Beshear bet the over on wins for both the Kentucky Wildcats and the Louisville Cardinal. Thayer bet on the Bengals to win the Super Bowl. The idea that major political figures would be competing for credit over who brought legalized sports gambling to Kentucky was not on my bingo card ca. 2005.
The change on the legal environment for alcohol has also been recent and massive:
For decades beginning in 1919, it was not legal to sell beer, wine, whiskey or other spirits across most of Kentucky. Even as recently as 2011, more than 40 of the 120 counties remained legally dry… There are just 10 counties remaining with no form of legal alcohol sales, and residents in several of those are trying to get enough signatures on petitions to call for a vote in November on whether to allow sales, according to information from the state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and local officials.
Full marijuana legalization isn’t on the immediate agenda, but medicinal will be allowed by 2025. My guess is that the legalization of recreational will depend on what happens in Ohio. The takeaway seems to be that attitudinal changes towards “sin” behaviors develop very, very slowly until they happen very, very rapidly.