United States Capitol

DC Council approves controversial sports betting contract with Intralot

On Tuesday, the DC Council approved a measure granting Intralot the sole-source contract for sports betting DC.

The Council used an emergency measure to bypass the competitive bidding process for the city’s sports betting contract. The measure was approved by a vote of 7-5 despite ethical concerns over the relationship between the Greek company and councilmembers.

The measure was intended to help DC launch sports betting before the neighboring states of Maryland and Virginia. Prior to DC’s decision to legalize sports betting, several councilmembers claimed that DC would risk losing potential sports betting revenue if it held the jurisdiction held a bidding process for the contract.

A closer look at the contract

The $215m contract awarded to Intralot is a sole-source, no-bid contract to power the jurisdiction’s lottery and sports betting.

This essentially grants Intralot a monopoly on sports betting in the nation’s capital as no other vendors were considered or allowed to compete for the contract.

The contract will run for five years, and according to DC officials, the Intralot deal is the quickest and most efficient option with the greatest return on investment for the city. This opinion came under scrutiny from several stakeholders and DC councilmembers at a roundtable discussion last month.

Sports betting in DC

Now that the Council has given Intralot the green light, it’s just a matter of time until legal sports betting goes live in DC.

When sports betting goes live, bettors in the nation’s capital will be able to place sports bets online via mobile devices using the Intralot-powered betting app.

Sports venues in the state will also be able to apply for a license to offer mobile sports wagering. Venues will have to apply for a Class A license which will allow them to launch their own mobile betting platform. Venues with sports betting will be granted a two-block exclusivity zone and will be taxed 10% of gross revenue.

The Capital One Arena, Audi Field, Nationals Park and St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena are the four venues in the state eligible for a Class A license.

Other businesses in the state can apply for a Class B license which will cost $50,000. There will also be two-year licenses up for grabs which will limit businesses to land-based betting. These limited licenses will cost $5,000.

Elsewhere in the US, Maine’s Governor has held back on signing the state’s sports betting bill putting sports betting on hold until 2020.

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