The contract, for which Intralot could earn up to US$215 million over the five-year term, was backed by seven councilmembers, with five voting against.
The Council used an emergency measure to bypass a public procurement process, to ensure it did not lose sports betting revenue to the neighbouring states of Maryland and Virginia.
In defense of the decision, the council has argued that to put the contract out to a competitive tender process would have created delays in getting sports betting up and running in the District.
However the process has generated controversy, with councilmembers first pointing out that the argument that Washington, DC could lose sports betting revenue to other states did not hold up to scrutiny.
Maryland failed to pass wagering legislation during its regular session, while Virginia will not have a regulatory framework in place until June 30, 2020 at the earliest.
Source: GMB / iGaming Business