Alaska is a beautiful state with much tourism centered around its natural habitat. It is “isolated” from the mainland of the US and is situated at the north west of the continent, relatively close to the Arctic circle. While there aren’t any casino establishments in Alaska, there are plenty of offshore options for patrons to play at online.
To support its economy the two major industries are oil and tourism, both of which provide a significant amount of tax collections flowing into the state coffers. Therefore the gambling scene in Alaska isn’t as “justified” as a revenue generator as other states in the US. Being one of the most conservative states in the US and having the strictest laws across the US, it is highly unlikely that gambling laws will change in this state in the short term.
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Alaska Online Gambling
Given how restrictive the state is for casino gambling, I ain’t gonna sugar coat this, but online gambling in any form is most likely illegal. Why? Because even the on land tribal casinos are limited to offering bingo and pull tabs. BUT that’s not to say, that Alaska is any different to any other US State. Alaskan gambling laws are outdated, ambiguous and to be honest highly doubtful if applicable to today’s world of the internet.
Knowing this, it’s not surprising that no Player has ever been charged with gambling online. There have been instances of operators being prosecuted, but never the Player. As a result you will find, that offshore online casinos are willing and able to accept Players from Alaska.
Alaska ranks as the 46th in the US for playing at offshore online casinos. Wagering an estimated $3.6 million per year, it ranks just above West Virginia and behind North Dakota. The state with the largest wagering for offshore online casino is California at $180 million.
Can I gamble in Alaska?
Gambling in Alaska for most forms is illegal. I.e. the legal forms of gambling is tiny! There is no state lottery and doesn’t allow its residents to gamble on the national lottery. Both real and online casino games are illegal as is sports betting online and via bookmakers. Therefore in comparison and in relative terms to surrounding US states, you cannot gamble in Alaska.
But the supreme court has overturned the federal ban so why isn’t there a change in the prohibition of Alaskan gambling laws?
This is because it is up to each individual state to initiate a change to their state constitution which can be extremely complicated, and without the political will and ground support by the states’ constituents no change to the anti gambling laws will occur.
Change is in the air
In 2019 we have seen a push for regulation and the opening of the gambling market. There is political will for legalizing card rooms, which includes poker and other table games. Allowing gambling to be part of the tourist setting, with hotels, resorts and other attractions may bring in further revenue to the state.
As such House Bill 103 has been put forward to be debated in the House. Whether or not, this Bill will be successful remains to be seen.
Bingo is permitted in Alaska, but it can only be operated by charitable and tribal organizations that have first obtained a permit from the Alaskan Gaming Commission.
There are approximately over 10 bingo halls in Alaska, that are small to medium size and very fun to play at.
Online bingo is available and offered by offshore online bingo providers.
Legality of Gambling in Alaska
Illegal gambling activity includes:
- The owning and operating of slot machines
- Any electronic machine which offers gambling
- Table games
- Horse racing and greyhound racing
- Sports betting
- Online casinos (*)
Now although online casino activity is illegal in the state, if you are caught for the first time the repercussions are a slap on the wrist. You are issued with a “Violation”. A violation does not incur a penalty, fine or jail time. It merely is a warning that is noted. Like many other states in the US, there is no record of any ever receiving a violation or even proceeding past a violation and receiving a fine or penalty.
Legal gambling activity includes:
- Dog mushers contest
- Gambling devices are allowed on Native American reservations authorized by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act 1986 however this in practice appears to extend as far as electronic bingo.
- Bingo is allowed.
You may have guessed it, and that is Alaskans are a big fan of bingo. There are various bingo halls scattered around Alaska which bring together the community, and there’s also of course bingo online.
Perhaps “Casinos” isn’t quite the appropriate word to describe the gambling activity of bingo or pull tabs, nevertheless, the following is a list of “Casinos” in Alaska:
Agate Pull Tabs
100 Main St, Sandy Point Dr, West Point, NE 68788
Offers pull tab gaming only with 12 seats.
