For the past 18 months everyone involved in the Downtown arena recognized there was a massive shortfall of $100 million, however, neither the city nor the Katz Group has come up with any viable options on how to fill that void.

Yesterday the leader of the Wildrose Party Danielle Smith,proposed that the province use KENO lottery to fund the missing $100 million. Smith joined me in studio yesterday to discuss her proposal.

Gregor: Why haven’t we done this before?

Smith: It has been proposed in the past actually. In the early 2000s, both of the teams were looking for some kind of lottery revenue approach and this is one of the ideas that was floated at the time. They went, instead, with more of a scratch and win type of ticket and it didn’t raise much revenue – it raised only a million dollars, which clearly would not have been enough to meet the needs of the team to be able to build an arena. So I think it went by the wayside.

I think at the time, the provincial government figured they would just operate KENO through a limited number of lottery terminals, as well as through Bingo halls. As a result, we only have 88 places where you can play this KENO game in Alberta. By contrast, in British Columbia, you can play it in 4,000 places, including about a 1,000 sports bars and pubs which is where the bulk of the revenue is generated because it is a brand new group of people who are playing a game that normally don’t play these kind of lottery games at all. Also, when you’re watching a game, having a beer, your team is playing; it’s almost like pull tabs or some other kind of sporting game that you might decide to play in a bar.

This is the reason why it generates a huge amount of revenues. In Alberta, the way it’s currently marketed it generates $3 million. In BC, the way it’s marketed, it generates a total of $235 million total. Now there’s lots of money that goes to pay out and administrative costs, but we think this is going to be enough to find that $100 million funding shortfall for both cities, within the space of 5 years. I think that’s the kind of things that Albertans are looking for. I don’t think there is a huge appetite for tax payer dollars to directly go to these teams. This is a way for us, to actually support both the City of Edmonton and the City of Calgary in trying to get a major new facility.

The WRP projected that KENO would generate $196 million. $137 million would go to winners, $5 million to AGLC administration, $5 million to establishments hosing KENO and $49 million in proceeds.

Out of that $49 million, $20 would go towards arena in Edmonton, $20 million towards Calgary arena, $4 million to AGLC lottery fund, $2.5 million to Oilers charity foundation and $2.5 million to Flames charity foundation.

Gregor: What would be the costs to go from taking it to 80 locations up to 4000?

Smith: The costs would be very small. I’ve talked to somebody who was initially involved with pitching this KENO idea with the teams back in the 2000s. He’s worked both for liquor and gaming in Alberta and in British Columbia. What has happened in Alberta, because we already have this game, this KENO game, all of the software technology and the kiosks are already set up to be able to handle it. It’s just a matter of scaling up. The cost of rolling it out to sports bar is minimal because the cost is born by the pub owner. So they put the big screen TV up, which used to cost a couple thousand dollars a few years ago and now it only costs a few hundred dollars, and they also pay for the terminal that’s used to process the ticket.

Gregor: This is the five minute KENO game that you’re proposing?

Smith: It is. It’s very much like Lotto 649; except for it’s played every five minutes. You choose your numbers, you put it into the machine, and then you check it every five minutes. So over the course of a few hours, watching a game, you might play five or six times. In other jurisdictions, they limit the size of the bet; the size of the payout is limited as well.  If you get all of your numbers are chosen, the maximum you can win is $100,000. It’s just sort of a fun way to pass the time while you’re sitting, enjoying a beer with friends.

Gregor: Will KENO take away money from other lotteries, and essentially other charities where that money ends up?

Smith: It doesn’t appear to. If you look at British Columbia, we have very similar games across a whole range of things. So if you look at the revenues they get from Lotto 649, comparable to what we get here. We have Sports Select; they have a similar type of game- comparable revenues there as well. Where the gap appears to be, is the game of KENO where BC spends $235 million vs. $3 million here, as well we feel it goes towards a different audience. From what we can tell and from the advice of the person I’ve been working with who understands how the game works both here and in BC, he thinks there’s a very low risk of seepage away from other types of games. It would actually, in the long run, potentially increase the amount that goes to charity.

