Expand sports betting to nontribal cardrooms

As a card dealer at Great American Everett and Lake Stevens resident, I thank Sen. Marko Liias for sponsoring legislation (SB 5212) that would allow private cardrooms and racetracks to offer regulated sports betting at their facilities. Sports betting is already legal in Washington, but currently is only offered by tribal casinos.

By allowing the cardroom sector to offer this popular entertainment option, we can raise tens of millions of dollars in state and local tax revenue just when we need it most. At the same time, the bill does not allow betting on high school or college sports and by limiting new sports books to the small number of cardrooms in our state it is a cautious approach that makes sense.

Maverick Gaming is one of the main supporters and is also the largest private employer of Teamsters Local 117. Maverick is investing in communities where it operates in many ways, including approximately $13 million in local taxes annually. By creating a regulated and taxed private option for sports betting in our state, there is real opportunity for hundreds of family wage jobs and to further combat the illicit off-shore sports betting market.

Sen. Liias’s proposal is a reflection of our state’s prudent approach to gambling laws. I know that Maverick Gaming is a committed partner in that work, investing in an array of problem gambling efforts for those who benefit from such programs. On behalf of the 2,000 teammates at Maverick Gaming, I thank Sen. Liias for his leadership.

Melissa Wint

Lake Stevens

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