Why Isn’t There More Keno Around the World

According to most historical accounts, the game of Keno originated in China. In its native land, there are many legends surrounding Keno, including certain accounts that claim that the game was invented during a time of war, and its popularity helped fund the creation of the Great Wall. However, this is mainly based on myth and legend. Today, the lottery remains a popular pastime in China, and at times, it is still used to fund public institutions.

The game was brought over to Europe in the 1800s when Portuguese merchants who landed in Macau discovered the game. The name comes from the Latin word quini, which can be translated to “five winning numbers.” For a while, the game was extraordinarily popular. Today, however, the appeal of the game has somewhat veined. However, it is still reasonably popular, as quite a few online keno sites are still hugely popular.

Just What is Keno?

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But the game is still relatively obscure. Many might not even be aware of the game’s existence. So, let us look through what Keno is for anyone who has never heard of the game. If you are unaware, Keno is a game similar to the lottery. Players pick up to 10 numbers from 1 to 80 (this number can change). After this, 20 numbers are drawn, and if five match your chosen numbers, you’ve won the wager. All in all, the game is pretty simple, in many ways similar to the lottery or bingo.

Keno’s Popularity

Keno is not particularly popular outside of the United States nowadays. This is a real shame because Keno is an excellent replacement for the lottery. The odds of Keno, like any game, favor the house. However, they are still much better for the player than typical lottery odds. Yet, the game’s popularity cannot even hope to reach that of bingo or scratch tickets. This means that, in most places around the world, the only way to play keno for real money is to play the game online. But, before you can play the game online, there are certain things you must know about the game, including just why the game is not that popular around the world.

The Game is Eclipsed

We have alluded to one of the main reasons for Keno’s lack of popularity. Namely, the lottery is already well established. You can find scratch tickets pretty much in any country around the world, from the United States to China. Many people are much more familiar with the lottery than with Keno. Why not, considering news stories about lottery winners are almost weekly. On the other hand, Keno winner stories are not all that common. This is a shame, as Keno’s odds of victory are much better than the lottery’s.

Gamblers Seem Disinterested

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Another reason for Keno’s lack of success in casinos might be that gamblers are disinterested. This could be because the game does not require any skill and is rather purely luck-based. Though other games are based entirely on luck, Keno is already at a disadvantage, as it isn’t particularly popular. After all, the average casino visitor is much more likely to see the flashy, noise-making slot machines or the loud, raucous craps table than they are likely to notice the keno game. Though it is worth mentioning that because of the recent rise in the popularity of online casinos, many more people are becoming acquainted with online keno. So, our advice would be that if you want to play keno for real money, you do so online, where it is much more widely available.

The Game Lacks Glamour

Unlike traditional casino games like roulette, baccarat, poker, and blackjack, keno is not an integral part of popular culture. Think about all the casino films, television shows, and other forms of popular media that have included the games mentioned above. Images come up of glamorous casinos, men in fancy suits and women in gorgeous gowns, sipping on bubbly champagne and rolling the dice. Keno just does not have that going for it. It is a game played with a pen and paper, the maximum payout of which is lesser than pretty much any other similar game, like the lottery or bingo.

Final Say

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These are just a few reasons that Keno might not be all that popular today. However, as we said, the game has recently gained popularity. In large part, this resurgence can be attributed to the rise of online gambling sites where you can play for real money. So, if you are interested in keno, find a licensed and trusted online website, and try your hand at this ancient game.

This article was written in collaboration with online slot experts.


Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignpolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com