Bills to Legalize Online Sports Betting in Alaska
Though wagering on sports is currently illegal in Alaska, sports betting news tells us that this might change soon.
There are currently two bills that might make sports betting a legal form of gambling in Alaska. One is SB 188, for the state Senate, and the other is HB 246, for the House of Representatives. Neither of these bills is specifically for setting up sports wagering, but they include it as a court. If lawmakers were to approve sports betting in AK, there would be many benefits for the local economy. Not only would the industry create jobs, but it would allow Alaskans to engage in sports in new ways.
While there are no major league teams in Alaska, betting providers may include new bets specific to this state besides the larger events such as the Superbowl. For example, official sports betting opportunities may open for the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.
You can track these bills here as they progress through their respective legislative houses.
Can You Play Casino Games Online in Alaska?
Unfortunately, casino gambling is not legal in Alaska either. If a cruise ship enters international waters on its voyage, this might be one of the few ways you can play casino games as an Alaskan.
Practically the only form of gambling in Alaska that is currently legal is small bingo halls throughout the state. This is the closest the Last Frontier has to casinos, and it does not look like this position will change soon.
If you live in Alaska and want to try your hand at casino games, you may be best waiting until you can head on a holiday to Las Vegas or somewhere else with legal casinos. Some sites do claim to offer gambling to Alaskans, but these sites are unregulated and might not be safe.
Is Online Poker Legal in Alaska?
Sports betting and casinos might be off the cards, but is online poker legal? Alaska has few rules covering online poker. While it is not banned outright, there are no sites covered by regulations from Alaskan officials. You should avoid these sites as they are not a safe place to play.
However, there are some benefits poker could bring to Alaska. Online poker games have been set up in states where the game is regulated. Should poker become a regulated form of gambling in Alaska, games like this could become a great way for Alaskans to interact and play with a wider group of people. Delaware and Nevada are two of the states with this system already in place; opening it to Alaska too could have many benefits.
For live poker, there are few opportunities out there. Though social games are permitted, you will only be able to find other games on cruise ships.
If there are any updates on the legality of poker in Alaska, you will find them on this page.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Sites Legal in AK?
The conversation in Alaska on daily fantasy sports is one that we are seeing in many other states too. While daily fantasy sports are not strictly legalized and regulated, there is also nothing to prohibit them. Many of the top providers already offer their products in the Last Frontier, including DraftKings and FanDuel.
While anyone can choose to take part in daily fantasy sports here, LegalBetting’s advice will always be for players to wait until there is some form of regulation in place. Having the regulation and backing of the state government will always make something much safer for Alaskans.
The Creation of the Alaskan Lottery
Alaska is one of the few states that currently does not have a lottery system. Bills SB 188 and HB 246 address the creation of an Alaska State Lottery. Most unusually, these bills were also introduced by the Governor, Mike Dunleavy. These bills were introduced to their respective Houses on February 12, 2020 and would establish the Alaska Lottery Corporation.
This would allow for the sale of lottery tickets within the state and proposes both in-state and multi-jurisdictional games. The bills also grant the new lottery commission to allow the purchasing of tickets through the internet. This would make the Alaskan Lottery the first in the USA to launch with this in place.
Other Key Facts About Gambling in Alaska
Should either of the Alaska Lottery bills make it into law, profits from ticket sales will go to the state’s General Fund. This is incredibly important as it helps finance many of the projects around the state, such as healthcare, transportation projects, and government operations.
The Lottery would be exempt from tax and would not have to pay a license fee. However, this might change if sports betting is introduced in Alaska. If other providers could offer odds to residents of the Last Frontier, the government may choose to introduce some form of taxation. This would allow them to claim some of the revenue earned from sales and put it to the General Fund, too.
The Future Looks Bright for Alaskan Gamblers
The future of gambling in Alaska hinges somewhat on the success of SB 188 or HB 246. However, it is likely that one of these bills will make it into law. While casino gambling might be a long way off, sports betting and a state lottery might flourish in Alaska sooner than we think.