Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has pleaded for immediate action regarding the legalisation of mobile sports wagering after heaping criticism on the lack of progress made to get the ecosystem live.
Hogan has called for a go-live date to preempt the start of the National Football League regular season on September 8, 2022, to meet which he says requires an immediate acceleration and intensification of current efforts.
“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 neighbouring jurisdictions of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington DC. I share their frustration,” a letter penned by Hogan addressed to members of the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission reads.
On November 3, 2020, voters approved by referendum the expansion of commercial gaming in Maryland, and authorised sports and events betting for the primary purpose of raising revenue for education.
Legislature pushed through a bill in May 2021, the month which also saw SWARC authorised by the general assembly. Currently only five retail establishments accept sports wagers.
“It has been nearly two years since Maryland voters resoundingly approved sports wagering in November 2020, and well over a year since I signed HB 940 into law in May 2021,” Hogan continues.
“Instead of decisive action to implement the voters’ decision, you have allowed the process to stagnate and become mired in overly bureaucratic procedures that have needlessly delayed the state’s ability to maximise the revenue potential of this emerging industry.
“Almost two years later, after citizens made their choice, they are still waiting for the mobile component that will define the success of the sports wagering program.”
Furthermore, Hogan also argues that the activity will prove dominant across the state by comprising 80 per cent to 90 per cent of all wagers, with the ongoing delay said to be “preventing Maryland from fully and properly tapping into this market”.
“Maryland Lottery and Gaming has gone above and beyond to make this launch happen. I call on you to act with the same level of urgency and clear the way for mobile sports wagering,” he ends.