What we’re proposing here, we know that teams only needs to fill that $100 million funding gap. If this is a game that the province wants to continue, if they adopt it, then they have a whole number of options. You can have the whole amount then go to charity, after the five-year funding for the arenas is up. You can have the money continue to flow through to the municipalities to be able to fund other types of recreation infrastructure, like community arenas or outdoor ice rinks, or field houses. You could also broaden it out, so you could fund municipal infrastructure in other municipalities. We think there are lots of options.

But the thing is you actually have to have a team effort put behind marketing this product. We think that’s the big difference between BC and Alberta. No one knows that we even play KENO in this province. I’ve mentioned it a number of times now over the last few hours and people say, “What is that game? I’ve never even heard of it.” So I think there really is just an opportunity here that hasn’t been capitalized on before. We think that you probably can’t get better marketing arms than the Oilers’ and the Flames’ marketing teams. This could be a way for us to get the best of both worlds.

Gregor: Has anyone looked into single game betting? Why has that not come into place?

Smith: I think it’s in the process of going through the Federal Legislature right now. It’s in the Senate, a bill that would allow that. I think the reason why teams have been reluctant to press that, is that there have been- the way Sports Select works right now is, you have to be on three games. So the chance that you might end up with any kind of interference in the outcome, I mean let’s face it we did have scandals in the past of teams throwing the game to be able to satisfy gambling bets that were being made. I think that’s part of the reasons that protections came into place when these games were introduced here. It would be very hard to manipulate the outcome of three games at once and get three different teams to throw the games. So, moving to a single bet option, I have not heard that there is support for that kind of approach among the teams for that reason. There has been, in the past, these kinds of things have been manipulated and it’s cast a pile over the whole incidence of betting in sports.

Gregor: I’m looking at the comparables to the BC sales and lottery right now and compared to Alberta. BC is at around $1.01 billion and we’re at about $744 million. Obviously BC is a bigger population base, but Alberta has the third highest per capita gambling in the country. Is our economy strong or deep enough to put extra money towards KENO without taking from elsewhere?

Smith: I think so. If you look at, for instance, the Lotto 649 revenues- $161 million in BC versus $153 million here, they’re very comparable. If you look at the Sports Select revenues we actually have more people betting thru Sport Selects here than we do in British Columbia…

Gregor: That’s probably because the Oilers stunk the last few years, and people knew they’d lose so guys were betting more.

Smith: (laughing) If you even just look at those, the population doesn’t make a big difference. I would actually suggest that the numbers we’re putting forwards are very conservative because we’ve got two major NHL teams, you would expect that number of people knowing that a portion is going towards funding the arenas; you might find that more fans are willing to play this game than might otherwise. I think that our numbers are very conservative. From what we can see, the numbers of dollars that are bet in these different games are comparable between British Columbia and Alberta. We would fully expect that this would actually bring other people into playing the game, just for the benefit of being able to direct the money to the Flames and the Oilers.

Gregor: What happens in five years when the $100 million is allocated to the rinks? Where does that $40 million a year go? Could Northern and Southern Alberta municipalities apply to qualify for funding of amateur rinks? Would that be the next obvious step to this?

Smith: It’s possible you could do it that way. We think that there should be some benefit to the teams if we’re actually going to see it marketed and people are going to play it because they want to support the Flames and the Oilers at the beginning until those arenas are funded. We think that there can be an argument made, about why the lion’s share of it should go to support the building of those two facilities. I take your point that there will always be detractors of every idea. I look at these arenas, not as being arenas for the teams; I look it as being municipal infrastructure.

