D.C. Superior Court Judge Eugene N. Hamilton yesterday delayed until Monday consideration of a request by two companies that he block the D.C. lottery board from awarding a contract to a third firm to run the city's first legal daily numbers game.
Hamilton said he would hold a hearing Monday on the request by Columbia Gaming Services Inc. and D.C. Data Co. to at least temporarily prohibit the lottery agency from signing the contract with Lottery Technology Enterprises.
The two losing bidders gained some ammunition Friday in their fight to overturn the lottery board's decision when a D.C. contract review committee said the lottery agency had not adequately considered the minority participation levels of the three bidders and recommended that it review the contract proposals again.
The board reluctantly agreed last week to let the contract review committee study the agency's actions in awarding the contract to Lottery Technology, but not necessarily to accept the review panel's recommendations.
The lottery board also agreed to wait 24 hours after the committee issued its report before possibly signing with Lottery Technology. But the fight for the lucrative contract is so contentious that lawyers in the case disputed yesterday whether the clock on the 24-hour period would include the weekend.
D.C. Data requested the unusual Saturday court hearing for fear the lottery board might sign the contract over the weekend instead of waiting for a 24-hour period to include Monday, a normal business day. A total of 28 lawyers and investors in the three competing firms jammed into Hamilton's chambers for the hearing.
Assistant Corporation Counsel Joseph Hart contended the lottery board had the right to sign the contract as of late yesterday afternoon, even though it did not intend to do so.
But Hamilton quickly rejected that idea, scheduled Monday's hearing and sent all the high-paid legal talent back to their offices to prepare for tomorrow's court appearance.