Maverick Gaming Lawsuit Claims Tribes Have WA Gaming Monopoly

  • Maverick Gaming has filed a lawsuit alleging misuse in a Washington bill.
  • Gibson Dun is the legal firm that will be representing Maverick on the issue.
  • The Washington Indian Gaming Association's Rebecca George opposes the lawsuit.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Maverick Gaming just put forward a lawsuit against alleged exclusivity on particular types of gambling given to the Washington Tribes.

Maverick Lawsuit

The lawsuit in question was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and outlines allegations of misusing the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) as a way to monopolize certain types of gambling in the Washington market.

Games like craps, roulette, online gambling, and even sports betting are for the most part only offered by the Tribes in Washington.

Maverick Gaming has decided to address this potential issue, and take it to court in hopes of opening the Washington gambling market to non-tribal business.

“We support and respect tribal equality and sovereignty,” said Eric Persson, CEO and co-founder of Maverick Gaming. “Our decision to file this litigation is founded on the same values that we have brought to all of our efforts at Maverick Gaming. 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 and I am hopeful that this lawsuit will resolve successfully so that tribal casinos and smaller commercial cardrooms like those owned by Maverick Gaming may offer the same types of legal gaming, such as sports betting, just like commercial cardrooms and tribal casinos already offer in other states.”

Potential Misuse Of The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act

A partner at Gibson Dunn - the legal firm representing Maverick - Theodore B. Olson, has vocalized the assertions of the lawsuit directly.

“The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was intended to guarantee parity between tribal and non-tribal gaming, but unfortunately Washington State is misusing IGRA to instead create tribal monopolies on certain types of gaming, such as sports betting,” said Olson. “Contrary to IGRA’s own words, the law is being used to insulate tribes in Washington State from competition that exists in many other states with legal gaming marketplaces. We look forward to resolving this matter so that IGRA’s intent and wording are reflected in Washington State’s regulated gaming marketplace for tribal and commercial businesses.”

Rebecca George, executive director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association, had this to day about Maverick Gaming's lawsuit.

“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 State. It would severely undermine the well-regulated and safe system of limited gaming that has been established in Washington State over three decades of carefully negotiated compacts between the State of Washington and Native American tribes," said George in a statement.

It remains to be seen how the lawsuit will play out, but if Maverick achieves their goal, Washington could see an increase in options for its gaming industry in the future.