An allegedly dodgy contract has been awarded to a Greek gambling operator, Intralot, in Washington DC. Instead of the usual bidding process, the operator was given the contract by the city. Of course, this goes against the law and two legislators are calling for an investigation. DC is planning to legalize sports betting later this year, but the contract is a stumbling block.
Reportedly, Intralot’s local partner, Veterans Services Corp (VSC), has no employees or executives involved in the management of the company. The Washington Post reported these findings along with proof of shady dealings. VSC will allegedly handle “the lion’s share” of local involvement under the public contract. Currently, DC’s regulations require public contracts to subcontract to local businesses. The lottery contract was awarded 20 years ago, but there are claims that it is a shell company.
Intralot Owns Shell Company
However, the venture, called DC09, is completely funded by Intralot. This raises questions about whether or not the company is “local” at all. For those unfamiliar with shell companies, these are defined as businesses created to hide money or transfer it between businesses. Most shell companies will appear legitimate without intense scrutiny. If Intralot is really pulling the strings, there’s a chance of illegal dealings.
Unfortunately, DC09 stands up to investigations because it’s run under Washington DC regulations and follows all protocols. VSC only counts as a DC company because it was registered to a house with a DC resident as the major shareholder.
Robert C. White Jr. (D-At Large) and Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) are the two lawmakers demanding answers. Silverman was quoted by the Washington Post specifically:
“It is clear they are just a shell company,” asserts Silverman in a request to DC Attorney General Karl Racine to investigate the company. “I’d like to know if the Intralot contract can be nullified or revisited, given what has been reported about its compliance with the CBE requirement.”
Any delays in legislation will be decided by the Attorney General before a decision can be made.
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