Complaint poses fresh challenge to DC sports betting

Sports betting in D.C. is facing a new legal roadblock.

A D.C. resident involved in sports betting technology filed a complaint Tuesday, challenging the city’s $215 million no-bid sports betting contract with Intralot, a Greek company that already operates the D.C. lottery.

In his complaint, Dylan Carragher — who developed a mobile app for sports wagers — is asking D.C. Superior Court to find that the city’s single-source, no-bid contract was illegally awarded to Intralot.

“The city needs to follow its procurement laws, certainly, and the process should be competitive and open,” said Donald Temple, an attorney representing Carragher. “That would allow not only our client, but others who own sports bars and others like that, to compete in the marketplace for what is going to be a very lucrative business opportunity.”

Some D.C. Council members, including D.C. Council member Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), have raised questions about the no-bid contract and whether Veterans Services Corporation, Intralot’s choice as a small local business partner, was properly vetted by the city.

In a letter sent to Silverman on Monday, Krista Whitfield, director of the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development, said her agency properly certified Veterans Services Corporation under the city’s Certified Business Enterprise law.

“I will tell you that I found her answer to be wholly unsatisfactory,” Silverman said. “My concern is that Veterans Services Corporation might have misrepresented themselves as an independently owned small business.”

Silverman has asked D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine if the contract with Intralot can be nullified.

“What the attorney general told me is that, given there’s a lawsuit against the District, the attorney general’s obligation is to defend the District, so this becomes more complicated,” Silverman said.

Under the terms of the city’s contract, Intralot is scheduled to establish sports gambling parlors and online wagering by January 2020.

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