I think that Mayor Mandel has said that as well. Although the Oilers would be the principle tenant, it’s also used for trade shows and concerts, and other types of events. So it becomes a center of the new development that they are trying to do downtown. If the Oilers, Heaven forbid, were ever leaving Alberta, they can’t take the arena with them. So it is a piece of municipal infrastructure. The bulk of the cost is being born by the municipality. It is just that we have this $100 million shortfall. We think that because they have been talking about this for months and months and months, they’ve reached an impasse, we think that we need to look at and propose something new and that’s what we’re trying to do.

Gregor: Any idea how long it would take to implement it?

Smith: I don’t think that it would take that long.  I’ve spoken with the person who was helping me develop this proposal. My view is that it would probably take a year to 18 months to be able to get it completely rolled out. We already have the 2200 kiosks that are already providing all of the other games. That infrastructure is already there, the software is already there. The bar owners, there would have to be an administrative process where they would go through and determine whether or not they’ve got a license to play it or not. The cost of setting it up with the big screen TV and the actual kiosk would be born by the individual bar or pub owner. All of those things could happen very quickly.

Gregor: What would be the next step now? Do you have to present it to the Conservatives? What is the actual process for this?

Smith: Well, we wrote a letter this morning to Premier Redford, giving her my speaking notes as well as the proposal, the PowerPoint presentation asking her to keep an open mind and considerate it. It would require a lot of effort on the part of both of the municipalities, the AGLC, as well as both of the teams to come together with the Provincial Government to work out how it works.

I’m conscious of the fact that Mayor Mandel in the middle of December, said he’s really pushing for an agreement by the end of January. This is the reason why we’ve decided to put a little more meat on the bones on this proposal, so that we could propose something that would be very easy to implement because we’re already doing it and use the power of the Oilers’ and Flames’ marketing arms to be able to get this more broadly accepted. I have not officially heard from Government on it.

We have called both the offices of Mayor Mandel, as well as Mayor Nenshi in Calgary. My next step is also to roll it out and let the teams of the Oilers and the Flames as well.  Hopefully if people see that there’s a real opportunity here to benefit of this, hopefully they’ll be able to come forward with a proposal in the coming months to be able to implement it. I’ve been encouraged by the fact that Finance Minister Dough Horner, it’s his area that this falls under, said in the middle of December that he was open minded to looking at gaming options to be able to fill this funding gap. We think that we’ve provided a solution that everybody should be able to embrace.


It was refreshing to see someone at least propose an idea, other than do nothing, however, I’m not certain this KENO plan will generate the money Smith and the Wildrose project it will.

After the interview I did some research and found that there is one major difference between gambling habits in B.C and Alberta that the Wildrose Party didn’t outline in the comparisons.

Alberta has 6,000 VLTs (Video Lottery Terminals) in bars and other establishments, while BC only allows them in casinos and bingo halls. Essentially B.C residents spend $235 million on KENO, but not much on VLTs. While in Alberta we spend millions on VLTs, but on $3.1 million on KENO.

Currently there are 11,311 VLT/slots in BC and $19,260 in Alberta. I don’t see how we can introduce another 2000-3000 KENO machines without impacting VLT spending, or other gambling operations.

Courtesy of Canadian Gambling Digest


Video Lottery Terminals: 

Total revenues from Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) were $7.4 billion in 2011-12, compared to $7.4 billion the previous year. The AGLC pays a 15 per cent commission on gross profit to VLT retailers for the services provided. The remaining 85 per cent is transferred to the Alberta Lottery Fund after AGLC operating costs are deducted. 

VLT Net Revenue          
($ thousands) 2011-12 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09 2007-08
Revenues $7,428,194 $7,365,313 $7,598,298 $8,884,631 $10,553,986
Prizes 6,834,399 6,779,822 6,996,360 8,178,842 9,716,012
Gross Profits 593,795 585,491 601,938 705,789 837,974
Commission/Federal Payments 94,222 92,757 90,771 113,850 135,203
Net Revenue $499,573 $492,734 $511,167 $591,939 $702,771


I seriously doubt gamblers can just add another $196 in KENO gambling money to their budget without it impacting VLT spending. In the last four years alone VLTs have dropped $200 million in revenue due. Gambling pundits suggest that an increase in alternative options is the reason.

