Burien’s struggling Wizards Casino, located at 15739 Ambaum Blvd SW, has been bought by Maverick Gaming LLC.

Maverick, based in Nevada, operates numerous casinos in the Seattle area as well as Nevada.

Recently, Wizards asked the city to waive over $20,000 in delinquent penalty and interest fees after paying over $122,621 in gambling taxes in July, 2019:

“Unfortunately, Wizards business in Q1 and April, 2019 took a steep decline and resulted in a loss of over $150,000 including the gaming tax burden of $122,621.85,” casino President Paul D. Copioli said in a letter to the city. “This, combined with a terrible Q4 in 2018, had left Wizards with not enough cash to pay both payroll and the Q1 gaming taxes at the end of April. I made the decision to defer payment of the Q1 gaming taxes until we could get enough money to pay.”

“When it became clear I would not be able to pay in one lump sum I reached out to your finance office in order to try to arrange a payment plan. My proposal for a payment plan was rejected and met with a letter demanding payment or the City will initiate proceedings with the Gaming Commission to revoke our license.

“As a result, I have had no choice but to cash in some of my 401k retirement savings in order to put cash into Wizards in order to pay the Q1 gaming taxes. At the time of this letter, Wizards has paid the Q1 taxes due but have not paid the fees and interest because we simply can not afford it.”

The casino – established in 1998 – features table games like Texas Hold ’em, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Spanish 21 and Blackjack.

The card room’s 8,500 square foot gaming space features 15 table and poker games, and the property has a full bar and one restaurant.

Maverick is also pursuing sports gaming in the state of Washington.

“As our footprint grows in Washington, we are very interested in helping the State see the potential tax revenue sports wagering can generate for Washingtonians, which we estimate if done right can be in excess of fifty million dollars annually,” they said in a statement. “We believe Maverick’s geographic diversity coupled with our sports betting expertise, make the Maverick properties natural partners with the State in Sports wagering”

Here’s more from Maverick:

“Today, we continue our commitment to the State of Washington and the card room industry. Wizards is located in a suburb of Seattle and once again our footprint grows in this important market” said Eric Persson, owner of Maverick Gaming

“In the next month, we expect to announce the purchase of four more card rooms in Washington, as well as another property in Nevada. Once all of our contemplated purchases close, we expect to be at 31 casinos in multiple states and jurisdictions” added Mr. Persson.

This transaction is expected to close in the next month, pending Washington State Gambling Commission approval. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Maverick intends to fund this transaction primarily with cash on hand and debt financing from HG Vora Capital Management, a private investment firm.

Maverick Gaming is majority owned and was founded by gaming industry veterans Eric Persson, who previously served as Global SR Vice President of Slots at Las Vegas Sands and Justin Beltram, former Vice President of Slots at Bellagio and Marina Bay Sands. Together they bring over 30 years of gaming experience spanning gaming markets around the world including the Las Vegas Strip (Venetian, Palazzo, Bellagio), Macau (Sands China Limited), Singapore (Marina Bay Sands), and many regional markets in North America. Maverick Gaming currently owns the Wendover Nugget and Red Garter Hotel, the Red Lion Casino, and the Gold Country Casino, and thirteen card rooms in Washington State.

Currently Maverick Gaming owns 17 casino and card rooms in Nevada and Washington State with approximately 1,500 slot machines, over 225 table games and 1,200 hotel rooms nationwide.