Maverick Gaming has filed a lawsuit in Washington claiming that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) is being applied incorrectly.
According to Maverick Gaming, which is represented by Gibson Dunn, the IGRA is being abused by giving tribes exclusive rights to certain types of gaming, including as sports betting, that are not permitted in non-tribal gaming properties in Washington.
“We embrace and respect tribal equality and sovereignty,” said Eric Persson, CEO and Co-Founder of Maverick Gaming. Our decision to launch this lawsuit is based on the same values that we have applied to all of Maverick Gaming’s endeavours.
“We are proud of our union-led workforce in Washington, which provides family-wage jobs with benefits and a pension, enabling communities across my home state to access economic opportunity.”
He emphasised that equal access to economic opportunities should be based on the application of laws in a fair manner (such as the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act I).
Persson went on to say that he has high hopes for the lawsuit, which he believes will successfully resolve the issue, allowing tribal casinos and smaller commercial cardrooms (such as those owned by Maverick Gaming) to offer the same types of legal gaming that commercial cardrooms and tribal casinos do in other states.
In reaction to Maverick Gaming’s federal complaint, Rebecca George, Executive Director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA), has made a statement.
She called the action a “desperate attempt” to overturn the law and the intent of the Washington State legislature, as well as the public’s decision.
“It would seriously damage the well-regulated and safe limited gaming system that has been built in Washington State over three decades of carefully negotiated compacts between the State of Washington and Native American tribes,” the statement said.
Commercial cardrooms in Washington State are currently limited to 15 tables for house-banked card games. There are 44 licenced cardrooms in the state, with the average cardroom being smaller than the state’s tourist tribal sites.
In Washington, Maverick Gaming owns and runs 19 cardrooms.
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