Recent Survey Shows Overwhelming Majority of Kentuckians Support Statewide Vote on Casino Gaming in the Bluegrass

A recent survey conducted by a prominent, national public opinion  research firm shows that an overwhelming majority of Kentuckians want the chance to vote on whether to allow casino gaming in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. In addition, nearly two-thirds of those polled would vote “yes” on a statewide referendum authorizing casino-style gaming in the Bluegrass.

The statewide poll, conducted Dec. 12-14, 2011, by the Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group in Washington, D.C., surveyed 612 Kentucky voters about their attitudes on casino gaming and confirmed the following:

  • 87 percent of Kentuckians favor the Kentucky Legislature passing legislation that would allow Kentuckians to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment to authorize casino gaming in Kentucky. According to the poll results, the overwhelming support for a statewide vote on casino gaming exists regardless of Kentuckians’ personal positions on this issue, meaning even those Kentuckians who do not support casino gaming still want the chance to have their say at the ballot box though a statewide referendum; and
  • 64 percent of Kentuckians would vote in favor of a constitutional amendment authorizing casino gaming in the Commonwealth.

The survey, which has an overall margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points, was commissioned by various Kentucky horse racing interests.

“In today's political climate, to have 87 percent of voters demonstrate support for any issue is remarkable,” Brett Hale, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs for Churchill Downs Incorporated, said in response to the poll results. “We look forward to sharing this data with decision makers in Frankfort and working with the Governor and the Legislature to pass a constitutional amendment and subsequent enabling legislation that ensures the protection of Kentucky’s signature horse industry for generations to come.”  

"We are encouraged by, and would agree with, Kentuckians' strong desire to participate in a statewide vote on casino gaming," Vince Gabbert, vice president and chief operating officer for Keeneland Association added.  "Kentucky's horse industry continues to face increasing competition from neighboring states that use revenue from casino gaming to provide incentives to racing and breeding operations.  By acting now, we have a chance to stem the tide and keep Kentucky's signature industry from falling further behind."

About Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group
Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group, the political division of Peter D. Hart Research Associates, is one of the most respected and successful political polling firms in the country. The firm has assisted in more than 400 political campaigns and counts among its current clients 10 members of the U.S. Senate, 16 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, and five sitting governors.  Information about Garin-Hart-Yang Research Group can be found on the Internet at www.hartresearch.com.