Alaska gambling laws allow for bingo halls and pull-tab games, but otherwise bans most other forms of gambling in the state. Alaska is one of six states which does not have a state lottery. Also, it doesn’t allow the sale of multi-state lottery games like Powerball or Mega Millions tickets. Since Utah and Hawaii — which have 100% bans on gambling — are among those six states, it can be said that Alaska has some of the least permissive gaming laws in the country.
That being said, you’ll sometimes see 8 or 10 locations listed as Alaska casinos or poker clubs. A closer look at those venues show that they allow bingo games and pull-tabs, but nothing else. People who want to enjoy a legal bet in Alaska will need to find one of the bingo halls listed below.
Laws That Pertain to Alaska Gambling
Alaska has a set of restrictive gambling laws. Besides a few charitable gambling organizations, you’ll find almost nothing in the way of legal gambling. It makes sense when you consider that Alaska ranks 48th in terms of population and the distances between population centers are enormous. Driving into town to buy lottery tickets makes little sense — much less going to a casino.
Given the small number of people in the state, few national casino companies or lottery vendors are interested in lobbying the state’s lawmakers. Alaska has a smaller population than many of America’s cities — 17 in fact — and that isn’t taking into account the metropolitan areas surrounding individual cities (that would take the number to 77). For that reason, Alaska is not likely to allow new forms of gambling anytime soon.
AS 11.66.270: Contests of Chance
(1) “contest of chance” means a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that the skill of the contestants may also be a factor
(2) “gambling” means that a person stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the person’s control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that that person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.
The law stipulates play on “amusement games” as a form of gambling. Like in Ohio, an ambitious prosecutor might be able to bring gambling charges against a business-like Chuck E. Cheese or Dave & Buster’s, because their games could be described as “amusement games”. People playing at the Dave & Buster’s and Chuck E. Cheese locations in Anchorage probably have nothing to fear, but it’s an indication of how restrictive Alaska gaming laws are.
According to Sec. 11.66.200. Gambling:
A person commits the offense of gambling if the person engages in unlawful gambling. It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant was a player in a social game. Gambling is a violation for the first offense. Gambling is a class B misdemeanor for the second and each subsequent offense.
Alaska’s gambling law sounds like circular logic. “The offense of gambling” is defined as engaging in “unlawful gambling”. It goes on to elaborate that unlawful gambling is playing “in a social game”. Virtually any kind of game could be defined in that fashion, while there really is no set definition of unlawful gambling. Luckily, each offense is a Class B misdemeanor, so illegal gamblers won’t face felony charges.
Alaska Online Poker Laws
Alaska does not have legal online poker or online casinos. With so few forms of land-based gambling allowed, it is highly unlikely the state legislature will pass an online gambling bill.
Alaska is not one of the states which has considered the legalization sports betting. Once again, since there are no land-based casinos or race tracks, one would be hard pressed to figure out where a sportsbook would be placed, even if sports betting were legal. Alaska likely will be one of the last states to approve sports gambling.
While the state has not legalized and regulated daily fantasy sports, most DFS sites accept real money players from Alaska. DraftKings and FanDuel each operate in Alaska. For the time being, it appears that the Alaska Department of Justice has better things to do than ban daily fantasy sports. Players should know they play in a legal gray area, though.
No. Alaska does not have land-based casinos. If you read on certain authority sites about the brick-and-mortar casinos, you’ll find bingo halls like Tlingit & Haida Community Bingo in Juneau or Klawock IRA Smoke Shop in Klawock listed as casinos. They aren’t. Each of the venues have bingo gaming and pull-tabs, but nothing else.
No. Alaska does not have legal betting tracks for horse racing or dog racing. Also, it doesn’t have betting shops for placing pari-mutuel bets or sports bets.
No. Alaska does not allow off-track betting or simulcasting, so you’ll find no OTBs in the state.
Yes. Alaska has a number of charitable gambling organizations in the state. These might be tribal bingo parlors or commercial venues with pull-tabs. While you won’t find many bingo halls, Alaska has 11 different charitable gaming locations in 11 different cities, including Juneau and Anchorage. Those sites are listed below.
|City||Name of Bingo Hall||Address||Phone Numbers||Details|
|Anchorage||Lucky Boniface Bingo||360 Boniface Parkway, Anchorage, Alaska 99504-4908||(907) 250-1737||250 Bingo Seats|
|Anchorage||Northern Lights Bingo||703 West Northern Lights Boulevard, Suite 100A, Anchorage, Alaska 99503-2644||(907) 278-2975||300 Bingo Seats|
|Anchorage||Tudor Bingo Center||1436 East Tudor Road, Anchorage, Alaska 99507-1034||(907) 561-4711||1,114 Bingo Seats|
|Eagle River||Eagle River Bingo & Casino||12130 Regency Drive, Eagle River, Alaska 99577-7712||(907) 522-1616||150 Bingo Seats|
|Barrow||Native Village Barrow Pull Tabs||1082 Kiogak Street, Barrow, Alaska 99723||(907) 852-4411||Pull Tabs|
|Juneau||Tlingit and Haida Community Bingo||3235 Hospital Drive, Juneau, Alaska 99801-7809||(907) 463-5690||300 Bingo Seats|
|Klawock||Klawock IRA Smoke Shop||310 Bayview Boulevard, Klawock, Alaska 99925||(907) 755-4807||60 Bingo Seats|
|Kodiak||Sun’aq Tribal Bingo||312 West Marine Way, Kodiak, Alaska 99615-6396||(907) 486-6735||300 Bingo Seats|
|Metlakatla||Metlakatla Indian Community Bingo||Eighth and Waterfront Metlakatla, Alaska 99926||(907) 886-4255||90 Gaming Machines, 120 Bingo Seats|
|Sand Point||Agate Pull Tabs||100 Main Street, Suite 3A, Sand Point, Alaska 99661||(907) 383-5833||Pull Tabs|
|Sitka||Sitka Tribal Bingo||235 Katlian Street, Alaska Native Brotherhood Hall, Sitka, Alaska 99835-7502||(850) 864-4141||100 Bingo Seats|
Alaska exists in a gray area when it comes to social gaming. Alaska does not have a law which specifically bans free play social casinos. At the same time, Alaska has an expansive definition of what constitutes gambling or “a thing of value”, so Alaska residents playing social casino games on Facebook or using a mobile app to play Double Down Casino, Slotomania, Zynga, or Big Fish Games should be warned it might be considered illegal.
In 2017, a judge in Washington State ruled that Big Fish Games is illegal in the state, despite offering no prize money or prizes of any kind. A woman spent $800 to buy tokens for Big Fish, then sued when she lost the tokens. Her lawyer claimed the money she spent was a thing of value, so the social casino was a form of gambling. Since a US judge made such a ruling, anyone living in a state which does not have laws or stated policies protecting social casino games should be cautious.