The controversial bid to change American gambling laws and introduce online gambling from D.C. Lottery was presented before the D.C. Council’s Finance and Revenue Committee. This particular hearing was regarded by many industry observers as “a bit of a non-event”.
The public hearing was scheduled to overview and discuss online gambling in the district and Bill 19-474, the “Lottery Amendment Repeal Act of 2011”. This particular bill aims to change gambling regulations in the country potentially allowing legal online casinos in United States.
One of the officials, who testified before the committee was Inspector General Charles Willoughby. He has been previously criticized for his findings in a study commissioned by Committee Chairman and Ward 2 Democrat Rep. Jack Evans. The criticism mainly referred to awarding the lottery bid to Intralot.
Willoughby continued to stand by his report findings telling the committee that the lottery contract should have been rebid altogether, or at least the online gambling part of it. In his opinion the council could not have been aware the online channel would be up for discussion at the time the bid was awarded back in 2009.
Willoughby went on to testify that city officials “materially changed” the signed contract following the addition of an online gambling program. He told United States gambling news that the council “should see the entire contract, it should see the finished project. It shouldn’t be a piecemeal operation, and I stand by that.
The official behind the award, Natwar M. Gandhi, has objected to the findings stating that bidders had the opportunity to cover “additional or non-traditional games”, which in his opinion included the online gambling although it wasn’t explicitly stated.
The hearing took place under criticism from industry observers, who opined that direct testimony didn’t include formed Veteran Service Corp, the entity, which has a 51 percent share in the venture that runs the lottery, nor Intralot, the winner of the bid.