A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

New poll shows Kentuckians favor allowing sports betting at race tracks, Speedway and by mobile apps


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 and has margin of error of 4.4%. Public Opinion Strategies has a 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
VisitLEX
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

Sports Betting Now


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