AUGUSTA — The Maine House is supporting a bill that would prevent Gov. Paul LePage’s administration from introducing keno without legislative approval.

The Democratic-led House gave the bill initial approval Wednesday with a 141-8 vote. It heads to the Senate.

It was introduced in response to the administration’s plan to begin offering keno at retailers like bars and restaurants this spring. Lawmakers called it a significant gambling expansion that should require legislative approval.

LePage has since said that he won’t move forward with the plan because it’s “not the time to have another debate over gambling.” But lawmakers are advancing the bill anyway to ensure that future keno proposals go through the Legislature first.

In keno, players choose from a pool of 80 numbers and 20 winning numbers are drawn every four minutes.

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