DC Takes a Closer Look at Intralot Betting Contract
Washington, DC is coming under scrutiny for its recent sports betting licensing procedure. The Council of the District of Columbia is now looking into the Intralot betting contract offered earlier this year. Some are wondering whether or not this is a “pay to play” situation.
It’s a very interesting time for this city’s gambling industry. Today, we’re going to look at why granting Intralot a sports betting license is controversial. We’ll also take a look at why lawmakers in DC are reviewing this decision.
Washington DC’s Relationship With Intralot
There are some major changes taking place in DC’s gambling industry. Not long ago, officials in this state granted Intralot a license to operate the city’s lottery. At the time, this wasn’t much of a surprise.
Intralot is growing to become one of the top gaming providers in the US. In February of 2018, this Greek company agreed to a $340 million deal with the Illinois State Lottery.
DC and Intralot’s relationship reached a whole new level this year.
Washington DC legalized sports betting in early 2018. This year, the City Council held a brief discussion on which company would be granted a license to offer sports betting odds in the city. Within just a few minutes, the Council agreed to give Intralot sports gambling rights.
Council leaders claim the quick decision was made in order to get sports betting up and running before neighboring states did. Other sports betting companies were livid. There was no bidding process for the sports betting license. Almost immediately, these companies began pushing for an investigation of the licensing process.
Officials Want Information on Intralot Betting Contract Deal
Not everyone in the Council agreed to grant Intralot the sports betting license. The members are meeting to discuss exactly how this contract was set in place. There are concerns over the company’s ties to politicians in the city.
Councilman David Grosso, in particular, wants answers on the Intralot betting contract deal.
“The council was also urged to sole-source the contract with the coincidentally soon-to-expire lottery contractor, Intralot, in order to avoid a lengthy and costly delay of full implementation and to avoid contract protests,” said Grosso. “All of this urgency, of course, was informed by a report compiled with a vendor who lists Intralot as one of their clients.”
Grosso also talked about the connection between Intralot and a surge in political donations before the sports betting license was handed out. A number of other Council members raised concerns as well. Recently, Councilman Jack Evans became the subject of serious controversy.
Jack Evans Has Some Questions to Answer
Jack Evans was a key player in having the Intralot betting contract handed out so quickly. The FBI is investigating Evans for unknown reasons. Now, fellow Council members are questioning the specific relationship between Evans and Intralot.
Evans is known to have communicated with William Jarvis, a lobbyist for Intralot. According to the Washington Post, Jarvis personally lobbied Evans for the company’s sports betting contract.
There is definitely something strange about this whole deal. On the surface, the decision to fast-track the sports betting licensing procedure made sense. Looking back, however, it was unfair to taxpayers and sports betting companies to hand out a license without any type of bidding process.
Another meeting is taking place this week. Council members are sure to question Evans on his decision to grant the Intralot betting contract so quickly. Make sure to stay tuned for updates on this meeting!
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