Executive Director of the Washington Indian Gaming Association (WIGA), Rebecca George, has issued the following statement in response to the federal lawsuit filed today by Maverick Gaming, owner of close to 50% of Washington State’s neighbourhood card rooms:
“Maverick Gaming’s newly announced federal lawsuit is a desperate attempt to overturn federal law, the will of the Washington State legislature, state and federal agency decisions and the clearly expressed sentiments of the general public in Washington State. It would severely undermine the well-regulated and safe system of limited gaming that has been established in Washington State over three decades of carefully negotiated compacts between the State of Washington and Native American tribes.
“Those compacts are fully in keeping with the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, as well as with State law, and have been repeatedly vetted at multiple levels of regulatory oversight. In short, this dangerous and destructive lawsuit is without merit, and were it to somehow be successful would cause irreparable harm not only to historically marginalised tribal communities but also to the broader public, which opposes a massive expansion of gambling in their neighbourhoods and communities. We will be reviewing their complaint more carefully, but Washington State’s tribes stand united in opposing any attempt to undermine the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribal compacts and what the tribes have worked so hard to build.”