Maverick Gaming has reiterated its support for new legislation that rivals a bill that would make sports betting legal only in the tribal casinos of Washington State.
2021 Legislative Session
The operator said that it supports legislation introduced in the 2021 Legislative Session that would allow on-site sports betting to be provided by currently licensed commercial card rooms and race tracks in Washington.
Opportunity to stabilise employment and drive revenue
Following the deep economic slowdown induced by the pandemic, the law, it argues, provides an opportunity to stabilise employment and drive revenue. With the passage of this bill, income from municipal gaming taxes to local governments is projected to rise by at least 35 percent.
SB 5212, introduced by State Senators Curtis King and Marko Liias, establishes that only current licensed cardrooms and racetracks are eligible for a sports betting license.
To completely cover the expense of a rigorous regulatory framework based on public safety and honesty, each license (each facility must have its own license) must be charged a $100,000 licensing fee.
A state-level 10 percent tax on all gross receipts from sports wagers will be levied on the operators. This tax will be in addition to the local level taxes currently imposed.
The bill bans any betting on college sporting competitions that take place in the state of Washington or include a state team in Washington and take place outside the state. Bets on esports, high school athletics, and competitive video games are also off limits.
SB 5212 would not modify or influence tribal sports betting, and commercial cardroom licenses will not be issued until the first tribal sports betting compact was concluded.
Legalisation of Washington Sports betting
Sports betting in Washington was first legalised by the 2020 Legislature by approving a system exclusively open to tribal-owned casinos notwithstanding, Maverick says, strong public and editorial support for a system that would raise new local and state revenue by including cardrooms in the private sector. Tribes wanting the right to offer sports betting are working to finalize compact gaming and will be able to offer sports books once done, possibly during 2021.
Committed to investing in Washington
CEO and co-founder Eric Persson of Maverick Gaming stated: “2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year for our teammates and all the communities where we operate, but we remain committed to investing in Washington.
“As the 2021 Legislature begins to grapple with the ongoing devastation caused by the pandemic, Maverick Gaming supports SB 5212 because it lays out a modest approach that will generate economic opportunity for our workforce, create approximately 10 new jobs at each of our 19 locations, and help spark pandemic relief efforts by contributing tens of millions of new tax dollars to local and state programs. We are humbled that the legislation already has bipartisan support and we look forward to advocating for this proposal.”
Backing for SB 5212
SB 5212 is now gaining large support, according to Maverick, with the Washington State Labor Council endorsing the legislation because it increases job stability and jobs for people employed as cooks, kitchen workers, vendors, security staff, and others.
The company, which already contributes around $13 million annually to the local communities where it operates, believes that there is space for growth in all licensed, regulated gaming operations, both in tribal places and in commercial cardrooms.