Despite active attempts to legalize various forms of Internet gambling in established wagering hotbeds such as New Jersey and Las Vegas, it appears that the District of Columbia will be the first U.S. jurisdiction to approve and operate a Web wagering system.  

Washington D.C.’s 2011 budget included a provision permitting online wagering. The U.S. Congress, which has 30 day period to examine the district’s yearly budget, let the provision pass without objection.  

Plans call for Intralot, the district’s lottery provider, to operate the online gaming system, which will only be available to patrons within Washington D.C limits. The lottery can operate both games of chance and skills games such as online poker. According to The Washington Post, government officials hope to set up 20 to 30 online gambling “hotspots” in district hotels, bars and clubs by Sept. 1. Eventually, people living within Washington D.C. will be allowed to play games such as online poker from home.  

The district’s CFO estimates online wagering can provide $13 million to $14 million a year for the state by 2014, most of this money generated by online poker fees and a tax on winnings over $600.