The D.C. Lottery Board yesterday rejected a recommendation by a city contract review committee that the board reconsider its award of a lucrative contract to run the District's first legalized daily numbers game.
The contract review panel said on Friday that the lottery agency had erred in awarding the contract to Lottery Technology Enterprises by not fully considering the minority participation levels proposed by that firm and two losing bidders.
But the board, meeting in an unusual Sunday session, voted 3 to 1 not to accept the advisory panel's recommendation that it reconsider the contract award to Lottery Technology.
Board Chairman Brant Coopersmith and board members Jerry Cooper and Lillian Wiggins formed the majority, with Carolyn Lewis dissenting. Board member Almore Dale abstained from the vote.
The board's action could mean that it would be free to sign the contract with Lottery Technology--a joint venture of a Rhode Island computer firm, Gaming Systems Corp., and four minority-controlled D.C. firms--late this afternoon.
But the two losing competitors for the lottery award, D.C. Data Co. and Columbia Gaming Services Inc., are seeking a court order to block the board from signing the contract. D.C. Superior Court Judge Eugene N. Hamilton has scheduled a hearing on the two firms' request for 12:30 p.m. today, four hours before the lottery board could otherwise sign the contract.
Earlier this month, the lottery board agreed to wait to sign the contract, which could be worth at least $4 million a year to the winning company based on anticipated wagering of $100 million, until the three-member review panel had a chance to consider the board's choice of Lottery Technology.
The lottery board also agreed to wait one business day after the review committee's report was released before signing the contract, but not necessarily to accept its recommendations. The report was released Friday at about 4:30 p.m., meaning that formal award of the contract to Lottery Technology could not be made before that hour today.
The review panel, headed by Assistant D.C. Corporation Counsel James E. Lemert, said the board did not request sufficient documentation from the three competing firms to ensure that they would meet the city's legal requirement that at least 25 percent of revenue from the daily numbers game would go to minority-controlled firms.
"We found that the committee had acted on inaccurate information," Coopersmith said, while declining to elaborate.
Both Lottery Technology and D.C. Data have promised their minority partners 60 percent of the equity while Columbia Gaming has promised its minority partners 85 percent.