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LOTTO JACKPOTS EVERY 15 MINUTES; Camelot keen on Keno pub game.

Camelot are on the verge of running pounds 100,000 lottery draws in pubs every FIFTEEN minutes.

Bosses plan to submit their bid to run the game - called Keno - to watchdog Peter Davis in the next few weeks.

If they get the go-ahead, drinkers will get the chance to scoop the pounds 100,000 jackpot for a pounds 1 stake, with the draw screened on pub TVs.

Camelot plan to link up with Bass to run Keno. The brewing giant has 3,000 pubs and restaurants.

Punters would pick up to 20 numbers from 1 to 80 on special playslips, similar to those used for the national TV draws. The more numbers that come up from their selections, the bigger the win.

But anti-gaming groups claim that games like Keno, with their quick turnover, increase the danger of punters becoming addicted to gambling.

Britain's bookies are also likely to be against the game, arguing that they have been hit hard by the National Lottery.

But Camelot are determined to get their way - despite admitting in a secret document leaked to the Mirror that Keno was "at the harder end of gaming".

One of their key arguments to Lottery watchdogs Oflot will be that if they are not allowed to run Keno then other firms will. Several have plans already.

The Minister responsible for the Lottery, Chris Smith, could play a vital role in the Keno bid as Oflot would be bound to consult him. And with the Government trying to expand lottery funding of education and health projects - as it will explain in a Lottery white paper today - Keno could be regarded as a way of boosting the cash available.

The Mirror first revealed in February that Camelot were considering a number of new lottery-style games.

As well as Keno, the leaked document showed they were considering letting other countries buy tickets for the National Lottery.

Also on the cards were a pounds 400million link-up with Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB and a possible launch stock market launch for Camelot.

The consortium currently makes about pounds 1million profit a week. But the memo revealed that Keno could add pounds 50 million to the firm's value.

A Bass insider said: "Everyone involved in this project is confident it will become a reality. Oflot have a choice of allowing a properly supervised Keno game, which will benefit good causes, or saying no and allowing someone else into the field which they will not have control over."

Voice of The Mirror - Page 6

pounds 4million Lotto win - Page 9

Over the last 20 years Keno has become one of the biggest and most profitable lottery-style games in the world.

It was illegal in America until just after the war. Then the booming casinos of Las Vegas - many set up with Mob money - started to exploit the fast-play game, which is believed to have originated in China. When state lotteries began to spring up in America in the seventies, Keno took off.

It is now a huge moneyspinner in the US, France, Switzerland, Australia and Asia.
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Author:Lottery, Lenny
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 21, 1997
Words:510
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