Alberta already has the third highest amount per capita in gambling revenue among the provinces at $737 for every adult resident in 2010-2011, according to Canadian Gambling Digest. The national average was only $527.

Per Person 18+

Saskatchewan:  $855
Manitoba:           $739
Alberta:               $737
BC:                     $551
Ontario:              $468

We already spend almost $200 more per person than BC, can we really expect that to increase by adding KENO?

I’m not a regular gambler, outside the odd Texas hold ’em game with my buddies or a rare game of blackjack at the Casino, so I can’t accurately say how many gamblers will be attracted to KENO. The fact you can win or play every five minutes makes it much more enticing than the failed Oilers/Flames lottery of a few years back.

Any idea on how to cover the $100 million is welcome, but I have reservations about how much KENO will make, but also how it will impact other charties who make money from current VLTs and other outlets.

  • As an Oiler fan I’d love to see a new arena built. But all this talk about there being no stomach for a new tax strikes me as misleading at best. Is there any evidence that this won’t amount to a regressive tax — i.e. a money grab from lower income folks who tend to use these machines — to fund an arena that will end up mostly benefitting others? I know there are lots of readers here that will reflexively criticize this suggestion. But, since you seem to be actually care about evidence, Jason, do you know if there is any? Just wondering.

    • Misleading and government? No way.

      If those low income folks can quit their gambling, they might be able to be the others as well.

      Should the Edmontonians who paid taxes during the area taxing days get a discount at the arena once the retire? That way they get something out of it. That way are not being had and having their money used for other peoplse benefits.

      Should they accept the fact that government has, is and will continue to abuse its power and use peoples money how they see fit? I cant see why they wouldnt or believe otherwise.

      The “City” of Edmonton needs a new arena, the “citizens” of Edmonton need to realize they are not the city they are just citizens. City comes before the citizens, if citizens dont want their tax money going to the arena-move and pay tax in another municipality.

    • It wasnt Smith’s idea. Basically if Redford had proposed the same idea Smith just did then Smith would be jumping down Redfords throat. She would be saying “gambling per capita wont increase just because you add more options, this is essentially taking current government revenue and directing it Katz’ way” She would probably also add something to the effect of “We’re already 3rd highest in Gambling per capita and Redford wants to increase that? Thats just wrong”

      WRP is just waiting for the PC’s to suggest ANYTHING and they will be on it like stink on Wanye manor.

      This is a revenue shift not new revenue. The fact that she thinks we are all dumb enough not to realize that is vexing. The fact that most people are dumb enough for that is worse.

  • Rocknrolla

    Listened to the interview,and I think this is simply political posturing by the WRP. Why do you think they have a huge PR strategy of rolling this out. They want to make the Gov’t look bad if they use tax money, by saying they came up with a way to do it without, and Gregor nailed it by showing its not so easy.

    Wow, lets just add this keno game that does great in BC, why havent we done this yet? Newsflash, I am sure the AGLC executives have seen these numbers and looked at how Keno would do in Alberta.

    I do however like the idea of some sort of sports gambling/lottery that people who are sports fans can voluntarily play, and proceeds go to rec/sports facilities in the province. A voluntary fun tax with the opportunity to win some money.Just dont do the old scratch and win ticket again.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    If there was ever an optimal use of that Heritage Trust Fund, then this is it. That fund alone could’ve helped build new facilities province wide. We never hear much about this topic anymore. Perhaps it’s all been plundered by those with access.

    If it can’t sustain itself, let it die like any other business venture. I’m sure to those harvesting the profits from the old barn would be more than happy to continue stuffing 20 million+ a year in their jeans.

  • Why would government support gambling for private purposes?

