Keno, tolls opposed in poll

Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s proposal to raise money by broadening legalized gambling with electronic Keno games in bars, restaurants and convenience stores is overwhelmingly opposed in a new poll, 70 percent to 27 percent.

A Quinnipiac University poll released today found opposition to Keno across all demographic groups, a finding likely to give legislators pause as they weigh relying on more gambling for new revenue.

“Voters disagree with Gov. Jodi Rell on Keno. They don’t want to see an expansion of gambling,” said Douglas Schwartz, the poll’s director.

Restoring highway tolls was not as unpopular, opposed by 56 percent and favored by 40 percent. Legislation to restore tolls is considered unlikely to pass this year.

The Sunday sales of alcohol in package stores was supported, 56 percent to 39 percent. But a bill to allow package stores to open on Sunday already has died in committee in the face of heavy opposition by package store owners.

While the poll found support for Sunday sales, residents are opposed to allowing grocery stores to sell liquor and wine, 52 percent to 45 percent. Grocery stores now can sell beer.

“Of three proposals to raise revenue for the Connecticut state budget, only Sunday liquor sales wins popular support, although the bill recently died in a legislative committee,” Schwartz said.

The poll is based on a telephone survey of 1,451 self-identified registered voters from March 9 to 15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points.