DC Sports Betting Contract Should Be Reviewed Afte …

DC sports betting

Jack Evans wheeled and dealed his greasy DC sports betting contract through the district’s council against most logic last year.

Now that the council reportedly will make Evans persona non grata for his shady behavior, that contract must receive fresh consideration.

Evans shepherded an exclusive contract for District lottery vendor Intralot to run mobile DC sports betting. Pay no mind to the fact that Evans’ consulting firm received a financial windfall from Intralot or that the vendor possesses no US sports betting market experience.

Or maybe do pay some mind to Councilman Evans’ pattern of ethics flouting. The FBI certainly did.

Now Evans is about to depart the Washington DC Council in disgrace, shunned even by those who helped jam through his seedy plan:

Jack of all trades, master of one

This passage from the Washington Post succinctly describes Evans’ trail of misdeeds:

The (expulsion vote) comes after a series of investigations that found Evans used his public office to benefit private clients and employers who paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“He has betrayed each and every one of us,” said Council member Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3). “You would speak to him about council things but he was speaking for the people who were buying him.”

One after another, each council member spoke of how Evans deceived the public, violated his office and further tarnished the image of a District government that has been struggling to push past a history of public corruption.

Singing a different tune

Cheh sounded a bit different in District Dig in 2018 while co-sponsoring the DC sports betting bill with Evans:

Evans’ co-sponsor of the sports betting bill, however, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, a law professor at George Washington University, seems irritated by such suggestions. “If there’s a conflict of interest we can deal with that at the time,” Cheh says, vaguely. “Whatever connection [Evans] has to Jarvis, that has to await further developments.”

Council holding the bag on DC sports betting

Indignant quotes from councilmembers provide only the platform upon which to erect tangible change. If the council sees Evans as a corrupt pariah, it should consider revisiting a DC sports betting process he spearheaded.

Allegations of impropriety surfaced long before the council spent months evaluating Evans’ pitch to give Intralot a vice grip on sports betting in Washington, DC. Evans did not succeed alone, though, receiving timely boosts from Council Chair Phil Mendelson and District CFO Jeff DeWitt.

How much his compatriots knew of Evans’ dealings with Intralot or his other reported foibles likely will not come to light. That doesn’t matter now, though. What matters is the council taking a fresh look at the Intralot contract with the knowledge and newfound outrage it possesses today.

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