    Gambling is an addiction and a problem for a large number of people and in reality a waste of money. The government might as well legalize marijuana and have proceeds from that go towards arenas. Come to think of it that might be a better idea than his.

    Why would $98 million go to the Oilers and the Flames? And then some? WTF?

    Who the #@$% does this piece of Smith think she is? It appears her main agenda is not the arena, not the governments money and defenitely not the peoples money.She is trying to use this opportunity to get rich and nothing else. I hope Redford urinates on her request and sends it back.

    The people of Edmonton and Calgary would fork over nearly $200 million only to see less than a quarter of that come towards their arena. Serious?
    $10 million for administration and hosing?

        • Still don’t follow your logic for this particular situation. I bet you they both live very well. You think Katz is automatically going to shift his donations to WRP because of this idea? Even so, doesn’t make her personally more rich. If you are just saying this is a move to get her into the premiers seat and thus a higher paying job then… well duh. That is literally her job. That’s the point of every politician.

        • ~You could say the same thing about the Premier, after all they accepted a big chunk of money form Katz during the election.

          I hope our Premier does consider keno. Not just dismiss it because it wasn’t her idea. I do know some people who do play it, you can play it with change from drinks or everyone at the table just pitches in a few bucks & plays while visiting or whatever like Smith suggested.

          With the government working with “balanced operating budgets” and a huge glut of oil in Cushing Illinois, I don’t see any other way of the government pitching in.

  • Milli

    Jason, I have lived in Edmonton and now run a store in BC with keno. I think as a person who loves playing VLT’s while having a pint that keno draws a diferent person. Maybe that’s not right. What I mean is if we are sitting watching a game I may play a $20 keno ticket because I can still sit and talk and watch the game. Maybe in the intermission I may go throw $20 (or $50) on the VLT. I think you may be surprised that she is correct that even with VLT’s keno would bring in large $’s. Not just in bars, but in little stores like mine. We do about $1000 per week in keno. And man I want them to get that arena done!

  • book¡e

    Why don’t we save a lot of BS effort and just fund it with tax dollars, while we are at it we should also fund the Stollery and other needed things as well so that we don’t need to waste so much time and effort on fundraisers and the such. Increase taxes across the board by a 1% and just get on with it.

    • Since this government has no appetite to tax oil companies with the proper level of royalties, the only two other options are a general tax hike or a provincial sales tax.

      Personally, I think it’s a crime that the Stollery has to pass on it’s budget deficit to the general public in the form of continuous fundraising. That’s a selective tax in disguise. Not to mention that the Stollery is a well oiled and very well funded marketing machine that steamrolls alot of cash which might otherwise go to equally deserving charities who have less marketing resources. YESS in Edmonton comes to mind.

      • book¡e

        The Wildrose party came to be meaningful political force in this province simply because the PCs made an effort to address the stupidly low royalty rates. The WR made a list of their donations public and I started Googling the names on the list and about 75% of them are on the boards of Oil companies (or are spouses, etc).

        The Energy companies very nearly hijacked the election over one issue without concern or care about the other aspects of what the WR stood for. I am very supportive of the Oilsands, but I have very little respect for the integrity of the companies that are involved. The government needs to both regulate them and take a more appropriate share of the value of the Oil that we are shipping out to the rest of the world.

  • Gregor: I seriously doubt gamblers can just add another $196 in KENO gambling money to their budget without it impacting VLT spending.

    Gregor: Will KENO take away money from other lotteries, and essentially other charities where that money ends up?

    Smith: It doesn’t appear to. If you look at British Columbia, we have very similar games across a whole range of things. So if you look at the revenues they get from Lotto 649, comparable to what we get here. We have Sports Select; they have a similar type of game- comparable revenues there as well. Where the gap appears to be, is the game of KENO where BC spends $235 million vs. $3 million here, as well we feel it goes towards a different audience

    So it appears they’re going after a different type of gambler than the VLT crowd, or someone who may not have gambled previously, but may now do so to help the teams.

