Washington Tribes Obtain Dismissal of Maverick Gaming Lawsuit in the Western District of Washington

On February 21, 2023, the Western District of Washington dismissed a lawsuit brought by Maverick Gaming LLC, the owner of several cardrooms in Washington, which challenged tribal gaming in Washington and sought to invalidate the Tribal-State class III gaming compacts negotiated under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). Maverick argued that the compacts violate equal protection and are invalid because Maverick is not permitted to offer the same class III games as the Tribes. The District Court ruled that the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe was a required party to the lawsuit that could not be joined due to its sovereign immunity, and therefore dismissal was required under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 19 and 12(b)(7). The Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe had intervened in the lawsuit for the limited purpose of moving to dismiss Maverick’s claims on these grounds. Seventeen other Tribes in Washington jointly filed an amicus brief in support of the Shoalwater Bay Indian Tribe’s motion to dismiss, which the District Court cited in its decision.

Kanji & Katzen, P.L.L.C. represents the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation, which was one of the Tribes that led the filing of the tribal amicus brief.

A copy of the decision can be found at the link below: