Intralot will control all lottery and sports betting operations in Washington DC despite widespread concerns over a potential conflict of interest.
The District of Columbia Legislative Council held a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether the Greek gambling giant should have exclusive rights or whether the market should be opened up to multiple providers.
Intralot was singled out for the contract after DC moved to legalise sports betting last December, but the proposal was thrown into doubt amid corruption allegations involving Councilmember Jack Evans.
A key player in the push for legalisation, Evans has made headlines in recent weeks due to his ties with the gambling industry and various other business ventures during his time in office.
The two-time mayoral candidate’s relationship with Intralot is one of several suspicious connections that led to an FBI raid on his residence last month.
Despite the Evans controversy and its wide-ranging implications, DC councillors voted in favour of a single-operator system and awarded Intralot an exclusive five-year licence.
Opponents of the move have made no secret of their displeasure, with Councilmember Elissa Silverman declaring “the whole thing stinks”.
The outcome is a huge blow to gambling operators that had hoped to stake a claim in one of the most sought-after US sports betting markets.
DraftKings and FanDuel both published op-eds in the Washington Post that urged lawmakers to push for a multi-provider platform, but to no avail.
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