Sports Betting Woes in Washington D.C.
In Washington D.C., sports betting was legalized some time ago and Intralot chosen as the provider of services. The legitimacy of the deal between the region and the operator has come in to question, with some officials feeling the industry need to avoid a bidding process and allow Intralot to start immediately. Others thought the deal was shady and wanted the bidding process to be provided for a fair industry. Now it seems those one official is about to push out and the process of offering sports betting in the region completely redone.
Earlier this week, 12 of the 13 members of the D.C. Council voted to push Councilman Jack Evans out. Evans is a name consistent with the Intralot deal and someone who has worked on the Council for 28 years. He has repeatedly been questioned about the negotiated deal with Intralot and concerns have arisen regarding Evans and ethics violations.
Even though the members voted to remove Evans, a formal vote has to take place with the entire council, including Evans. A total of 11 members have to approve the dismissal for it to be so.
Right now, the D.C. Council is not being trusted due to the actions of Evans and dealings involving sports betting. Councilwoman Elissa Silverman has been quite vocal about ethics violations and stated that residents need to feel confident in the decisions the council makes.
Evans had the opportunity to take part in the vote this week and would have the right to state his case. However, he chose not to. One Councilmember, Robert C. White Jr., stated that because Evans did not appear shows that he does not understand the severity of his actions and how the D.C. residents are affected by his decisions as well as the Council. The Councilman also took the decision by Evans to not appear during the meeting as a lack of respect for his fellow councilmembers.
Signing the Deal
It was Evans that played the role as the driving force behind the Council’s decision to provide the $215 million contract for sports betting to Intralot. At the time, Evans was already removed from the Washington D.C. Council Committee on Finance & Revenue for ethics issues. He also has a history within his position on the Council as someone who completes business deals that have a conflict of interest with his position politically.
Evans has even been investigated by the FBI for his actions. Yet, he has been able to stay way from any legal prosecution.
Now that the vote took place this week kicking Evans out of the Council, a formal vote will take place in a few weeks on December 17th. At the same time, a push is taking place to start over regarding sports betting legislation. If this were to occur, Intralot would not be given the contract and other companies would be able to bid for licensing.
Many officials feel the bidding process will be better for the area as well as provide a fair shot to any company that wants to offer sports betting services. It also appears the contract with Intralot is most likely void now due to the company having violated local laws regarding operations.
In D.C., any company that has a large public contract must find a local people to work with. When the deal was cut with Intralot, it was believed they would be working with a local company called Veterans Services Corp. However, the company seems to exist on paper and not in real life. The Washington Post was the first to cover the story and have been investigating the matter with no response from Intralot as of yet.