OK, the D.C. Council is about to take up an approval resolution on the W2I lottery contract—-the last stand in a nine-month-long drama. If you have no idea what LL is talking about here, either read up or move on, ’cause there’s a lot of backstory here.

Long story short: Mayor Adrian M. Fenty wants the meaure to pass because it saves a lot of money; much of the council doesn’t want it to pass because of issues with one of the partners in the contract.

The vote will be close. The CW going in is that there’s six solid votes for the contract—-Evans, Cheh, Bowser, Wells, Catania, and Schwartz. Beyond that, it’s hard to see where a decisive second vote would come from. Don’t expect Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray to do Hizzoner many favors here, if for no other reason than the fact he won’t want to hand Fenty two consecutive victories (after the Peter Nickles confirmation).

Procedurally, this will probably happen fast. Someone will likely move to retable—-a motion which is not debatable. If it comes off the table, it’ll mean the contract will probably pass—-after a whole lot of bloviating.

Check here for updates.

4:10 P.M.: The lottery contract IS NOT APPROVED. Paging Scientific Games!

4:09 P.M.: Wasn’t even as close as LL thought it would be. Even Tommy Wells votes against. Final tally is 5-8.

4:07 P.M.: Numbers, numbers, numbers. “I’m gonna vote no.”

4:04 P.M.: As Gray prepares to call the roll, Marion Barry says, “Just a brief point here.” Evans caught on mike: “What’s that mean? We’re about to vote…” Barry goes on to cite W2I’s profit-and-loss statement to no particular effect.

4:01 P.M.: Ooh. Here’s Kwame: Talks up his support of LSDBE programs. Saw “not the experience to run anything” in W2I’s local partner. Says “the initial certification of the joint venture is something that is wrong.” Wow.

3:59 P.M.: Muriel Bowser plays the budget deficit card. “We’re looking at an issue that promises to bring additional revenue to the District of Columbia.”

3:58 P.M.: Mary Cheh: I don’t know any of these people!

3:56 P.M.: “Why would I countermand an open and professional process?” Raises the failed CAB appeal. Can’t bring herself to say Catania’s name—-“Like Jack said and the previous speaker…”

3:54 P.M.: Carol: “This is my parting gift…Thank you very much!”

3:53 P.M.: Carol’s last big vote! Which way? “I said, a pox on both their houses….BUT…the longer we wait the more money we lose.”

3:51 P.M.: Catania plays up the integrity of the procurement process. “In essence, the world is watching….It’s about whether the same-old, same-old will continue.”

3:48 P.M.: Jim Graham, W2I hater, doesn’t want to talk for once in his life. David Catania now echoing Evans. He even says nice things about CFO’s office! “This is not an issue of personalities to me.”

3:47 P.M.: Mendo moves to close debate. He’s not gonna be the seventh vote.

3:46 P.M.: Jack: “This is money we can get. This is easy money!”

3:45 P.M.: Jack makes like a God-loving GOP senator—-“We should have an up-or-down vote!”

3:41 P.M.: Jack Evans is now introducing the measure. Goes through all the pro-contract talking points you’ve already heard.