Intralot to move ahead with DC sports gambling
Councilman Jack Evans and the rest of the crew have won
As expected, the DC Council met yesterday to discuss whether or not to allow Intralot to proceed with its management of sports gambling in the district, or if a public bidding process was in order. Also as expected, the council decided it could unilaterally proceed with giving the multimillion-dollar contract to Intralot and some wallets just got a little fatter.
Intralot, the Greek company that runs DC’s lottery, was awarded the sports gambling contract without bidding wars and without input from other operators. This didn’t sit well with rivals, who immediately launched a campaign to try to have the decision reversed. In what was probably more a show for the public than a realistic attempt to find a fair resolution, the DC council met and made its decision, amid concerns from councilmembers themselves. Councilmember Elissa Silverman said it best when she asserted, “The whole thing stinks.”
The sports gambling legislation and the Intralot contract – worth $215 million – was spearheaded by Councilman Jack Evans. Evans has been allegedly involved in a number of under-the-table deals, although nothing has yet been proven, and is currently being investigated by the FBI. He reportedly has close ties to Intralot and many opponents of the deal tried to point this out. They found some support among councilmembers, but the council approved Intralot as the new sports gambling operator in the district yesterday in a close 7-5 vote.
The fight is most likely not over yet. Opponents are probably gathering as much legal prose and data as possible in order to launch a new fight against the contract, which is only going to slow down DC’s sports gambling industry even further.