Gambling in Alaska


JUST AN FYI – This page has a photo of Alabama and not Alaska on it.

Gambling Laws in Alaska are quite restrictive. The few opportunities that do exist in Alaska include some interesting quirks; charity betting on ‘Dog Mushing’ contests, and the ‘pull-tab games’ which are paper-based-lottery-cards.

Unfortunately, in Alaska, there no heroics of state legislators trying to update the law, resurrecting past glories or introducing online sports betting, or something like NJ online casinos and other forms of online gambling. Things have always been tough for gambling advocates in Alaska.

The great news is that for aficionados of Daily Fantasy Sport, Alaska is a legal and open playing field.

Alaska Casino Gambling

In its history, Alaska has not experienced a revenue crunch that has made it seriously consider gambling as a way to raise state tax revenues. This is why there are few legal ways to bet in the state and why there are no licensed commercial casinos in the state of Alaska and only a few Tribal Casinos. Casinos on cruise ships, however, are legal and available to Alaskan residents once the ship enters either international or Canadian waters.

Tribal Casinos in Alaska

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 permits tribes to operate the same forms of gambling that are legal in Alaska without any legal requirement to create a compact. As a result, most tribes offer bingo, pull-tabs, or similar games and are not required to set aside any winnings for charitable purposes. Many of these Tribal-operated establishments like to call themselves ‘Alaska casinos’, but offer only the most-basic-of-games and none of the casino game staples such as poker, blackjack and roulette.

Online Casinos in Alaska

In Alaska, there are no specific online casino laws relating specifically to the legal status of casinos online, although casino gambling is banned and the assumption in Alaska, is that under State Law, those laws are assumed to cover online gambling as well.

Without any online casino laws in Alaska, there has never been any recorded instances of individuals indicted for gambling online. On the other hand, nor has there ever been any debate on the topic at all by the Alaskan State Legislature.

Poker in Alaska

There is some limited good news regarding poker laws in Alaska – Home poker games are tolerated in Alaska, as long as the gambling takes place in one of the player’s homes, no-one acts as a ‘banker’ and no-one takes a cut of the winnings.

Other than that, charity poker, video poker, and online poker games are all deemed illegal under Alaskan State Law. According the interpretation of Alaskan State Gambling Laws, poker is illegal as it deemed to involve some form of random chance. Even Alaska’s Tribal Casinos are not allowed to offer their clients opportunities to play poker.

Poker Rooms

No legal poker rooms exist in the state of Alaska at which to play for real money.

Online Poker Laws

Online poker in Alaska and video poker online are both deemed illegal in the state. For full details, please refer to the above section on ‘Online Casinos in Alaska’.

Benefits of Gambling to Alaska

  • Gambling is a viable source of income and provides the state of Alaska with a secondary revenue stream.
  • ‘Future proofing’ of jobs and a secondary jobs employment stream in an economy dependent on fluctuating oil prices.
  • Brings more tourists to Alaska.
  • Opens up jobs and economic prosperity to Native American people.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Alaska

1960 – Bingo first allowed by Alaskan State Legislators as the first form of legal gambling in the state.

1984 – ‘Pull-tabs’ authorized in Alaska.

1993 – Tribal Casinos open in Alabama, with a limited number of raffles, bingos and ‘pull-tabs’ only. Charitable Gaming also legalized in the state.

1995 – For a limited time, gambling on cruise ships was legalized, since abolished.

1996 – The Alaska State Legislature legalizes 3 electronic dog sled racing pull-tab games with the ‘look-and-feel’ of video poker and slots games.

Visit our Alaska Online Sports Betting page for More information on the states Sports Betting Laws