•  The DC Lottery has contracted with INTRALOT to run the city’s mobile betting platform.
  •  The pending contract is for 5 years and $215 million.
  •  Some councilmembers claim that the contract award process was unfair.

 

WASHINGTON – Washington D.C. formally legalized sports betting via a City Council vote in December 2018. The measure passed 10-2, with revenues earmarked for early childhood initiatives and youth violence prevention programs.

On Wednesday, however, some city councilmembers publicly moved to delay the launch of the DC Lottery’s sports betting platform. Several officials are calling for an investigation into the process that awarded INTRALOT a five-year, $215 million contract to develop the city’s sports betting app.

Councilman-at-large David Grosso (I) is one of them. Grosso alleges that political kickbacks and conflicts of interest have tainted the contracting process.

According to Grosso, some of the subcontractors benefiting from the INTRALOT deal are law firms and PR companies that lobbied on behalf of the successful sports betting legislation. That, says Grosso, is potentially problematic.

“It does not look good to me and it frustrates me. My staff and I are working on a way to slow this down and hopefully file a disapproval resolution to try to get a hearing so we can try to air this out with the public.”

One subcontractor in particular, District Services Management, is managed by Allieu Kamara. Kamara is the homeless shelter executive embroiled in a record keeping scandal that rocked Washington D.C. earlier this year.

Kamara’s discredited homeless shelter was located in Ward 7, the district of councilman and former mayor Vincent Gray (D). Gray has been measured in his response, though he supports looking into the matter.

“If there are questions raised, they should look at going to the auditor of the council, it should go to the inspector general and have those questions further investigated.”

The timeline for such an investigation is not known. However, the D.C. Council has a deadline of July 25 to approve the INTRALOT deal.

Should the challenges to INTRALOT’s selection go forward, sports betting in the city could be meaningfully delayed. Otherwise, the goal is to have the DC Lottery’s sports betting app operational for the start of the profitable, popular NFL season in September.

News tags: | | | | |