Governor Larry Hogan of Maryland is coming in as a sports betting wingman for the state. It has been taking some time to get state commissioners ready for the launch of statewide online sports betting, and Governor Hogan seems to have had enough of it.

According to a letter written to the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission on Wednesday from the governor, Hogan is tired of the waiting and wants online sports betting to be available for Marylanders in time for the start of the NFL season.

What the Letter States

Governor Hogan has listed quite a few demands in his statement, which chastises the Commission for taking so long to get moving. Part of his letter states:

“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 maximize the revenue potential of this emerging 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.”

A Long Process

Sports betting was voted on in November of 2020, and laws were enacted in May 2021 to begin sports betting in the state. The same legislation created the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission, which is the organization that is tasked with creating online sports betting guidelines as well as ensuring that women and minorities aren’t disparaged by the establishment of online betting in the state.

SWARC only just started their study on the effect of online wagering on women and minorities in March of this year, and still hasn’t released any results. All of the waiting has seemed to cause anger throughout the Maryland population, which is emphasized by Gov Hogan’s recent letter.

Hogan’s Demands

The letter provides the commission with an outline of priorities that will assist them in launching mobile betting before September 8th. These include publishing a firm outline on Thursday during their meeting, approving licenses on a rolling basis, putting the applications of operators with already existing licenses, such as Caesars Sportsbook, Barstool, FanDuel, and BetMGM at the top of the line, and releasing a draft of applications.

If SWARC decides to take these steps into consideration, there is a good chance that Maryland may see online sports betting become operational by the time the NFL season starts. This would greatly impact the state’s handle, as currently, residents of Maryland can only bet in a few casinos, in person, throughout the state.

The Tide Turns

Less than a week ago, many articles forecasted that online betting was a no-go this year for Maryland. But thanks to Governor Hogan’s letter, the odds are changing. Hogan stated that the study that SWARC is so focused on was caused by an “overly complex” law and that it probably didn’t need such special attention.

The commission is meeting soon, and there will hopefully be a statement released following the meeting, which could possibly give the state some news on when they can expect to see online sports betting begin.