Alaska's Online Gambling Laws 2024
Gambling has been a push and pull topic in Alaska for some time. Unfortunately, the anti-gambling and casino portion of public opinion usually wins out, and Alaska does not allow land based gambling in most cases based on Alaska Gambling Laws.
Though most land based gambling is not permitted in the state of Alaska, there are some allowances that enable the Department of Revenue to legally issue permits to eligible parties to engage in and conduct various gambling type games, such as bingo, lotteries, pull tab games, raffles, mushing sweepstakes, rain classics, ice classics, and games or contests of skill, such as poker.
The following information will provide clarification concerning Alaska online gambling options and land based gambling options.
In Alaska all forms of gambling not explicitly made legal by law are illegal and referred to as unlawful gambling. Engaging in unlawful gambling is a crime. The first offense is a violation. All subsequent offenses are class B misdemeanor.
Definition of Gambling In Alaska State Law
Alaska has adopted a wide definition of gambling. Under Alaska gambling law a person is said to engage in gambling when he or she risks or stakes something of value on the result or outcome of a future contingent event or a contest of chance that is not under his or her control and upon an understanding or agreement that in the event of a specific result or outcome, the person or someone else will receive something of value. Poker played with real money or something of value will fall under this definition.
Alaska gambling laws do not specifically address online gambling. While state based online gambling may not be legal to operate or participate in, there are no state or federal laws which expressly prohibits US players from participating in legally licensed and regulated online gambling. Legal US friendly online gambling options that are available to Alaska players from licensed offshore sites include Alaska online casinos, Alaska online sports betting sites, online poker rooms, and online bingo halls accepting players from Alaska.
Social Gambling Laws in Alaska
Alaska gambling law provides an exception for social gambling. The law specifically defines what social gambling is. It must take place in a private home. There should be no house bank, house player or house odd. There must not be any house income from the game.
Alaska Poker Gambling Laws
In 2005, the state legalized bridge, cribbage, poker and rummy. This allowed the establishment of licensed card and poker rooms in Alaska. Each establishment had to first obtain a license and then a license for each card table. The establishment license cost $25,000 and each table license cost $10,000. As a result there aren't too many licensed card and poker rooms in the state. However it is perfectly legal to play poker for real money at licensed card rooms in Alaska that offer poker.
It is not legal to operate or play at an online poker room located within the state of Alaska. There are however multiple legal, licensed and regulated Alaska online poker rooms which are based outside of the United States and that welcome players from Alaska. These poker sites are legally operating within the industry and provide a safe and reliable gambling experience.
Alaska Gambling Laws For Land Based Operations
Alaska is one of the few states that does not have a lottery. Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is also not legal in the state. There are no land based casinos in the state. In fact other than permitted social gambling and the licensed card rooms, there are no other legal gambling avenues in Alaska. Legalizing any form of gambling is a difficult task. There must be an official request to the State House. This is a time consuming process. The House must then create a bill to legalize that form of gambling, hold debates on the floor of the house and deal with revenue issues before the bill is actually put to vote.
Gambling Laws Concerning Tribal Gambling For Individual States
The Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988, requiring state officials to negotiate in good faith compacts with tribes and creating licensing regulations. The IGRA was intended as a compromise between the tribal position that states have no right at all to affect activities on the reservation and the states' position that all state and local laws should apply. By 1994, nearly one hundred tribes in nineteen states, or about one-third of all tribes outside Alaska, conducted gaming operations, often in casinos larger than those in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. The Indian tribes in Alaska had to fight hard to be given legal authority to set up gaming facilities on tribal land. Presently there are less than 10 such tribal gaming facilities in the state. Four of them offer only bingo while two of them are pull tab shops. These facilities are not classified as casinos. Table games and slot machines are illegal under Alaska gambling law. As such these facilities offer only pull tab games and bingo.
