LEXINGTON, Ky. — Sports betting is a political winner in Kentucky. Two-thirds of voters support allowing sports betting in the Commonwealth, according to a new survey from Republican pollster Public Opinion Strategies.
By a 66%-27% margin, voters support allowing sports betting at Kentucky horse race tracks, the Kentucky Speedway, and mobile betting through online apps.
Support for sports betting extends across party lines:
- Republicans: 62% support, 31% oppose
- Independents: 71% support, 25% oppose
- Democrats: 69% support, 23% oppose
Support rises even higher when voters hear that the revenue will go to fund state pensions (74% support, 24% oppose).
A plurality of voters say that a state legislator’s support for sports betting will make them “more likely” to vote in the future (31% more likely, 15% less likely, 52% no difference).
The statewide survey of 500 registered voters was conducted March 10-12, 2020 and has margin of error of 4.4%. Public Opinion Strategies has a long track record of successful survey research in Kentucky and has worked for the Senate Republican Caucus Campaign Committee, the House Republican Caucus Campaign Committee, the Republican Party of Kentucky, and numerous GOP campaigns.
Legislation is currently being considered in the Kentucky General Assembly that would allow sports betting in the Commonwealth. House Bill 137 would legalize sports betting in Kentucky at horse race tracks and the Kentucky Speedway, as well as mobile wagering through online apps.
The bill would generate $22.5 million in new revenue every year – without raising taxes on Kentucky families – according to a fiscal analysis from Commonwealth Economics. The vast majority of the revenue would go to fund state pensions, providing a significant boost for teachers, first responders and other state and local government employees.
Introduced by State Rep. Adam Koenig (R-Erlanger), HB 137 is the only proposed legislation that would generate new revenue for state pensions that has a chance to pass the Kentucky General Assembly in 2020.
HB 137 passed the House Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee in January by a unanimous vote.
News reports suggest the measure has more than enough votes to pass both chambers of the General Assembly.
Numerous groups from across Kentucky’s political spectrum have endorsed HB 137 including:
- Kentucky Education Association
- Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Greater Louisville Inc.
- Commerce Lexington
- Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Kentucky Travel Industry Association
- meetNKY | Northern Kentucky Convention and Visitors Bureau
- Kentucky Retail Association
- Kentucky Coal Association
- Kentucky Association of Counties
- Kentucky County Judge/Executive Association
- Kentucky PVA Association
- Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association
- Kentucky Professional Fire Fighters
- Kentucky Jailers’ Association
- Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police
- Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police