There are currently no legal sports betting options available in Alaska. As it stands, gambling is limited to fantasy sports, bingo, and dogsledding. Even still, bingo and dogsledding are only available when run by a charitable organization.
After the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018, each state in the US can create its own laws and regulations for sports betting, but Alaska has been slow to address the issue.
Fantasy sports are allowed in Alaska due to the wording in the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act which classifies fantasy sports as a game of chance.
Given Alaska’s separation from the rest of the United States, there are few alternatives nearby for Alaskans to place a sports wager in person. Washington is the closest state with legalized sports betting, and can only be reached from AK after a days-long drive through Canada.
When Will Online Sports Betting Be Legal in Alaska?
There seems to be a lack of urgency in regulating sports betting in Alaska. From a revenue standpoint, Alaska has been prosperous thanks to its successful oil industry. As a result, the potential tax benefits of legalizing sports betting in Alaska are not as enticing as in other states.
That being said, there were attempts to legalize sports betting in Alaska in 1987, 1990, 1993, and 2008. The latest attempt saw a referendum shot down by a large majority of the state’s voters.
Sentiment does seem to be changing, with Alaska’s fiscal budget facing a large deficit. Governor Mike Dunleavy proposed two bills in early 2020, SB 188 and HB 246, which would allow for multiple forms of legal gambling, including sports betting. The bills were known as The Alaska Lottery Corporation Act.
Alaskan residents are said to spend an estimated $348 million annually on sports betting out-of-state, and legalization could bring in at least $100 million per year. Hopes were high for these bills to gain approval, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Alaska state legislature ended their session early, allowing the bills to expire in May.
Alaska’s governor is spearheading the effort to legalize sports betting in the state. There is hope that legal sports betting could make it’s way to Alaska in the coming years.
Alaska Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting legal in Alaska?
Alaska residents are permitted to the following forms of gambling: fantasy sports betting, instant games, bingo, multi-state draw games, and keno.
Does Alaska have gambling?
There are no licensed casinos in Alaska, though Alaskans often partake in cruises that offer casino gambling in international waters.
What is the state sport of Alaska?
Alaska’s state sport is dog mushing, designated in 1972.