DC forced to halt sports gambling launch over lawsuit
The district’s deal with Intralot just hit a major snag
There have always been issues about the decision made by the Washington, DC Council to award its sports gambling industry to Greek gaming company Intralot. However, the council members were willing to push forward anyway, hoping the issue would subside on its own. That didn’t happen, thanks to a recent lawsuit, and DC is now looking at having to possibly rewrite the book on its sports gambling plans after a federal judge ordered a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the deal.
The TRO is a result of the lawsuit that was filed last week. A software programmer who had been working on a sports gambling application, Dylan Carragher, sued the DC Lottery and DC for not following proper guidelines in awarding the contract, and wants the court to consider dissolving the arrangement.
DC decided to give Intralot a $215-million contract without putting the issue to a public bidding process, something that is normally required by law. There have been repeated complaints about the decision, with some arguing that the contract deal was shady and that Intralot itself is shady. The company apparently had promised to use a local subcontractor to manage the sports gambling activity, but it was later determined that the subcontractor is actually an entity controlled by Intralot.
If local lawmakers thought they would be able to roll out sports gambling by next January, they better rethink their plans. The judge that issued the TRO, Superior Court Judge Joan Zeldon, states that there’s a good chance the DC Lottery did, in fact, violate DC’s Home Rule Act on the procurement of goods and services.