American regional casino operator Maverick Gaming has reportedly filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Washington in an attempt to overturn the jurisdiction’s current tribal monopoly on multiple types of games and sportsbetting.
According to a Tuesday report from The News Tribune newspaper, the lawsuit filed earlier this week in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia claims that the western state in inappropriately applying the tenets of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in allowing only its 29 federally-recognized tribes to operate sportsbooks as well as games of craps and roulette. This action purportedly comes some two months after the same court ruled against Florida’s attempt to premiere a regulated online sportsbetting service that was to be under the exclusive control of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.
Maverick Gaming is reportedly headquartered in the Seattle suburb of Kirkland and is responsible for 19 of Washington’s 44 licensed cardrooms. However, the firm is purportedly unable to bring craps, roulette and sportsbetting to its facilities in ‘The Evergreen State’ due to a range of Class III gaming compacts that give a monopoly on such entertainment to the tribes.
Eric Persson serves as the Chief Executive Officer for Maverick Gaming and he reportedly used an official press release to declare that his company ‘supports and respects tribal equality and sovereignty’ but is hopeful that the lawsuit will result in tribal casinos and commercial cardrooms both being allowed to ‘offer the same types of legal gaming’ including sportsbetting. The executive purportedly pronounced that a successful resolution to the lawsuit would moreover see his firm plunge approximately $500 million into its local estate and potentially increase its base of around 2,000 employees.
Reportedly read a statement from Persson…
“We are proud of our union-led workforce in Washington that offers family-wage jobs with benefits and a pension, helping create access to economic opportunity in communities across my home state. That access to economic opportunity relies on a fair application of laws such as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.”
The News Tribune reported that Washington Governor Jay Inslee (pictured) signed legislation in March of 2020 that allowed his state’s tribes to begin offering sports wagering services while the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe subsequently went on to open a retail sportsbook inside its Snoqualmie Casino venue last autumn. This was purportedly followed by the December premiere of the region’s largest sportsbetting lounge in a BetMGM-branded operation situated inside the Puyallup Tribe of Indians’ 100-room Emerald Queen Casino and Hotel property near the city of Tacoma.
For its part and the Washington Indian Gaming Association reportedly told the newspaper that it is reviewing the lawsuit from Maverick Gaming but believes the action to be ‘dangerous and destructive’. This non-profit organization’s Executive Director, Rebecca George, purportedly pronounced that giving commercial operators the right to run retail sportsbetting in the western state would lead to ‘irreparable harm not only to historically marginalized tribal communities but also to a broader public that opposes a massive expansion of gambling in their neighborhoods and communities.’
George reportedly told The News Tribune…
“Maverick Gaming’s newly-announced federal lawsuit is a desperate attempt to overturn federal law, the will of the Washington State legislature, state and federal agency decisions and the clearly expressed sentiments of the general public in Washington. It would severely undermine the well-regulated and safe system of limited gaming that has been established in Washington over three decades of carefully negotiated compacts between the state of Washington and Native American tribes.”