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Washington State Cardrooms Allowed Betting Limit Increase After 14 Years

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on July 27, 2023
Cash and Playing Cards On Display with Washington Cardrooms bet limit increase

For the first time in 14 years, the Washington State Gambling Commission is letting cardrooms increase their bet limits.

On July 20, the commission agreed to let cardrooms raise the wager limit to $400 by a 3-2 vote. The petition was spearheaded by local cardroom operator Maverick Gaming, which recently purchased its 23rd cardroom in the state.

A small victory for Washington Cardrooms

According to the Washington State Standard, Maverick’s original request of a $500 wager limit was subject to extensive negotiations and public hearings.

In a written statement to employees, Maverick Gaming CEO Eric Persson wrote: “Today’s vote is evidence of the professional engagement of our entire team with our regulators.”

In 1997, when cardrooms were legalized, bet limits were $25. The wager limit increased three times over the years, most recently to $300 in 2009.

However, the states federally recognized tribes were not pleased with the commission’s decision.

State tribes are not happy with commission allowing a bet limit increase

Speaking before the commission, Luke Esser, representing the Kalispel Tribe, said: “We believe the boundaries will be gone beyond if you adopt this petition.”

The tribes argued that “social card games” serve only to increase food and beverage sales. They are not intended to compete with local Washington State casinos, which can offer bet limits of $500 and higher.

The increased bet limit is considered a victory, especially for Maverick Gaming. Recently, Maverick tried unsuccessfully to get lawmakers to permit sports betting at cardrooms. Following the decision, Maverick filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the state’s decision.

Speaking before the commission in 2022, Persson said:

“I have a pretty big investment in the state, have a pretty big investment in cardrooms, and we’re trying to figure out how do we make it be vibrant. We [already] don’t have sports betting.

It already hurts our business on the weekends, but what can we do? At the end of the day, all we’re trying to do is compete.”

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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