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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
You must be at least 19 years old to play bingo in Alaska.