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Maverick Gaming Closes Colorado Sportsbooks Amid Other Investments

Written By Derek Helling on July 25, 2023
chain with padlock over doors above colorado symbol and maverick gaming logo

Maverick Gaming is making moves in multiple states, whether coordinated or not. A bird’s eye view of all the business decisions points to Maverick wanting to position itself to take advantage of potential online casino licensing opportunities in the future.

Maverick recently shuttered three of its physical sportsbooks in Colorado, potentially freeing up resources for other projects. While that could simply have been a move to stop spending those resources on underperforming locations, it fits within a larger philosophy regardless.

Maverick buys card rooms in Washington, closes sportsbooks in Colorado

Darren Cooper of PlayColorado reported on the closure of the three Maverick-owned physical sportsbooks at the end of June. The locations had consisted of two in Central City; inside the Dragon Tiger Casino and the Grand Z Casino Hotel plus another within the Z Stop Convenience Store & Gas in Golden.

Maverick maintains its PlayMaverick Sports app in Colorado despite the closures of the three physical locations. Maverick is also still operating the sportsbook inside Z Casino in Black Hawk.

Cooper adds that the total number of land-based sportsbooks in Colorado now stands at 10, all but one of which are in Black Hawk. Amid a downscale in its physical sports betting operations, Maverick has been expanding elsewhere.

Earlier this month, Maverick brought its total of card rooms it owns in Washington to 23 with the acquisition of All-Star Lanes & Casino. With that acquisition, Maverick is now operating over half of the licensed card rooms in Washington.

If that was the sum total of Maverick’s recent activity, the entire situation could be explained as a simple shift in resources to emphasize parts of the business that perform better. However, there is more to the story.

Does Maverick have its eye on an online casino platform?

Earlier this month, a lawyer representing Maverick communicated that the company intends to appeal the dismissal of a lawsuit concerning legal sports betting in Washington. Currently, the only legal sportsbooks in the state are inside tribal casinos.

Maverick would like to offer sports betting at its card rooms in Washington as well. However, state law currently does not allow for that. Should an appeal prove successful, it could, in theory, allow Maverick to take bets on sports at the card rooms.

However, that might be a mere stepping stone to bigger things for Maverick in Colorado and Washington. Online casino legislation has made its first appearance in Colorado recently. Should such legislation ever become law, Maverick’s existing presence in Colorado might give it access to participating in that gaming expansion.

In a similar way, Maverick could view securing in-person sports betting as a way to get its foot in the door if Washington ever legalizes online gambling. Its consolidation of card rooms in Washington could already give it more leverage to push for that expansion, should it desire to.

For the moment, Maverick just seems to be shifting its resources away from running sportsbooks in Colorado toward Washington card rooms. In the coming years, those operations could involve much more, though.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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