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US – Maverick lends support to Washington sports betting bill

By - 15 January 2021

Maverick Gaming has given its support to a proposal that would create a state-level 10 per cent tax on all gross revenues from sports wagers, whilst limiting legal commercial, land-based sports wagering to cardrooms and racetracks currently licensed in the Washington.

Maverick Gaming announced its support for legislation introduced in the 2021 Legislative Session that would allow currently licensed commercial card rooms and race tracks in Washington to offer on-premise sports betting. The legislation represents an opportunity to stabilise jobs and drive revenue following the deep economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. Revenues from local gambling taxes to local jurisdictions is anticipated to increase by at least 35 per cent with the passage of this bill. Details of the bipartisan legislation – SB 5212 sponsored by State Senators Curtis King and Marko Liias (majority floor leader) – include:

Only existing licensed cardrooms and racetracks would be eligible for a sports betting license. Each license (each facility must have its own license) would be charged a $100,000 licensing fee to fully cover the cost of a robust regulatory system focused on public safety and integrity. A state-level 10 per cent tax would be imposed on the operators on all gross revenues from sports wagers. This tax would be in addition to the taxes already levied at the local level.

The 2020 Legislature first legalised sports betting in Washington by authorizing a system exclusively available to tribal-owned casinos, despite broad public and editorial support for a system that would create new local and state revenue by including private sector cardrooms. Tribes pursuing the ability to offer sports betting are working to finalize gaming compacts and once complete, will be able to offer sports books, likely during 2021.

“2020 was an extraordinarily challenging year for our teammates and all the communities where we operate, but we remain committed to investing in Washington,” said Maverick Gaming CEO and co-founder Eric Persson. “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.”

SB 5212 is already earning broad support, with the Washington State Labor Council supporting the legislation because it strengthens job stability and opportunity for people who work as servers, kitchen staff, dealers, security personnel and others. Maverick Gaming is proud to be the largest private sector employer of Teamsters Local 117.

As of November 2020, 25 states and D.C. have legalised sports betting and are poised to realise millions in revenue as a result. In Washington, Maverick Gaming already contributes approximately $13 million annually to the local communities where it operates. There is room for all licensed, regulated gaming operations to be successful, both in the expansive casino resort destinations operated by several tribal nations and within the more modest neighbourhood setting of a commercial cardroom.

At the core of Maverick Gaming’s Responsible Gambling approach is its ‘self-exclusion’ policy, which gives self-identified problem gamblers opportunity to avoid risking their wallets and their well-being. Washington has passed a law requiring the State Gambling Commission to finalise a self-exclusion system in 2021, but Maverick Gaming has already implemented centralised self-exclusion statewide, restricting access to problem gamblers in all its card rooms.

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