Maverick Gaming moving corporate HQ to Washington as it lobbies for sports betting Howard Stutz, CDC Gaming Reports · February 10, 2021 at 7:06 am Casino and cardroom operator Maverick Gaming is moving its corporate headquarters from Las Vegas to Kirkland, Washington as the company looks to expand its foothold in the state through sports betting. Privately held Maverick, which is controlled by co-founder and CEO Eric Persson, operates 19 card room casinos in Washington, primarily in the Seattle area. The company employs 2,000 workers in the state. Maverick also operates four rural casinos in Nevada and three casinos in Colorado that service the Denver market. In a statement Tuesday, Persson said he wanted to show the company’s commitment to the state. He grew up in Hoquiam, Washington. Maverick Gaming CEO 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,” Persson said. Maverick is behind a bill that seeks to expand sports betting to include the state’s licensed card rooms and horse racetracks. 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. Washington is one of five states that has legalized sports betting but yet to launch the activity. Persson said sports betting would create approximately 10 additional jobs at each of Maverick’s card room properties and generate additional revenues for state services. At a hearing, he told legislators the sports betting expansion would provide an estimated $50 million a year in tax revenues to state and local governments. “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.” The expansion is opposed by Washington’s tribal gaming community. “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.” 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. Persson said the company’s new headquarters in Kirkland would provide 50 jobs. The move was supported by 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,” Sweet said in a statement. “I look forward to Maverick Gaming continuing to deepen its investment in Kirkland and across our state.” Persson said Maverick is the only gaming company in Washington that employs a union workforce. “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,” Persson said. Howard Stutz is the executive editor of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at email@example.com. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.