LONDONDERRY —Those who support bringing keno to town hope the game may make another appearance before voters next March.
During an Oct. 24 Budget Committee meeting Bob Stuart, commander of Londonderry's American Legion Post 27, came before the group to speak on why he feels approving keno could benefit not only the Legion post, but the town as well.
Keno is a game of chance available at bars and restaurants and controlled by the Lottery Commission. Only businesses with active liquor pouring licenses would be eligible to install a keno lottery machine.
Gov. Chris Sununu signed a proposal in 2017 allowing money raised from keno to be a revenue source to support full-day kindergarten programs in the state. He left it up to individual communities to decide whether to allow it.
Londonderry voters said no to keno at the polls this past March.
But support is still there, Stuart said, for trying again to approve the game.
With about 550 members, the nonprofit Londonderry Legion post could make approximately $8,000 to $10,000 annually by having keno, Stuart said.
In addition to supporting the post and its veteran members, Stuart said the Legion also teams up with the schools, and other organizations to help those in need.
"Veterans are our focus," Stuart said, "but we support other causes. If the Legion had keno, the more money we can spread out and do things within the town."
Derry approved its keno question at the polls last year, joined by dozens of other communities approving the gaming measure. This year, other communities had the question on their March 12 ballot, including Windham, approving the measure. Salem, Manchester and Hudson also have the game.
In Londonderry's case, the keno vote last March had a few twists and turns.
An early, unofficial reading of votes on election night March 12 showed an eight-vote win for approving keno. But by week's end, the official certification vote number switched that decision.
Town Manager Kevin Smith then released information saying the preliminary numbers were incorrect stating "upon certification of the election results in Londonderry from Tuesday, March 12, it was noted that there was a correction to the results of Article 27, which unofficially was announced on Tuesday as having passed by eight votes. The final certified vote on Article 27 is as follows: Yes: 1,317, No: 1,349. Thus Article 27 fails by 32 votes."
That original election night error was due to vote numbers being incorrectly imported into a spreadsheet, according to Smith.
A recount was requested by supporters, giving a similar result.
Stuart said other local businesses are also interested in bringing keno to town, including Stumble Inn, and that could also indirectly support the community, with additional hiring and a more successful business.