Last December, the Washington D.C. Council voted to pass a legal sports betting in the nation’s capital. Despite some initial trepidation from a few members, the D.C. Council voted to bypass the bidding process and had the contract to be the sole operator sports betting to Intralot, a Greek company that runs the district’s lottery.
According, to a report from the Washington Post, it appears that the entire sports betting operation in Washington D.C. is filled with corruption.
Intralot subcontracted the district’s sports betting contract to the Veteran Services Corp., which is where the situation gets messy.
It was necessary for Intralot to subcontract the work to comply with a D.C. law that forces large public contracts to share work with smaller, local businesses. Veterans Services Corp. fills those requirements. The newspaper’s report stated that a document they found this summer stated that VSC would ‘perform the entire subcontract with its own organizational resources.’
The problem with that is that when the Post investigated the company, it found that there were no employees and executives that were previously touted on the website, didn’t work there. In response to the Post’s investigation, two members of the D.C. Council are now calling for a formal investigation into the company.
Robert C. White Jr. (D) and Elissa Silverman (I) want to shed more light on the company’s inner workings. Silverman went as far to ask Attorney General Karl A Racine to look into the validity of the contract that Intralot has with the district.
“It’s clear they are just a shell company,” Silverman told the Post.
If it’s possible, Silverman wants to void or restructure the contract with Intralot.
“I’d like to know if the Intralot contract can be nullified or revisited given what has been reported about its compliance with the CBE requirement,” Silverman wrote in the request to Racine.
White, on the other hand, is going straight to the company. He is asking Intralot to conduct an investigation of their own. He asked the CFO of the company to conduct a report on ‘whether the ownership structure of VSC complies with all D.C. laws.’
Last January, Councilman Phil Mendelson withdrew emergency legislation that would have bypassed the bidding process and given the contract to Intralot. He decided that it was more prudent to have hearings about whether or not the bidding process should be skipped.
Last July, the Council voted 7-5 in favor of bypassing the bidding process. White was one of those in favor of the deal.
Opponents of bypassing the bidding process were afraid of this exact kind of situation.
With the latest developments, it is nine months since the passage of the bill and the nation’s capital is still nowhere near a functional sports betting operation. It doesn’t look promising that it will change any time soon.