"No one is pushing harder than I am to get sports betting up and running here in the State of Maryland," Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted on Thursday.
In his message, Hogan expressed his discontent for the delays that have forced bettors in the Old Line State to miss the beginning of the NFL season and the five license applicant to keep their operations on hold.
"Our administration has now cleared five licenses for sports betting, implementing the referendum approved by voters and the law passed by the General Assembly," Gov. Hogan explained.
"With Marylanders looking forward to betting on the NFL and March Madness, we now expect the legislature's Sport Wagering Applicant Review Commission to swiftly approve these licenses."
No one is pushing harder than I am to get sports betting up and running here in the State of Maryland. My full statement following @MDLottery determining that Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs Casino qualify for sports wagering licenses: pic.twitter.com/fkG7sLFc61— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 21, 2021
The tweet came as the NFL season got into Week 7 but with no chance for Marylanders to place a legal bet on the games.
The Governor "had enough of the delays in the un-launched sports gambling industry," Fox 5 reported on Friday explaining how Hogan decided to is heading for a showdown with the Review Commission over the launch of in-person betting in the state.
"With a third of the NFL season already over, Gov. Hogan reminded officials that March Madness is only four months away and there's still no concrete date on when sports betting in Maryland will begin," Fox5's Tom Fitzgerald explains.
Five Licensees, One Hold-Up
The launch of in-person sports betting in Maryland comes on the heels of a referendum held in 2020. After that, a vote by the state's general assembly preceded Gov Hogan's signature of the gambling law in May of this year.
As soon as in-person betting became possible, albeit only in theory, Live Casino in Anne Arundel County, MGM National Harbor, and the Horseshoe Casino all applied to receive a sport waging license.
These three companies were then joined by Hollywood Casino and Ocean Downs Casino, bringing to five the number of actors ready to enter the soon-to-be-launched betting market.
Despite the strong interest expressed by the five groups and the financial benefits Gov. Hogan believes their operations would bring to the state of Maryland, the Sports Wagering Application Review Commission have yet to approve any of the applications.
This is not the first time Gov. Hogan takes to social media to express his frustration and push the Review Commission to switch gears.
Known for being particularly active on Twitter, Gov. Hogan made the first attempt on October 8, when he invited his constituents to put pressure on the Review Commission.
Our administration recently approved the first three locations for sports wagering in Maryland.— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) October 8, 2021
Tell the legislature’s Sports Wagering Application Review Commission to allow football season betting to begin: [email protected]https://t.co/lV7MUxgSkQ
"Our administration recently approved the first three locations for sports wagering in Maryland," Hogan tweet reads.
"Tell the legislature's Sports Wagering Application Review Commission to allow football season betting to begin: [email protected]"
According to the most recent figures, it is estimated that legal in-person betting could generate up to $20 million in yearly tax revenue in Maryland.
However, with March Madness being only four months away and one-third of this NFL season already in the books, there is still no concrete date on when Marylanders can expect sports betting to begin.
Sports betting is legal in 33 states, including those of New Jersey, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.