Public Opinion Of Gambling In Alaska
In 2008 a referendum was held in Alaska asking voters if they approved the establishment of a state gaming commission. The commission would oversee bingo parlors, charitable gambling and other gambling establishments. The voters voted against the establishment of the state gaming commission. The Alaska Gambling Initiative which wanted all attempts at legalizing gambling for profit to be put for vote before the voters in the state did not receive enough votes to make it a ballot vote. Presently there are no bills pending in the state legislature seeking to legalize, regulate or ban online gambling or poker. Online poker is yet to be made explicitly legal by law in Alaska.
The Federal Wire Act does not make it illegal to play online poker or online casino games in Alaska or anywhere in the United States. The provisions of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA Bill) do not ban or prohibit residents of the United States from playing online poker. There are in fact no federal laws which prohibit or criminalize online gambling for US players at legally licensed and certified gambling sites.
Alaska Gambling Laws
For players who are interested in reading the official law and statute transcripts, you can visit the official Alaska State Legislature Website, where you will find all of the official legislation concerning the gambling laws in the state of Alaska.
FAQ's Related To Alaska Gambling Laws
Cribbage, bridge, rummy and poker were all legalized back in 2005 for specific establishments that wanted to acquire licensing through the state. Exorbitant licensing costs have resulted in a very few number of these land-based poker rooms but it remains legal to use them once you have found one.
Outside of the licensed card rooms and the legal exception to the law for social gambling, there are no other forms of gambling that are legal within the state of Alaska. There are no land-based casinos in the state, there are also no horse tracks, dog tracks, or even charity slot establishments. There are however, less than 10 tribal establishments that have significantly limited options to their tribal brothers and sisters in other parts of the country. Some of them only offer Bingo, while others also offer pull tabs. These facilities have not been classified legally as casinos.
This is one of the only exceptions to the gambling laws in the state of Alaska. The game must take place in a private dwelling and have no house odds, players or pools. The games primary function must be social and the owner of the private dwelling must not be making a profit on the game.
An official request must be made to the State House, which is a very time consuming process. After this has happened the House must draft a bill to legalize that particular form of gambling on the state level. Then there must be debates held on the floor to deal with the various issues that result from this type of legalization, like revenue expenditure and financial predictions. After this process is completed, the bill can be put to vote and ultimately decided on.
If the site is located in Alaska than that it is an illegal enterprise and you stand to be at risk if you use them. However, there are no legal limits placed upon residents of Alaska when using properly licensed and legally regulated offshore gambling websites. There are no state or federal laws that would prohibit you from such activity.
No, to our knowledge there has never been a recorded case of anyone being arrested for placing bets online, even with the illegal providers. The states don’t have the resources or the technology to track this type of online activity and even if they did, there would be a whole host of other problems to deliberate on based on the government surveillance of what was once our free internet. Aside from that, there are no laws that have ever been written that make placing bets online illegal at the state and federal level. You’re simply not breaking the law.
Although it seems particularly beneficial to the residents of Alaska, there has been no rumblings or even rumors in the political arenas that are considering this type of change for Alaska. The state has traditionally been very conservative in their views on gambling and it’s not likely to change in the immediate future.
Once PASPA is repealed the door is open for all the states in the country to start regulating sports betting businesses. Repealing PASPA does not, however, open any doors for the private citizen until the state has developed the infrastructure and gaming commissions in order to make it legal and realistic. First PASPA needs to be repealed at the federal level, then the states can choose to either regulate these businesses as they wish, or continue the sports betting prohibition that PASPA created.
Daily Fantasy Sports has been officially classified as a “game of skill” and is therefore legal and already in place in the State of Alaska. As a resident of Alaska you currently have access to all the major providers of fantasy sports, FanDuel, and Draftkings, and you also have access to Yahoo Fantasy sports and the Fantasy Draft.
**This site is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide any type of legal services, including professional interpretation of any laws or statutes. We are not lawyers and are not trained to provide such services. We are online gambling consultants with extensive experience in the online gambling industry.