Sports betting: Washington's answer to pandemic-hit economy

Maverick Gaming estimates that the state will benefit from taxes of up to $50million per year from sports betting 

A new push regarding sports betting in Washington is underway which will see the betting vertical expand beyond tribal casinos. Maverick Gaming, a Nevada based operator, is leading the charge for the new Senate Bill which was filed on Wednesday which includes state licenced card rooms and racetracks.  

The new bill also includes the proposal to move tax revenues from sports betting to Washington’s economy to help the state recover from Maverick Gaming | SiGMA NEWSthe pandemic. The only form of sports gaming in Washington was signed into law last spring for tribes but has yet to come into effect due to governments still negotiating terms. 

Last winter, lawmakers rejected a bill sponsored by the Republicans which looked to open sports gambling to non-tribal competition. This bill was also pushed by Nevada based Maverick Gaming and had argued that the state would financially benefit from tax revenues generated by sports gaming beyond tribal casinos. 

This looks to change as the previous unsuccessful bill was rejected before the pandemic seriously affected the state’s economy which has led to a number of businesses to shut down and huge revenue losses recorded. 

Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson had his say on the new Senate Bill as it was being readied, as he is aware that there will still be people who are opposed to the new bill being signed into law, stating: 

Some people are going to be supportive and some people aren’t, but at the end of the day the product that we’re trying to offer the state is what’s desired by constituents. The tax revenues that we can generate are desired by Olympia. 

Maverick Gaming currently control 19 out of 44 of Washington’s licenced card rooms and estimate that the state will benefit from taxes of up to $50million per year just from sports betting.  

The CEO added:

It’s no secret COVID has been devastating both in Washington and around the world. I think that it’s a lot harder to turn down $100 million biennially than it was maybe a year ago.

States across the US have been scrambling to legalise the sports betting vertical since the US Supreme Court made it illegal throughout the US apart from Las Vegas and a few more jurisdictions back in 2018. 

Due to the rising effects of COVID-19 on the state's economies, the legalisation of sports betting and online gaming has sped up and the majority of states are now benefitting from this sector.  

Source: Seattletimes

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