History Of Keno

The history of keno is quite ancient; and most of the historians believe that the origin of keno is rooted in ancient China. It was only in the 19th century, when the game moved west, that it became a worldwide phenomenon. It is believe that keno game was created by Cheung Leung, a Chinese warlord in around 200 BC. An ancient manuscript tells that Leung's city was plagued by war for many years, which has led to an economical devastation.

Leung introduced a lottery game that helped fund the supplies for the army, and this way the city was saved. The legend also says that the great popularity of the game in the early centuries helped raise the funds to build the Great Wall Of China. The keno history took a new shape when the Chinese immigrants brought the game to the western United States in the middle of the 19th century. This is where the modern history of keno begins.

The game soon became known as Chinese lottery, and it was very popular in Chinese-American communities. Moreover, the Chinese characters were switched to numbers which makes easier for English speakers to understand and play the game. The history behind keno can also be traced back when gambling was legalized in United States in 1931, however lotteries were not.

Casinos at that time wanted to keep the game, so they changed it into a so called horse racing game. Players placed wagers on numbered horses instead of numbered spots. However, a few years later lottery prohibition was removed, and the government started to tax horse betting, thus the game was again changed to Keno. A change to legislation that followed soon, made casinos adopts the game again, turning it to Keno as we know it now.


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