Gaming company Maverick Gaming is suing the State of Washington for violating the principles of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). IGRA is a law that combats tribal discrimination in the regulation of gambling. After finding that the state of Washington only favors tribes from that part of the state, the company decided to take the case to Columbia Court. Maverick also wants to offer games like roulette, craps and sports betting to its customers. For its part, the Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA) considers this lawsuit initiated by Marvick as dangerous and destructive.
Misapplication of the principles of the Indian Gaming Act
Maverick Gaming (a gambling company located in the suburbs of Seattle) has just filed a complaint against the State of Washington in the Columbia Court. As a reason for the complaint, this gambling company accuses the State of having improperly applied the principles of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act abbreviated (IGRA).
The operator is suing the state of Washington because the state only favors local tribes to operate in the sports betting, craps and roulette industries. Simply put, Marvick felt discriminated against because the state did not respect the principle of tribal equality and sovereignty in regulating this industry. This situation prevents it from offering all of the above examples of gaming to its customers.
It should be noted that IGRA is a law enacted on October 17, 1988 by the United States Congress. Its purpose is to regulate gaming on Indian lands in the United States on an equal basis and without tribal discrimination.
In this lawsuit, it is the former Solicitor General named Ted Olson who is defending the interests of Maverick Gaming. And according to him, if the IGRA aims to guarantee equality between tribal and non-tribal games, the State of Washington abuses this law by favoring only the operators of tribal casinos in its territory.
The Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA) has also taken the liberty of expressing its views on the matter. In a statement to The News Tribune, its executive director Rebecca George said the lawsuit is a desperate attempt to overturn federal law, the will of the Washington legislature and the expressed feelings of the people of this state. This is a way of saying that this lawsuit initiated by Maverick Gaming undermines or destroys their relationship with the state. She went even further to label this action as dangerous and destructive. According to her analysis, if the outcome of this lawsuit is in favor of Maverick, the consequences will be very negative. They would cause irreparable harm to the tribal communities on the one hand. On the other hand, it would shock the sensibilities of the general public who are opposed to a massive expansion of gambling and sports betting in their neighborhoods.The complainant’s expectations
In this situation, which does not fit with Maverick’s expectations, several wishes or claims were submitted to the judge. In an effort to overturn this tribal monopoly in the world of gambling and sports betting in Washington State, Maverick Gaming would like the judge to restore a fair gaming system through this complaint. It also wants to be able to offer its customers missing games at its Evergreen State facility. Thus, this company is seeking to resolve this issue that does not allow it to better compete with other casinos or card rooms owned by tribal operators in the state. In fact, it also wants to see games like craps, roulette or sports betting in its product list.
The reaction of the gaming company, which operates 19 of the 44 card rooms licensed to operate in Washington, comes two months after the same Columbia court ruled on an issue that involved the state of Florida. That was a dispute where that state attempted to create an online betting service that was to be controlled entirely by the Seminole tribe (a majority people in Florida).
With Ted Olson, a very popular advocate who has won several cases before (even before the U.S. Supreme Court), this card room operator remains very optimistic that he will be able to win the case.