Alaska has never been a permissive state when it comes to gambling. For many years, the only form of betting allowed within the borders of the state was tied with traditional outdoor activity contests. The local population voted against allowing tribal gaming operators to offer classic casino games like slots of baccarat, so the only games available to Alaska-based gambling enthusiasts are pull-tabs and bingo. Gambling online isn’t regulated in Alaska, so most people simply visit offshore US-friendly casinos when they want to play poker or casino games.
Gambling in Alaska
Alaska has some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the United States and does not have any traditional casinos or casino games available. There are a large number of cruise ships that leave from its ports that are allowed to open their casinos when at sea, but beyond bingo, there are no land-based Alaskan casinos.
Alaska Online Casinos
Alaska is a state that doesn’t have any dedicated iGaming laws or regulations, which means that the local businesses aren’t able to offer any gambling-related services online. However, the act of playing real money games over the internet isn’t listed as a punishable offense, so many experts agree that using offshore gambling sites is perfectly legal in Alaska. The local law enforcement doesn’t even acknowledge the existence of iGaming sites and doesn’t try to apply the general gambling regulations to online play. As a result, all major offshore casino, poker, and sports betting operators have absolutely no qualms about accepting Alaska residents. The number of sites available to Alaska-based gambling enthusiasts is very high, but in the end, most seasoned gamblers stick to the few tried and tested sites that are guaranteed to be reliable. You should be very careful about joining sites that haven’t made a name for themselves yet, as many dishonest people have been targeting US-based players by hosting scam sites pretending to be legitimate US-facing offshore iGaming services. If you’re an inexperienced gambler, you should definitely consider starting with one of the operators listed here. All of those casino sites have an excellent track record and receive plenty of traffic on a daily basis.
The lack of Indian casinos can be largely attributed to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971. Casinos must be constructed on restricted land or land that is in trust, which is limited in Alaska. State law prevails, and the state has shown few signs of changing.
There are no laws that restrict residents from gambling at online casinos that accept Alaska players, but there aren’t any online companies operating inside its borders.
Alaska Sportsbooks & Sports Betting
Sports betting is not legal in Alaska. According to Austin Baird, a spokesperson for Governor Bill Walker’s office, “There has been no legislative activity on this issue in Alaska.”
While other states are rushing to make sports betting legal for their residents, Alaska is showing little desire to do the same.
Fantasy Sports Gambling and eSports
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) are considered to be games of skill, and not chance, and thus they are not illegal in Alaska. There are no laws specifically targeting the regulation of daily fantasy sites, but that also means there are no laws making them illegal. All major DFS companies can be accessed by customers in Alaska.
Gambling on eSports is prohibited by law.
Considering the climate of Alaska, it isn’t surprising the state does not have any horse or greyhound racetracks. It also doesn’t allow any off-track betting (OTB) bureaus, and it is illegal to bet on horse or greyhound racing.
There are charitable exceptions made for dog sled races and fishing derbies, as well as other traditional Alaskan oddities like salmon canning and the arrival of Canadian geese.
Alaska Poker Games
Card games are illegal in Alaska, and the state has no legal live poker rooms. Home poker games are allowed, as long as the host of the game doesn’t make a profit.
Online poker rooms are not regulated by the state and can be accessed by customers from within state borders.
Alaska is one of just six U.S. states that doesn’t have a statewide lottery. A 2015 study said Alaska could raise $8 million annually by operating a lottery, but so far lawmakers have shown no interest in creating one.
Pull-tabs, or scratch lottery cards, are legal, but heavily regulated and restricted. You must be at least 21 years old to purchase a pull-tab.
If you are going to gamble in Alaska, bingo is your best and most available option. All bingo halls are run by native groups or charitable organizations that have applied for and been granted a gaming license. The laws remain restrictive as to who can hold a license and how many monthly games can be held, so even though bingo is available, its scope is limited when compared to other states.
Bingo halls can be found in the following Alaskan cities:
- Eagle River
- North Pole
You must be at least 19 years old to play bingo in Alaska.
Alaska Online Gambling FAQ
How Do I Get Started?
You don’t have to be in Alaska in order to join an Alaska-friendly casino, poker room or sportsbook, as most of those sites accept new customers from all over the United States. In most cases, opening a new real money account requires you to submit some basic personal information and to provide the operator with some proof of your identity, such as an ID photo or scan. Funding your online gambling account is also fairly easy and is very similar to shopping online – all you have to do is visit the cashier menu, choose the appropriate payment option and confirm the transaction.
How Do I Get My Money if I Win?
The money that you transfer to your gambling site is always at your disposal and you’re free to request a cash out at any point in time. If you’d like to withdraw your winnings or even all of your funds, all you have to do is submit a withdrawal request via the aforementioned cashier menu. Withdrawal requests are usually processed within three days, so if you go for a standard wire transfer, you’re pretty much guaranteed to receive your payment within two weeks.
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Alaska?
Most sites require their customers to be at least 18 years old. The legal age for live bingo and pull tabs is 19 and 21.
How do I open an account?
All you need to do is visit the site that you’d like to use and fill out a short registration form. This requires providing the site with basic personal information and proof of identity.
Where can I open my account from?
Alaska-friendly sites accept customers from all over the United States, so your specific location doesn’t really matter.
From where can I access Alaska online gambling sites?
Alaska-facing gambling sites can be accessed from anywhere in the US. Please note that some sites refuse to accept customers from states that have strict gambling laws.
Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in Alaska?
Section 11 of Alaska Statutes contains all the information you might need.
How do I deposit to my online gambling account?
In most cases, you’ll have to use a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. American Express is also an option for some sites
How do I withdraw my winnings?
Popular cash out methods include wire transfer and check by courier. Using a different method usually requires you to contact customer support first.
Is my money safe?
Yes, as long as you stick to well-known and reputable sites. Being honest and fair with their customers is what allows them to thrive in the competitive iGaming industry.
What body regulates gambling in Alaska?
The Gaming Unit of the Alaska Department of Revenue is the only local gambling agency.