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Volume 26 No. 209
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NHL Seattle's Casino Deal Faces Competition In Washington

Last week's sponsorship deal between NHL Seattle and the Muckleshoot Casino was "clearly a precursor to a potentially larger sports-gaming pact," but that "isn't the only preparation taking place in anticipation of such gambling being legalized" in Washington, according to Geoff Baker of the SEATTLE TIMES. There is a "growing Washington incursion by a relatively-new Nevada-based company -- Maverick Gaming LLC -- that now owns roughly half the 'card room' casinos in this state." Maverick Gaming Owner Eric Persson is not "divulging much strategy, other than saying he's met regularly with the Washington State Gambling Commission and plans his own legislative bill this session or next." Worth watching will be "how NHL Seattle and its tribal and political allies play this hand they're about to be dealt." The team is not about to "walk back its deal" with Muckleshoot, but that "doesn't mean NHL Seattle has to slug it out with every other gaming entity." Baker: "One can hardly blame NHL Seattle for hoping to eventually follow other hockey teams profiting from sports-gaming deals." The NHL "reaps less money from national television than other leagues, and sports betting could significantly bolster annual revenue" (SEATTLE TIMES, 11/6).