Intralot get Washington DC sports betting contract despite controversy
Regulated sports betting is coming to Washington DC and plenty of folks are not happy about the way the contract for the operator who will be handling the action was approved. Late last night, DC Council approved a five-year, $215 million contract with Greek gaming firm Intralot to oversee the introduction of regulated sports betting in the crippled city state.
Awarding the contract to Intralot, which is the current technology partner of the DC Lottery, was not without controversy. Critics of the deal, which included at least five council members, balked at the idea of Intralot receiving a no-bid, no-competition contract with the lottery. (DC’s lottery was awarded a monopoly on sports betting earlier this year.)
They also point out that Intralot will be holding a third of all the wagers taken. In practical terms, this means that players will be wagering against atrocious odds and will be highly motivated to take their action elsewhere, including the still-flourishing black market.
Supporters of the deal say that regulated sports betting had to be rushed so that DC could beat neighboring Maryland and Virginia to market. (Though none of them explained why those states couldn’t simply offer a better product and keep their players playing at home.)
One supporter of the bill, Councilman Jack Evans, was relieved of his duties as Chairman of the Council’s Committee on Finance & Revenue right before the vote due to a fair amount of conflict of interest on the matter. That did not, however, stop him from voting on the matter.
Councilwoman Elissa Silverman said, according to a report on Legal Sports Report, the whole deal, “stinks”.