Your story “Power Played” (6/13) should be renamed “Eighty Numbers of Troubles.” Just when we thought bringing keno to D.C. was the best thing since sliced bread, the continuous glitches have overshadowed the convenience of not dragging our hard-earned D.C. cash to Maryland. I, for one, was sucked in by not having to go to Maryland for the occasional game of kenobut I soon got a lesson about fair play. Alas, there wasn’t and isn’t any. D.C. keno turned out to be a real turnoff! I started to pay more attention to how the several places I’ve seen appeared to be packed with customers, and had neither air conditioning nor enough space to breathe and relax while playing. This reminded me of a fire violation. If a fire broke out, the people in the store would kill themselves trying to get out.
On another note, one of my games was taken away while I stood in line to cash in a 20-game ticket for an exchange ticket after playing only seven games. I quickly learned that I was really playing 19 games in exchange for $20. Somehow, the machine skipped over one of my games. I felt cheated and did not get my money’s worth. I complained to the manager and was told “Too bad”that there was nothing they could do.
I went to a second D.C. keno vendor, and the clerk there was reluctant to give me a receipt. She asked me if I trusted her. I told her no, that I don’t trust anyone who refuses to give me a receipt that I was and am entitled to get without demanding.
Why all the grief with keno? Simply, as consumers, customers, and patrons of any business, I and other citizens of the District of Columbia deserve good service, clear explanations, and to be treated with decency and respect. At the two places I went, I got nonezip, zap, nada! The places I’ve seen are nothing like the places advertised on television.
Most of the places are in low-income black and Hispanic neighborhoods. All of a sudden, vendors are now complaining, but still profiting? Give me a damn break, a refund for being overcharged, and some air conditioning! If anything comes out of this, maybe the fire marshal should be called in to these places that are packing poor folks in areas about the size of a phone booth. The question is: Is anyone listening to the complaints, and will they ever be dealt with? Defrauded players, vendors, and callers are standing by.