Intralot’s Controversial Sports Betting Deal Gets Green Light from DC Council
About Intralot’s Dodgy Deal with the DC
On Tuesday, council members in the District of Columbia voted to approve Intralot’s sole-source, no-bid contract, which covers sports betting and lottery operations in Washington for the next five years. The deal which is worth a whopping $215m is said to provide a very beneficial solution in the operations and bring a great return of investment. Although there was a lot of opposition coming from industry giants and other stakeholders until the last vote, Intralot still managed to win.
Trouble in the Council
The hearing wasn’t a simple vote-and-go process. What also dominated was an ongoing investigation into Jack Evans, a Ward 2 representative who in the recent weeks was raided by the FBI due to his business dealings in the gambling industry. Evans is also alleged to have “a few too many connections” with Intralot, according to sources.
Council member Elissa Silverman expressed “the whole thing stinks”. But nothing could be done as Evans is believed to have friends in high places.
Phil Mendelson who’s the council’s chairman dismissed such opposition and concerns citing that voting down would delay starting sports betting in the district.
“There is no question… if we turn this down, there will be another two years, some have said three years, before we will have a contract in place,” said Mendelson. “Because of the contracting process and because with a contract of this size, we know there will be a protest filed with the contract appeals board,” he added.
Intralot’s sports betting platform will be available by January. This is according to the D.C lottery. Temporary licensees for private gambling operators are expected to come in-effect by September if there are no complaints raised by July 15.