Charity Gaming 1960
Tribal Casinos 1986
Tribal Casinos 19 years+
Charity Bingo 19 years+
Tribal Casinos 2
Alaska is one of the most conservative states when it comes to gambling of any type. For example, Alaska is one of just a handful of states that has not authorized a state lottery. As recently as March 2021, the state tried and failed to introduce legislation.
In fact, charitable gaming and Class II tribal bingo facilities are about the only thing you will find, legally. Class II gaming is offered by federally recognized tribes, which have not signed gaming Compacts with the state to provide casino-style gaming. Learn more about Alaska online gambling options in our article below.
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The strict laws have meant that Alaskans must fly out to the continental United States to play at land-based casinos. Because this is seldom practical, some Alaskans are turning to online gambling and online casinos for accessibility, games selection, and other benefits.
This is despite the fact that Alaska’s Constitution does not authorize online gambling, even – as noted – an Alaska lottery. Still, when searching for a safe and trustworthy online casino that accepts players from Alaska, we’re here to help you find those casino games!
As of 2022 there are currently no plans to make online sportsbooks or online casinos legal in Alaska – there is currently no legislation on the table to suggest whether or not these options are well supported to pass in the future either.
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Each casino tries to outdo the other with more bonus money and more free spins on exciting casino games, and more. Of course, new players will want to read the fine print regarding the bonus terms and conditions to get the best deal possible.
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As anyone from Alaska knows, state gambling laws make enjoying most forms of gambling difficult, if not impossible. This is especially true for casinos which is why some Alaskans turn to online casinos.
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Known as ‘The Last Frontier,’ Alaska is heavily oil-dependent (85% of its budget). A relatively small population of 730,000+ would make the impact from allowing gambling in Alaska relatively tiny. This may be why past politicians and voters had been reluctant to legalize gambling in the state so far.
Still, with oil prices low by historical benchmarks, the decline in oil revenue has led some to look to gambling to plug some of the state’s budget shortfall.
Charitable organizations and municipalities can legally provide bingo, dog sledding, lotteries, and raffles. Native organizations may also legally provide bingo and pull tabs. Of these, just two meet the legal definition of Class II Tribal Casinos.
Commercial casinos are not legal in Alaska. Nor are pari-mutuel betting, sports betting, poker rooms, and online gambling. Lotteries are also illegal in Alaska, one of just five states to prohibit the activity alongside Nevada, Hawaii, Utah, and Alabama.
Permitted charity gaming includes bingo, pull tabs, lotteries, dog sledding, and raffles. Some bingo halls enhance the player-experience with cafes where patrons can munch on deli meats or a burger and fries.
Charity gaming in Alaska requires an annual license and must be run by a municipality or qualified non-profit organization. In Alaska, tribal organizations are permitted to offer bingo and pull tabs/video pull tabs that benefit their community.
Alaska has two Class II Tribal Casinos offering bingo and pull tabs. Each casino is authorized by the Federal National Gaming Commission (NIGC) under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1986. Generated proceeds must be used to fund tribal programs, charities, economic development and local government agencies.
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The Alaska State Legislature defines gambling as follows. “Gambling means that a person stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the person’s control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that that person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”
Alaska has the most restrictive gambling laws in the country, allowing only charity gaming that falls under the Department of Revenue’s watch. There are two tribal casinos, but they may only offer bingo and pull tabs.
In 2020, Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy pitched a proposal to the Senate Rules Committee (SB 188) to legalize sports betting and a state and multi-state lottery. Unfortunately, the legislative session ended early due to the COVID pandemic, so it remains to be seen whether the bill will be back on the table in 2021.
Fantasy sports are available in the state of Alaska from several providers. The justification used is that it is a skill-game rather than chance game that falls outside of the definition of unlawful gambling. However, this appears to be a grey area.
In the early 1960s, charitable gaming laws in Alaska were evolving to allow qualified non-profit organizations and municipalities to conduct gaming activities. These laws are set out in the Alaska Gaming Reform Act and must generate a public financial benefit. Pull-tabs were authorized in 1984.
Cruise ship gambling in Alaskan waters was legalized in 1995. However, it was allowed to expire the following year and was never re-enacted.
Attempts in the past to liberalize gambling have been unsuccessful. On August 28, 1990, an initiative to create the Alaska Gambling Board was defeated in a referendum, 19,827 to 50,446.
In 1996, the Alaska Legislature legalized Deep Freeze Classic, Sled Dog Race Classic, and Snow Machine Classic. It also created the Creamer’s Field Goose Classic and the McGrath Kuskokwim River Ice Classic.
In 2003, HB240, an amendment to create a state lottery, was rejected. Later that same year, a proposal to allow video poker was also turned down.
In 2008, there were several statewide votes to expand legal gambling, which ultimately failed. The argument for rejecting it was that it was not needed because of the wealth generated by oil revenue.
In 2009 an Alaskan state lottery was held with the proceeds going towards the organization Standing Together Against Rape (STAR), located in Anchorage. It was the only one of its kind.
In an ironic twist, the winner of the $500,000 prize was a convicted sex offender. This man would go on to be assaulted with a tire iron just a few days later.
In 2014, bull moose derbies and Snow Town Ice Classic were added, falling under legally-defined ice classic.
The legal age for gambling in Alaska is 19 and over. You must go in person to a casino even then, though, as there are no Alaskan sites where you can gamble online.
In fact, there isn’t even an Alaska lottery, which doesn’t bode well for future legislation allowing Alaskans to gamble online.
Yes, Alaska has two federally-recognized Indian tribal organizations allowed to offer bingo and pull tabs only. There are also non-casino bingo halls run by tribal organizations.
No, commercial casinos have not been legalized in the state of Alaska.
No, at the present time, lotteries and interstate lotteries are not legal in Alaska. However, in 2020 the governor pitched a bill to legalize lotteries before the Alaskan Legislature was forced to close early.
No, sports betting is not permitted in Alaska. However, a proposal for legal online gambling was introduced in 2020 before the Legislature was forced to close prematurely by the pandemic.
At the present time, that proposal has not been reintroduced, but even a beginning to potentially legalize sports and casino gambling is more than a lot of states have seen.
Legally, charity gaming offering bingo, pull tabs, dog sledding, and raffles are legal. Tribal casinos may offer pull tabs and bingo only.
No, at the present time, there are no legal forms of online gambling. Although fantasy sports/daily fantasy sports are available, it remains somewhat of a grey area. They are not seen as unlawful gambling, but are not enthusiastically supported at an official level.
Alaska has seen attempts to make online gambling legal, and it’s not out of the question that there may be legislation passed in future. For now, though, the only online gambling sites an Alaska resident may access are those based offshore.
Alaska is known for its rugged beauty and nature. Still, it’s one of the worst states to live in if you enjoy online gambling.
The state has no Vegas-style land-based casinos, pari-mutuel wagering, state lottery, sports betting, online gambling sites, or fantasy sports contests. If charitable gaming is sufficient – then more power to you!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the gambling laws will change any time soon. Therefore, we invite Alaskans to visit our page regularly for gambling updates if they want to know what their options are vis-a-vis casino gambling online and such sites.
In the meantime, let us help you find the best online casinos offering slots, table games, sports betting, and live dealer games. These online casinos accept players from Alaska while offering terrific new player welcome bonuses. Claim yours today!