The D.C. Council approved a sole source contract Tuesday for the Greek gaming company Intralot to manage a lucrative online sports betting and lottery program in the nation’s capital.
The contentious 7-to-5 vote came after a majority of the council’s 13 members expressed concerns about the $215 million, five-year deal, which became mired in an ethics scandal involving its chief champion, council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2).
But several lawmakers ultimately voted yes despite earlier qualms about Evans’s involvement and the council’s decision to suspend competitive bidding rules, paving the way for Intralot to have a monopoly on sports wagers placed on phones and computers.
“If we turn this down, there will be another two years, some have said three years, before we have a contract in place,” Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) said. “We just know there will be a protest, there will be a lot of controversy, a lot of dispute, and a lot of delay. And there is a significant cost to a delay of a couple of years.”