A new study conducted by the Public Opinion Strategies for Kentucky Sports Betting Now, shows nearly two-thirds of Kentuckians support legalizing sports betting.
Lawmakers in the Bluegrass State have tried multiple times to pass a sports betting bill. In early 2020, a bill by Rep. Adam Koenig passed out of committee but struggled on the house floor.
The new poll finds all political parties support sports betting, with the highest percentage being 81% from independents.
Taking a deeper dive
Public Opinion Strategies (POS) surveyed 500 registered voters. Of the 500 surveyed, 65% supported sports betting compared to 26% opposed. The survey’s margin of error was 4.4%.
Further analysis of the survey concluded:
- 69% of Democrats endorse sports betting
- 58% of Republicans endorse sports betting
- 81% of Independents endorse sports betting
Dan Bayens, a spokesperson for POS, said, “We will be active in building support this session and until sports betting legislation passes in Kentucky.”
The state of sports betting in Kentucky
Although sponsored by a Republican lawmaker, most of the support for legalized KY sports betting has fallen on the shoulders of Democrats.
With Republicans holding 75 of the 100 seats in the House, proponents would only need 26 votes to sink any bill.
In terms of supporters, sports betting does have the full support of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.
Despite Beshear’s clout, any bill would still need to clear the Senate, which Republicans control with a 30 to 38 margin. Additionally, anti-gaming groups like the Family Foundation of Kentucky back many of the social conservatives in the House.
The 2022 legislative session is halfway done, and there has yet to be a new wagering bill filed in Frankfort. However, Koenig told reporters he intends to do so soon.
New bills must be introduced by March 1, with the final day of the legislative session being April 14.
“As this poll shows, legalizing sports wagering in Kentucky is wildly popular. In addition, the poll shows that it is a political plus for candidates. I’ll be filing the bill soon and hope we will be able to wager next year on my hometown Bengals when they return to the Super Bowl!”