A Washington, DC judge on Friday tossed aside an injunction that kept the DC Lottery from moving forward on a sports betting contract with Intralot.
Superior Court Judge John Campbell’s decision does not end the litigation. However, it allows the DC Lottery to begin implementing sports betting at its retail sites and begin work on a mobile application. Lottery officials approved sports betting regulations in late August.
We are pleased with the Judge’s decision and are fully focused on resuming the modernization of the Lottery and implementation of sports wagering in the District,” the Lottery said in a statement Friday afternoon.
The injunction was part of a lawsuit filed by Dylan Carragher, a District resident who owns esports betting website eSportsbets.gg. He claimed he was prevented from seeking a contract with the lottery for sports betting.
The DC Council in July awarded a $215 million, five-year contract to Intralot, who has served as a DC Lottery contractor for nearly a decade, through a sole source procurement. The vote, though, was 7-5 and council members had contentious discussions in open session about possible conflicts of interest among key supporters of the contract, which could be extended for up to another five years.
Superior Court Judge Joan Zeldon granted a temporary injunction on Sept. 26, saying Carragher had a “substantial likelihood” in proving the Council’s actions were wrong.
Carragher’s lawyer, Donald Temple, told Casino.org Friday that he was disappointed with Campbell’s decision, adding that the decision permits the District, for now, to choose whether to follow its own procurement laws.
“We’re exploring the options. Our objective is to get to the (DC) Court of Appeals as soon as possible on the merits,” Temple said.
Temple said his office is looking at whether they have grounds for an immediate appeal.
Nonetheless, Temple said he and his client still feel they have a winnable case. He said DC officials did not make any amendments to the District’s procurement regulations allowing it to award sole-source contracts.
The way this law is set up is like the government creating procurement laws and then deciding to exempt itself from procurement laws, so that the exception becomes the rule,” he said.
Temple added that there have been “casual conversations” about other parties joining Carragher in the lawsuit. But there’s nothing formal regarding that at this point.
DC Sports Betting Breakdown
While the DC Lottery will oversee sports betting in Washington, it won’t be the only player in town.
DC’s sports betting law allows for sportsbooks to open shop at or within a two-block radius of each of Washington’s four major sports stadiums. Earlier this month, Monumental Sports and Entertainment, owners of the NBA’s Washington Wizards and NHL’s Washington Capitals, secured a deal with William Hill to open a retail book at Capital One Arena. Licenses also are available for soccer stadium Audi Field, baseball stadium Nationals Park, and St. Elizabeth’s East Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Sportsbooks operating in or near an arena will be able to offer mobile sports betting within a two-block radius of it.
In addition, bars, restaurants, and other businesses not within two blocks of an arena can seek a license to host a retail sportsbook. Those sites also can offer mobile sports betting, but only within the confines of the establishment.
In addition to offering sports betting at the retail lottery locations, the DC Lottery’s mobile wagering app will be available across the district.