Alaska online sports betting laws
Alaska’s nickname of “the Last Frontier”, could prove extremely apt when it comes to the spread of sports betting across the US. Prospects for sports betting to become legal here any time soon are extremely slim, despite recent efforts by the state’s governor.
Administrative law and government relations attorney
Jennifer has a degree in Journalism from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C, in 2005. She's been living in Las Vegas helping clients in the casino and gaming industry, as well as other regulated businesses, across Nevada for over 15 years.
She has authored and co-authored numerous articles and books on US gaming law, including most recently, The Law of Regulated Gambling: A Practical Guide for Business Lawyers, American Bar Association (2020), and That (Expletive) Broad: Women Who Broke Barriers in the Casino and Gaming Industry (2020).
Is sports betting legal in Alaska?
No, there is no such thing as Alaska sports betting, and it is unlikely that will change any time soon.
Is online sports betting legal in Alaska?
No, Alaska online sports betting is not legal. The prospects of any form of betting being allowed soon are small.
When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down in 2018, the opportunity arose for states to permit sports betting within their borders. Alaska has been conspicuously reluctant to make the most of that opportunity.
Historically, one reason for the lack of urgency may be the lucrative oil industry in the state. Alaskan legislators may be aware of the potential revenue from sports betting, but unlike many other states it hasn’t been regarded as a much-needed revenue booster. But with a more than $2 billion budget deficit in the state in 2021, the tides may be turning, despite the fact that Alaska’s 750,000-strong population has shown repeatedly it is not in favor of sports betting.
There were attempts to legalize sports betting in Alaska in 1987, 1990, 1993 and 2008. The last of these went to a public vote and was heavily defeated.
The only sport on which you can gamble at all is dogsledding – and that happens only when run by a charitable organization.
The most recent push for legalization of Alaska sports betting was led by the state’s governor, Mike Dunleavy, in 2020. He spoke out in support of a variety of forms of gambling, including sports betting, as a way of diversifying the state’s income.
As things stand, there are no commercial casinos in Alaska, and it is one of only five states in the US without a state lottery. Dunleavy supported two bills, neither of which made it out of committee as the Alaskan legislative season closed early because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
It remains to be seen whether Dunleavy or any other champion of Alaska sports betting will resume the fight any time soon.
Even if Alaska sports betting becomes a reality in the near future, it will make little sense for it to be conducted via newly established casino-based sportsbooks.
As the biggest state in the US, but with a population of well under a million, people are spread pretty thin.
Establishing Alaska online sports betting would be far more logical than restricting would-be sports bettors to a few distant casinos.
It may come as a surprise to learn that, in what is clearly a deeply conservative state, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is available in Alaska. The state’s attorney general has yet to weigh in on whether DFS is considered to be illegal gambling and, therefore, the major DFS operators all offer fantasy wagering in Alaska.
Without any major sports teams in The Last Frontier, Alaskans have to look elsewhere for sides to follow. The Seattle Seahawks of the NFL get plenty of support – even though they play home games more than 2,000 miles from Anchorage, the state capital.
Hockey games are also keenly followed, given the proximity of Canada and the presence of a Division I NCAA hockey program in the state.
Even though there is no such thing as legal Alaska casino-based or online betting, people here do find ways to gamble.
As a result, it is reassuring to find there is access to sites with resources to help people who get into difficulties through gambling, and to help their families.
Gambling Therapy offers a wide range of assistance, insight and practical tools for anyone with concerns.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is responsible for general health and/or addiction services in this state, and may also have information on problem gambling.
The National Council on Problem Gambling also offers a host of information, as well as a 24-hour confidential helpline.
One candidate tries to enter the Anchorage mayoral race on a platform of legalizing sports betting but doesn’t get enough support to make it into the election.
Alaska holds a referendum on legalizing gambling – it loses by a margin of two-to-one.
Plans were drawn up for a tribal casino in Alaska; construction had just begun when the state passed a new law banning casino games.
PASPA is ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court.
Bills introduced by state governor Mike Dunleavy in the Senate and the House fail to get through committee.
As things stand, nowhere at all. There is no such thing as Alaska sports betting, and legal Alaska betting sites do not exist.
As things stand, no. There is no such thing as Alaska sports betting, and Alaska betting sites do not exist. There is little prospect of that situation changing in the near future, after the latest effort to legalize sports betting in 2020 came to nothing.
FanDuel does offer Daily Fantasy Sports games in Alaska, where the state has yet to make any legal determination as to whether DFS is illegal gambling. However, FanDuel does not currently offer its sportsbook services here.
If Alaska online sports betting ever becomes a reality, the people in the state will have a host of great Alaska betting sites to choose from. There are numerous regulated, licensed operators who deliver a broad range of markets and excellent customer service to people all over the world.
The only form of online gambling that is currently offered in Alaska is Daily Fantasy Sports. Bingo and wagering on dogsledding are allowed only when run by a charitable organization. Furthermore, Alaska is one of only five states without a state lottery. It is little surprise that sports betting is not allowed in Alaska.