health is wealth
Washington
Maverick Gaming moves its headquarters to Kirkland
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& ldquo;As we all work together to build a pathway through the impacts of the pandemic, we welcome Maverick Gaming to Kirkland as a partner in supporting family-wage jobs in our state’s regulated gaming industry,” said Kirkland Mayor Penny Sweet. “In just a few years, Maverick Gaming has shown a commitment to Washington – whether it is through their Maverick Cares community giving program or because they embraced being the largest private-sector employer of Teamsters Local 117. I look forward to Maverick Gaming continuing to deepen its investment in Kirkland and across our state.” “I grew up in Hoquiam and am humbled and excited to be locating Maverick Gaming’s headquarters in my home state,” said Maverick Gaming CEO and co-founder Eric Persson. “Establishing our company’s corporate headquarters in Kirkland is just one of the ways that our team is prioritizing local commitments as we expand our investment in Washington. Our team works every day to offer something safe, fun, and accessible for our guests, and to be good neighbors doing our share of supporting the people who live and work in the places we operate.” Kirkland-based Maverick Gaming employs approximately 2,000 teammates across the state, representing the largest private sector employer of Teamsters Local 117 and the only gaming company with a union workforce in Washington. On average, its properties generate $13 million annually in local tax revenues. SB 5212, a bipartisan proposal to allow licensed card rooms and race tracks to offer regulated sports betting in Washington, was recently heard in the State Senate’s Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee. For Maverick, the ability to offer sports betting would create approximately 10 family wage jobs at each of its facilities licensed to allow this popular pastime and generate millions of dollars in new revenue for critical state services. A law passed in the 2019-2020 legislative session allows a tribal-only marketplace for sports betting, but Maverick Gaming continues to advocate for a system that can responsibly allow sports betting at a limited number of existing, already-regulated facilities like its cardrooms to create a new source of tax revenue, help combat the illicit marketplace for sports betting, and spur economic opportunity for all. While large destination casino resorts and concert venues are widely recognized in Washington, Maverick Gaming properties are modest, neighborhood options for a game or a bite to eat that is close to home. Despite their smaller size, fees paid to the Washington State Gambling Commission by non-tribal card rooms like Maverick’s are part of what the agency relies on for enforcement of the rules and regulations. Maverick Gaming recently contributed $194,381 to the Evergreen Council on Problem Gambling as part of its commitment to prevent problem gambling. .
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Washington: “Expanded sports betting would increase job and tax revenues”
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I n a hearing by the Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee held last week, supporters of a bill to expand sports betting to include the state’s licensed card rooms and horse race tracks said such measure would increase job and tax revenues. However, opponents say such an expansion would take money from tribes who use the casino revenues to fund their operations and social programs, OPB reports. “This is our tax base," said Rebecca George, director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association. “It's irresponsible for the Legislature to allow sports betting to the benefit of out-of-state people." No action was taken after Thursday's hearing. The Senate bill seeks to expand sports betting to include the state’s licensed card rooms and horse race tracks and is once again being pushed by Nevada-based Maverick Gaming. A similar proposal by Maverick failed last year, but supporters say the new effort has bipartisan support and could provide revenues to help the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Last session, lawmakers approved sports gambling for Native American tribes, but that has yet to take effect as government compacts are still being negotiated. Lawmakers at the same time rebuffed a bill seeking to open sports gambling to non-tribal competition. “This is about fairness," said Sen. Curtis King, R-Yakima, a sponsor of the bill. “We need to share the wealth. We need to take care of the state of Washington as well.” Eric Persson, the owner of Maverick Gaming, said the bill would allow his company to add good-paying jobs, while providing an estimated $50 million a year in tax revenues to state and local governments. The $50 million was questioned by Sen. Derek Stanford, D-Bothell, who said it would require a massive volume in sports gambling to provide that much tax revenue. “That does not seem possible to me," Stanford said, estimating the state is more likely to see $4 million or less per year in such revenues. Several employees of Maverick Gaming testified that the company's 2,000 employees in the state mostly have family-wage jobs with benefits. Persson said the bill would allow him to hire some 200 additional employees. But George urged the lawmakers to again reject the proposal. “They are here to advance the bottom line of a Nevada company," George said. Maverick Gaming operates 19 card rooms in Washington. Senate Bill 5212 is co-sponsored by King and Democratic floor leader Sen. Marko Liias of Lynnwood. It would apply only to existing card rooms and racetracks. It allows for online sports gambling, but only within the limits of the gaming venues. For decades, tribal casinos have operated most of the legalized gambling in Washington. The state allows limited gambling outside tribal facilities in “card room” casinos, but only card games such as blackjack and some poker are allowed. The pressure to legalize sports gambling has grown nationwide since the U.S. Supreme Court in 2018 struck down a federal law that had banned it everywhere but Las Vegas and a handful of other jurisdictions. Under the bill: —Only existing licensed cardrooms and racetracks would be eligible for a sports betting license —Each facility must have its own license and would be charged a $100,000 licensing fee. —A state-level 10% tax would be imposed on the operators on all gross revenues from sports wagers. This tax would be in addition to the taxes levied at the local level. The bill would not allow any betting on college sports events that take place in Washington state or that involve a Washington state team. Betting on electronic sports, high school sports, and competitive video games would be prohibited. .
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