  • @17 and @19 are right. If the arena is going to be funded by a tax, as it must be if it is to be funded at all, then it should be funded by a tax that is actually CALLED a tax rather than one that is disguised as something else.

  • Clyde Frog

    New gambling streams DO create more gambling dollars… If you don’t want to read the literature, you just have to look no further than a modern casino. There is a reason why they offer as many differentiated gambling options as they do, the science behind it is sound and very, very researched.

    That being said, it’s tough to understand Smiths valuation without seeing the research. But the I only have $50 to spend on beer analogy is disingenuous as the situation is different.

    It’s more akin to opening a new liquor store in your neighbourhood, people will make net new purchases out of convenience and selection offered, some will transfer purchases and others will avoid it.

    But the end result is the pool is not nearly finite as some media people have expressed views on(not taking a shot at Gregor here). This will result in net new spending, how much unfortunately requires more information, but this won’t simply transfer current revenues to the new stream.

  • book¡e

    I’ll give the Wildrose kudos for at least coming up with an idea filled with specifics. Can’t fault them for trying.

    But, again, just as Danielle Smith misread the electorate in Alberta at the election, I’m not sure if she’s read the arena situation in Edmonton correctly.

    I don’t live in Edmonton, but I’ve never been under the impression that the average taxpayer in Edmonton is so shortsighted that they think the new arena in their city would only benefit the Oilers. Smith is claiming that there’s no appetite for taxpayer money going directly to sports teams.

    But in Edmonton, we know it isn’t. Yes, it “benefits” the Oilers. But the arena also benefits the city. It’s not like the municipal or provincial government is chipping into the player salary budget. It’s bucking up to pay for city infrastructure, of which the Oilers are a primary user (and benefactor, to be sure), but not the only user/benefactor. I’ve never sensed that the majority of taxpayers in Edmonton didn’t think the arena would benefit the community as a whole.

    My other point is … the other municipalities in Alberta. Smith does suggest that the KENO game could be expanded to fund other projects in other municipalities. That’s good politics – after all, I’m not sure if folks in Grande Prairie are going to go KENO-crazy to build an arena in Edmonchuck when our own Canada Games Arena is a outdated nightmare, but it can also go too far the other way.

    Do we really want to be funding municipal works projects through a province-wide KENO game? Is that really how our society should be working in the 21st century? Dumping the funding of public works projects on the backs of “dudes enjoying a beer in the bar with their buddies,” as well as people who may or may not have gambling issues?

    Wouldn’t it be better if we just raised taxes a bit on everyone to spread the pain? Must everything be about avoiding a simple tax increase? Does Smith not see what’s that’s doing south of the border?

    • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

      i thought for sure DSF would have chipped in a minnesota wild farm team depth update by now just to add the cherry to the top of this pile of crazy beans

  • book¡e

    What investor( public or private) would want this project ot go ahead without a secured product?

    As I have said all along, the NHLPA will not negotiate in good faith under Fehr’s leadership. The season will be cancelled and there is no optimisim for a deal being in place for next year. Fehr is retiring any ways and could care less about hockey, or sports for that matter.

    The players are playing with fire and once the flame is lit, I hope they all get burned.

  • I lived in Vancouver for 2 years. I loved the KENO! The great thing is that it’s a tweener type of game that is hard to gamble a whole pile of money on. Each draw takes 5 minutes and is a great game to play when your at the pub having a few brews and killing some time. I’ve been lucky enough to match 6 numbers and get $1500 one time and my Mom while out visiting got over $3000 one time.

    I probably never bet more than $60 or $100 in evening and that is probably stretching it. Usually I played a dollar a draw so about $20 an hour to do some fun gambling.

    I’m all for this even just for the fun pub gaming aspect but if it helps us get the damn arena already then I am all over the bandwagon.

