From Pubs to Pixels: The Transition of Keno From the Land-Based to Online Mode in New Zealand

Keno is a popular lottery-style casino entertainment that millions of people across the world enjoy playing. However, this lottery variation wasn’t always the same as today – it has a rich history spanning two centuries ago. The game originated in China, evolved from simple numerical entertainment, and became the fourth casino title to be introduced in New Zealand in the mid-90s.

Currently, the game is a fan favourite among Kiwi gamblers, which is why there’re so many options for players to enjoy several rounds whenever they want, spanning from brick-and-mortar establishments through licensed New Zealand-facing online platforms like Mr Bet NZ to local pubs. Join us as we dive deep into Keno’s rich history, how it has evolved through time, and what we expect in the coming years.

The Development of Original Game

The story of Keno gambling can be traced to China around 2000 years ago when the Han dynasty faced financial turmoil due to the increasing burden of war financing. As a way of curbing the situation, Cheung Leung devised “The White Pigeon” (Bai Ge Piao) to help in raising money.

This interesting Bai Ge Piao game was a precursor to the modern entertainment we know now, and it involved choosing symbols from over a hundred Chinese characters. This concept of collecting specific ideograms laid the foundation for the contemporary numerical title that we enjoy in today’s modern world.

Leung’s invention became quite popular after the draws successfully financed the building of the Great Wall of China. The locals enjoyed playing the game, and over time, Chinese migrants introduced it to the Europeans and Americans.

As Bai Ge Piao spread across various continents, it changed, reducing the number of characters from 120 to 90. By the 19th century, the game had traveled across the globe, and eventually, the characters were reduced to 80 numbers, and the name K.E.N.O. was adopted.

The Modernisation of Entertainment

The pivotal period of Keno modernisation began in the early 20th century. During the time, operators disguised it as a horse race game where the numbers represented the horses. The innovation made the game thrive in several jurisdictions where gambling was legalised, and players were looking to wager on something new that still bore familiar concepts. Locals in such countries enjoyed betting in the already-established lounges.

The Establishment of Land-Based Lounges

Keno’s prominence in the gambling sector increased by the mid-20th century, and more land-based lounges were erected. The game gained a large audience among people of different genders and ages. Players could now do live draws in a social atmosphere, a continued Kiwi tradition.

The Birth of Online Playing Mode

With the world becoming more digitised thanks to the spread of the Internet, operators started establishing iGaming platforms, which saw Keno’s transformation go to the next level. Several online gaming variants were introduced in New Zealand virtual casinos, and the most popular versions among Kiwis include the following titles:

  • Single-Card;
  • Multiple-Card;
  • Power;
  • Super;
  • Progressive Jackpot.

These games inspired more innovations, and as online casinos looked to stand out from the competitive industry, various enticing bonuses and promotions were introduced. Some websites offer welcome bonuses, no-deposit bonuses, and cashback deals. In such a way, online Keno has been made more popular, offering Kiwis more playing time in the games. The lower house edge, higher payout potentials, and the convenience of gaming over the Internet led to the exponential increase in online Keno popularity.

In most online variants, players purchase the ticket and select specific numbers from 40 or more characters. However, it’s crucial to have your own strategy and compare different variations only to play the one that offers deals and a playing style that suits you.

The Rise of Live Dealer Betting

As iGaming technology advanced and live casino gaming emerged, Keno was not left off the bandwagon. Through live dealer clients, leading-edge iGaming sites recreate the experience of playing in a land-based gambling house to let gamblers experience the social aspect of Keno action without visiting a physical gaming establishment.

When playing live online games, players can use the “pick a dip” option to select the numbers. Using this playing approach is gaining traction, and players can wait as the live dealer selects random numbers using the random number generator software.

The Keno Magic Continues

Indeed, Keno has gone through an epic journey to become the exciting game it is today. From its origin in China through its availability in online casinos around the world to the captivating live dealer action that is now a go-to for many online gamblers. This transition is a testament to the game’s great adaptability. As the world continues to evolve, Keno will undoubtedly welcome more changes, making it even more exciting among Kiwi fans.