SEATAC, Wash. - Gambling companies are another industry trying to survive the economic impacts of COVID -19.
Maverick Gaming that operates card rooms at 19 different sites across Western Washington says if state rules don't change soon, their business will be in trouble.
The company that allows people to gamble on card games like poker says they have been operating outdoors because the state has yet to give them permission to take operations inside.
With the winter months ahead, Maverick Gaming says they are at risk of closing down some of their operations. The company employs about 2,200 people and they say hundreds of workers are at risk of losing their jobs if they have to shut down.
CEO Eric Persson is lobbying the state to give them a path indoors. Persson says bowling alleys and movie theatres have been allowed to reopen and he believes card rooms should have been included in that group.
But with coronavirus infections increasing again across our region, Q13 News asked Persson how they could operate safely.
"We take extensive efforts to make sure both our customers and our teamster team members are kept safe we have plexi that separates the customer and dealers from each other, movie theatres dont have that, restaurants don't have that, we get rid of our cards," Persson said.
Cards are discarded every three hours and Persson says there is also a three hour time limit for every player before they are asked to leave.
"We have extensive technology and surveillance to ensure contact tracing is availabe and is used," Persson said.
A group of state representatives have signed a letter asking Governor Inslee to allow Maverick Gaming to move indoors.
In the letter, the lawmakers also pointed out that the company pays more than a million dollars in local taxes per month.
Persson also says that tribal casinos have been operating card rooms since May and since tribal casinos are not required to follow state law, the playing field is not the same.
If things do not change, Persson says they would consider suing the state.