The two unsuccessful bidders for the right to operate Washington's first gambling franchise have lodged formal protests with the D.C. Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board, alleging that board members selected the winning lottery firm improperly and asking that the award be set aside.
Glendinning Companies Inc. of Westport, Conn., and Raven Systems and Research Inc. of Washington also complained that the five-member lottery board failed to hold oral presentations as promised and violated the city's open meeting law when it gave the lucrative contract to Scientific Games Development Corp. of Atlanta and Games Production Inc. of Washington.
Board Chairman Brant Coopersmith said yesterday that he had not yet seen the complaints. However, he said the board's decision-making process was proper and legal.
"No decision was made prior to our announcing our vote" on Monday, Coopersmith said. "They are welcome to protest, but I believe we complied with all of the requirements of the law to the best of my knowledge.
"We were closely advised on this by both the corporation counsel and the city's department of general services. We were obliged to follow their advice," he said, adding, "We don't have a contract to set aside yet."
Douglass Gordon, executive director of the lottery board, met with executives from Scientific and Games Production for more than six hours yesterday to iron out the final details for operation of the multimillion-dollar instant lottery franchise, scheduled to begin this fall.
Gordon said he and officials from the two firms discussed prize structure, timetables and the specific types of contests that will be offered in the instant lottery games.
Gordon echoed Coopersmith's defense of the selection procedures and said the board elected not to hold oral presentations for bidders to explain their proposals because board members felt "they did not need any clarification" of the bids.
The two protests follow a two-month review process by the D.C. lottery board to select a firm to operate the lottery games.
Under the terms of the instant lottery contract, the firms will be responsible jointly for printing and distributing 10 million lottery tickets in the first game and an undetermined amount in up to four other games scheduled to take place during a 14-month period.
Specifically, the three-page complaint drafted by Glendinning lawyer William W. Rogal and filed yesterday alleges that the board's decision "was made in secret meeting during the week of May 16, 1982, in contravention," of the District's open meeting laws.
The complaint also contends that the board "failed to have oral presentations and negotiations as announced," and that it "chose as advisers or consultants, two lottery directors of other states who in their official capacities had never ordered instant game lottery tickets from a supplier other than Scientific Games Inc."
Raymond A. Mott, president of Raven, sent the board a two-page letter earlier this week voicing many of the objections raised by Glendinning.
In addition to those allegations, Mott claimed in his letter that at no time "has the board made a public record of its justification for selection of the winning bidder in accordance with the criteria and rating system in the board's request for proposals . . . . "