Atka Ira Council Pull Tabs
Atka Island, Alaska
Offers pull tab gaming only, along side a 4 room hotel.
Crystal Cruises – Crystal Serenity
Port of Anchorage, Anchorage, AK 99501
This cruise has top reviews for the high class accommodation and the scenic route that it takes to the glacier(s)! Its fair to say, most tourists are not on this cruise for the gambling experience. And that is completely understandable with the beauty of nature in this state.
Juneau Tlingit and Haida Tribal Bingo
3235 Hospital Dr, Juneau, AK 99801
Offers bingo only and has 500 seats.
Kake Tribal Heritage Bingo
541 Keku Rd, Kake, AK 99830
Offers bingo only in a bingo hall and Kake Hotel is adjacent to it.
Klawock IRA Pull Tab Shoppe
403 Bayview Boulevard, Tongass National Forest, Klawock, AK 99925
A tribal organization that has been running services foe the community since 1936 to maintain the cultural values and history of the area.
MIC Gaming Hall
Western Avenue, Metlakatla, AK 99926
Offers bingo only.
Native Village of Barrow Pull Tabs
M.L.K. Jr Dr, Winder, GA 30680
Has over 90 bingo machines, electronic and one touch.
Sitka Tribal Bingo
456 Katlian St,Sitka, AK
Offers bingo only.
Social gambling is allowed, but it must be conducted at one’s private residence. It cannot be conducted in open public.
Go to Canada
Alaska does not border any US state, and is therefore one of two states in “isolation” of the US mainland states. Alaska however borders parts of Canada which is a big bonus! If you live near enough to crossing the border to Canada then how about checking out the gaming options over there. You may be surprised at how much Canada has to offer.
Alaska’s Gambling Laws Interpreted by a Lawyer
Gamblers in Alaska are left out in the cold with the state permitting very few forms of gambling. Alaska casinos and poker clubs offer only charitable bingo games and pull-tabs. Even those types of gambling one would expect to find in the most restrictive of states – state-run lotteries and multi-state lottery games, such as Mega Millions – are prohibited. Given the state’s small population, lobbyists have little interest in pursuing less restrictive legislation, so it is unlikely these laws will change soon.
Sports Betting: Due to the unregulated nature of online gambling in the state, individuals wishing to participate in online sports betting and who are at least nineteen years old can place bets online for fantasy sports bets through licensed and regulated offshore platforms with both DraftKings and FanDuel accepting bets from Alabama residents though gamblers should note that sports betting is not strictly legal in the state and they are operating in a gray zone. Individuals who wish to make online sportsbooks may do so only through risky unlicensed offshore platforms.
Race Betting: Alaska has no race tracks and does not permit race or pari-mutuel betting, including simulcast and off-track.
Online Gambling & Gaming: All internet gambling is illegal in Alaska’s broad definition of gambling, which includes games of chance. AS 11.66.270. Unlike in other states, this definition is so broad as to arguably include amusement games, such as those offered by WorldWinner or (for those people who are skilled at pinball) even establishments like Chuck E. Cheese. Thus, gamers who participate in social gaming through online social casinos should note they are operating in a gay zone. Players who wish to participate in online poker and similar games may do so only through risky unlicensed offshore platforms.
Disclaimer: The information in this multi-state research is made available by a licensed, U.S. attorney, and is for informational purposes only. We make no representations that the information is complete or correct in its entirety. It should not be construed as providing specific legal advice, and you acknowledge that no attorney/client relationship exists between us. This brief should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed gambling and entertainment lawyer in your state.
Alaska is a fantastic state for site seeing, and its understandable that there are strong laws prohibiting gambling in its many forms (apart from bingo) to protect the cultural values of the state. It is highly unlikely that there will be a change in the anti gambling laws in the foreseeable future.
So, while in Alaska, enjoy bingo and enjoy the sites. If you are looking for that real money gambling action, then pop over to Canada where you will find a lot more gambling options.