Whether they are about superheroes from comic books or video games, origin stories are always fascinating. But Keno’s origin story is more intriguing than others, in part because no one can seem to agree on what it is. An extensive web search yields tales of railroad workers, gamblers in Nevada, and emperors.

A chronological synopsis of the more intriguing stories is provided below.
The War in China: Wars have always been costly. It is reported that Cheung Leung of the Han Dynasty was severely underfunded during his most recent protracted war in the second century BC. Knowing that his people were tired of paying taxes, Cheung looked for a classier fix—gambling! Keno, maybe the first national lottery, became popular very fast and was dubbed “White Pigeon” due to the fact that the birds were utilized to transport results to remote areas.

The Great Wall: It is also said that Keno was utilized to fund the building of China’s Great Wall. The Great Wall of China was constructed over a 500-year period, beginning in the 7th century BC, to protect the Chinese empire from external attacks. (That’s a big sum of Keno money!) The Great Wall is estimated to be more than 13,000 kilometers long by one architectural survey.

Railroads in America: In the 1800s, a large number of Chinese immigrants came to work on the country’s railroads. When they got to San Francisco, a few of them introduced Keno to their American colleagues. The game became well-known as a means of unwinding for railroad workers following a demanding workday. However, the Chinese characters confused the Americans, so they switched them out for more traditional Arabic digits.

Off To The Races: In a strange legal anomaly, lotteries were illegal in early 20th-century America while gambling was allowed. Federal agents viewed Keno as a lottery, which caused significant issues for game operators. The Keno operators devised a way to get around this. Referred to as “Racehorse Keno,” they asserted that rather than being a lottery, the game was a racing game, entailing gambling. The Keno card numbers were associated with particular horses, and the drawings were referred to as races—a term that is still used in certain casinos today.

Whatever its history, Keno is still a really entertaining game that we play today. Furthermore, you can always rely on your preferred Suquamish Clearwater Casino for the most thrilling group Keno experience thanks to a Weekend Keno Tournament that takes place every Saturday at 1 p.m. We hope to see you in the lounge soon!

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