Cloud hangs over plans for DC sports betting

D.C. sports betting parlors are expected to open their doors late this year or early next, but first, questions must be answered about the company contracted to do the work and the way the D.C. government approved the no-bid contract.

D.C. Councilman at large Robert White is concerned about the findings of an investigation by The Washington Post, which found a local firm subcontracted to establish sports betting in the city has no employees and had listed executives on its website who don’t work there.

“I do wish that we had all the information that’s coming out now before the vote, it would have helped every council member,” White said. “I think the contract will get a new examination,” he said.

The D.C. company — Veterans Services Corporation — was subcontracted by the international gaming company, Intralot, to share the work, in order to comply with a city law that requires major public contracts be shared with small, local businesses.

“We need to understand if all our local agencies did the jobs that they were supposed to do,” White said, “We have a District agency — the Department of Small and Local Business Development — that certified Veterans Services Company as a certified D.C. small business in 2009, recertified them in 2012, 2018 and 2019,” White said.

White has also asked Chief Financial Officer Jeffrey DeWitt about why his office recommended the sole-source sports gambling contract and what information the office used to make that decision.

Council member at large Elissa Silverman has asked D.C.’s Attorney General Karl Racine if the sports betting contract signed with the international gaming company Intralot can be nullified or revisited.

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