    Sports-select one game betting is a decent idea but the great thing about Keno, in BC anyways, is that you can check your numbers at 7-11 just like a 649 ticket or you can play in the pubs. In the pubs, the Keno betting tickets are right on the table in most places, and more recently they now have automated vending Keno machines just like a bank machine.

    Lastly, Keno is a social, fun gambling alternative to VLT’s where you sit like a zombie away in some dark corner pushing buttons and relentlessly throwing in $20 bills like they are monopoly money.

    I may sound like a degenerate, but I’m the type of guy who may hit the pub or bar once a month or a couple times in the summer now, and when I go out I want to socialize, drink and win some cash if possible.

    Standing in front of a VLT kills a vibe and a buzz like you wouldn’t believe.

    It’s actually kinda fun to “forget” that you were even playing Keno and go check your ticket a bit later and boom you just won a couple hundy by matching 5 numbers on a quick pick. haha the good ole days! Bring on the KENO.

  • Okay my mom says I should be more positive as well others so here it goes………I’m positive that the NHLPA does not want to make a real deal until they absolutely have too. This means that, prior to the very last second of the season hanging in the balance, only then will they decide they want to accept the deal.

    After Bettman cancels the season the union will counter and say they now want to start negotiating and if the NHL does not comply, it will be their fault there is no hockey!

    Bets anyone?

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I completely agree with Harlie.

    I don’t play VLTs as I don’t like standing in the corner of a bar throwing my money into a slot and then walking embarrassed back to my table. My wife and I have, however, played Keno quite often in Vegas while having cocktails with friends, or even just having breakfast in a restaurant.

    I would definitely play Keno (probably more than I should.) It’s a whole different animal from VLTs and I don’t think would compete much. It feels more fun and sociable and less sleazy than VLTs.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    I guess as long as my mom and I might win a few bucks, and so long as it doesn’t FEEL too sleazy, then Keno must be the best way to fund an arena. Bring it ON!!! Crazy pills indeed.

  • Dirty politician arguing for dirty money to fund the arena…perfect. Oil royalties are at an all time low compared to oil company profits. Reasonable royalty rates (see Finland) would allow Red Deer to have a team, maybe one in Ft. Mac, with new rinks all around. How there is a shortage of any kind in this province is beyond cognition.

  • Spydyr

    Isn’t the lottery actually regulated by the Western Canada Lottery Corporation? I don’t recall the AGLC governs these games, they are set by the WCLC.

    I have worked in a bar with VLT’s and with the lottery machine.

    Bars in Alberta have VLT’s, while convenience stores, gas stations and supermarkets have lottery machines. Bar owners would probably love a 5 minute Keno game for their patrons but Keno isnt a VLT game and they don’t have a lottery machine to support it.

    Gas stations, convenience stores and supermarkets have the lottery machine to support Keno but I doubt they want those people standing around for 5 minutes at a time especially for the impact on their business and the minor incentive given. (This is about turnover for them and not loitering)

    So to make this happen like Mrs. Smith suggests you need to install lottery machines in bars which I’m guessing is a lot more expensive then she thinks and probably something the WCLC/AGLC has looked into. I appreciate trying to find a solution to this arena project but this suggestion is very short sighted in my opinion.

    • JohnQPublic

      Why not put the machines in Rexall drug stores so Katz can get even more tax payers money.I can not stop the city from spending my taxes on something that benefits a private group more than anything else,but no one can make me patronize anything to do with Katz.

  • JohnQPublic

    I see a lot of negative comments posted here, but no solutions. Typical.

    It’s a week personality that offers only criticism but no solutions. I’ll add Gregor to the list – no solution, just criticism. Silly for a game (i.e. Keno) that has been tremendously popular in the gambling meca of Nevada for decades.

    Smith was the first politician to offer a solution. All the PC government has done is deflect the issue for 4 years. Smith should be commended for coming up a workable solution – especially compared to all the “do nothings” in government.