The District of Columbia Council has decided to bypass the process of competitive bidding for choosing the technology provider required to launch district-wide mobile betting. The decision was made at a narrow majority at a legislative meeting.
The decision can still be reversed as it is subject to a second vote. However, if the second vote produces a similar result, Intralot, who has the existing lottery contract, will emerge as the sole supplier.
Bill sponsor Jack Evans, addressing the council, said bypassing the standard procurement process would save the city $60 million in terms of the time. “I urge my colleagues to support this bill today, given the beneficial impact that the speedy passage will have on the District—and keeping in mind that a portion of the money goes to violence prevention.”
“I share our chief financial officer’s desire to get sports betting up and running as quickly as possible, because we can benefit from that additional revenue,” Elissa Silverman, council member, said. “But I still think we need to have a lottery contract process—especially in light of what happened with the lottery the last time—that our residents actually have confidence in …”
“I think there are both good governmental and practical advantages to separating the two contracts, at least at the beginning.”