno won't replace his top priority, a full-blown casino.
"I think overall the reality is we should be talking about a casino. And I mean for us to put Keno first is absolutely wrong,'' Morse said.
Meanwhile, when it comes to playing Keno, it's all about loving your numbers.
"1,3,5,7, and 9. Those are my numbers, play them every time,'' St. Onge concluded.