Maryland's governor Larry Hogan wants regulators to issue licenses for mobile sportsbooks in his state before the launch of the upcoming NFL season, citing public demand while decrying the bureaucracy for delaying the launch.
Sportsbetting has technically been legal since last year. Voters in a referendum pushed the legalization in 2020, while lawmakers passed a law to regulate the activity last year. Since then, there have been significant delays, and the governor clearly wants the activity in place.
The NFL season is one of the highest in terms of betting handle for states, as millions of gamblers across the country wager large amounts.
In a statement, Governor Hogan wrote: "Instead of decisive action to implement the voters' decision, you have allowed the progress to stagnate and become mired in overly bureaucratic procedures that have needlessly delayed the state's ability to maximize the revenue potential of this growing industry.
"Sports fans in Maryland simply want to be able to place bets on their mobile devices - that's what they voted for, and they are angry and discouraged over SWARC's inability to make it happen. Our state and its citizens deserve clear and definitive action from SWARC and a legal, transparent framework to place mobile bets - not endless bureaucratic roadblocks that continue to hold back progress.
"Marylanders have grown frustrated waiting for mobile sports wagering as they have watched it become available in state after state across the country, including our neighboring jurisdictions of Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia and Washington DC."
We're keeping our ears to the ground with this story and will be updating as appropriate.