The Los Angeles Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 on Sunday to win the Super Bowl, and more than just Rams fans were pleased with the outcome.
Sports bettors who took the Rams moneyline or Cincinnati against the spread won their bets, as the Bengals covered +3.5, +4, and +4.5, which is where they were listed for much of the last week at various sportsbooks. Cooper Kupp MVP bettors (+600) were also thrilled with the outcome, as the star receiver finished with eight catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns to earn the award at the conclusion of the game.
While bettors in over 30 U.S. states and jurisdictions were able to place legal sports wagers on the matchup, many enjoying successful Super Bowl bets, Kentucky is one of the states still without legal sports betting. Despite the state’s lack of sports betting, a recent survey suggests Kentucky residents hope that changes.
Kentucky residents back sports betting
A poll conducted by Republican pollster Robert Blizzard of Public Opinion Strategies surveyed 500 registered Kentucky voters from Feb. 5-7. Blizzard’s poll found that 65% of respondents supported allowing sports betting, both in person at Kentucky racetracks and through mobile platforms.
“This poll confirms what we already know, that Kentuckians are ready to legalize sports betting,” Rep. Adam Koenig, who has introduced sports betting legislation in previous years, said in a statement. “Surrounding states have already done so and we are losing millions because of it. We are practically landlocked as we lose revenue that could be paying off our $27 billion pension debt and freeing up resources to educate our children, pave our roads, and meet our obligations.”
On the Super Bowl, Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger says that 31.4 million Americans will bet $7.6 billion on the game.
Says Kentucky is missing out on that money because it hasn't legalized sports betting and that he'll "soon" file a bill to do just that.
— Austin Horn (@_AustinHorn) February 11, 2022
The survey found that sports betting has bipartisan support in Kentucky, as 58% of Republicans surveyed supported sports betting legalization, while 69% of Democrats and 81% of Independents shared support. Of the 500 respondents, 48% said they’ve wagered on sporting events in the past, suggesting that Kentucky residents either travel across state lines to place bets or they’ve used offshore apps or bookies to wager.
Several of Kentucky’s neighboring states, including Illinois, Indiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Virginia, allow legal mobile sports betting. Missouri and Ohio have each made pushes toward legal sports betting, with Ohio legalizing recently and expecting to launch by the end of 2022.
While the survey suggests bipartisan support among Kentucky voters, it’s been harder for sports betting backers to find widespread support from legislators. Koenig has been an outspoken supporter of legal sports betting in the past, and that hasn’t changed in recent months. Even so, Koenig is skeptical that sports betting will soon be legalized in Kentucky.
“It’s fair to say voting ‘no’ on anything gambling is a safe vote, especially if you’re a Republican and have to face a Republican primary,” Koenig told Sports Handle in late December.
Koenig has told Sports Handle on multiple occasions that he’s going to continue introducing sports betting legislation until something gets done. It’s expected that Koenig will file a sports betting bill in 2022.
“I’ve told folks that even if they don’t like me and they don’t like my bills, they might as well just pass it because I’m not leaving until I get it done,” Koenig said.
As Koenig remains persistent, the recent survey suggests there’s legitimate support among Kentucky residents for legal sports betting. Despite the data point, it’s unlikely anything changes in the near future. There was also widespread support in a survey conducted in 2020 by Blizzard, and that survey’s results did little to change the state’s laws surrounding sports wagering.