Branched Oak Steakhouse and Lounge is a place Malcolm residents frequent for conversation and food. But when it comes to gambling, patrons drive to other Nebraska towns to play Keno.
“Currently there are local residents traveling outside of the village to Denton and surrounding areas that have Keno. This is the opportunity to stay home and see their funds revitalized back through the village,” said Branched Oak owner Becky Falkenhagen.
Nearly all residents agree that bring Keno to the restaurant is a way to keep Malcolm money in the village. Money they say other towns like Denton use to build their communities.
“They had a nice park, a nice community center, curb and gutter, it’s a way to raise money for a small town that is relatively painless,” said patron Kent Kettenburg.
Over the past few months issues with Malcolm water as well as waste management have surfaced. The village board hopes Keno funds could help with those problems.
“These are things that are needing to be done, we felt that this is a way we could subsidize that and not have to increase water and sewer rates for the town members,” said Village Board Chairwoman Kim Masek.
Masek says Keno would bring in between $1,000 to $5,000 a month. Profits would be divided between the city and the restaurant.
Malcolm residents will vote on the issue May 11.