Gambling has always been highly popular across the United States, and Alaska is no different. However, the situation in the state is quite complex when it comes to gambling laws. Still, where there is will, there is way, and gamblers from Alaska have been fairly successful with finding ways to play betting games when they really wanted it.
Today, we wanted to take a look at the situation in the country regarding land-based and online casinos alike and see what can and can’t be done in the state of Alaska as of right now.
Alaska Gambling Landscape
The first thing to note about gambling in Alaska is that the local laws and regulations are not that developed. At least not if you compare them to some of the other states where gambling has been legalized for years now.
Alaska, for example, has casinos on Native American reservations. However, gambling devices, such as slots, are otherwise banned. The state also doesn’t allow horse racing, but it does allow dog mushers contests. Other similar games that are in some way associated with the state’s culture and environment are also permitted. It is also legal to engage in social gambling, meaning if a group of friends gambles in someone’s private residence — this is not considered illegal
Finally, Alaska law also allows certain games of chance and/or skill. Some examples include bingo, Deep Freeze Classic, Goose Classic, Canned Salmon Classic, Fish Derby, Ice Classic, Mushing Sweepstakes, Mercury Classic, Rain Classic, and more.
Offshore Online Casinos
Currently these are the top offshore casinos that offer online gambling services to Alaska:
Ignition Casino is a platform licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and in possession of the eCOGRA certificate. The platform was founded in 2016, and it is well-known for a wide variety of games, multiple language support, top-notch customer service available via email, live chat, and phone call, as well as multiple payment methods.
The casino also offers rich bonuses, promotions, and additional benefits. Keeping up with the times, Ignition casino also supports crypto transactions. All in all, it is a great platform for those who seek a platform rich with live games, and we recommend it.
2. Cafe Casino
Next up, we have Cafe Casino, which only caters to USA players including players from Alaska. The casino itself is fairly young, as it only launched in 2020. However, it grew quickly and attracted users from all over the country thanks to its generous bonuses, acceptance of cryptocurrencies, and various other payment methods.
Cafe Casino holds a Curacao gaming license, and it has a rather extensive game library, featuring slots, blackjack, multiple versions of roulette including American and European, and all kinds of other games that players from all walks of life enjoy. If you decide to stick around, you even become eligible for loyalty and VIP programs, and there are always promotions involving something called a mystery bonus.
The platform is also big on security and customer support, and it is available via mobile and desktop, so you can play your favorite games from home or while on the go. Read more about it in our Cafe Casino review, or if you wish to head over to the platform and start playing, you can do that by clicking here.
3. Wild Casino
In the third spot, we have Wild Casino — a platform that offers excellent bonuses, hundreds of games, and it currently accepts players from Alaska. The casino was launched in 2017, and it obtained a license from the Panama Gaming Commission. Since then, it has been a common gambling site for US gamblers, constantly adding more games through partnerships with new software providers.
It features slots, tables, video poker, and, of course, roulette. Other than that, it has a lot of benefits that make it attractive to players, such as fast payouts, generous bonuses, the great quality of games, multiple payment options, compatibility with various devices, and more. In the end, it is one of the most popular platforms for a reason, and it is no accident that it ranks high on our list. To learn more about Wild Casino, read our Wild Casino Review, which covers everything that the platform has to offer in detail.
In fourth place, we have Bovada, which is both a casino and a sportsbook. The platform was launched in 2011, which was also when it obtained the Kahnawake Gambling Commission’s license. However, after the Commission had a policy change in 2016, Bovada decided to voluntarily drop the license in protest. As of 2022, the platform has been running without a license for six years now, and it has never had any issues as a result of its situation.
Bovada features hundreds of games, with 300 of them being slots alone. It offers multiple payment methods, including cryptocurrencies, and it has a very rich welcome bonus that continues to draw new users in. There are also various promotions and even a loyalty and VIP program for long-term users. Finally, it also has very capable customer support that you can reach via phone, email, or live chat.
Bovada is a platform with a clear vision of what the online gambling industry is supposed to look like in order for gamblers to get what they need, and you can learn everything about it from our in-depth review.
In the fifth spot, we have Slots.lv, which is a platform that was launched in 2013 with a special focus on offering an exceptional selection of slot machines, and it provides services for players from the USA including Alaska.
The platform is well-known for a variety of highly desirable features and benefits, such as $10 minimum deposits, generous welcome bonuses, cryptocurrency incentives, and over 400 available games. Slots.lv is also very safe thanks to advanced encryption, as well as the fact that it holds the license of Curacao Gaming Authorities.
Nearing the end of the list, we have BetOnline, it’s a comprehensive gambling site that also mostly focuses on acting as a sportsbook, but it does still have plenty of casino games, including roulette.
Its minimum deposit is a bit above average, sitting at $20 when most platforms offer $10, but that is also still rather affordable. The platform supports multiple payment methods, including crypto, and it holds a license by Panama City authorities. It has a great welcome bonus, and plenty of crypto-involving promotions, so using digital currencies might be something worth considering.
7. Super Slots
At the end of the list we have Super Slots. This is a leading casino rich with slot games, with its entire theme revolving around this most popular type of casino game. Of course, the platform doesn’t feature only slots but also plenty of live games, table games, and more. If you have any questions, feel free to contact its customer support which will gladly help you in any way possible.
Super Slots is a fairly young platform launched in 2020, but it accepts US players, it has a massive welcome bonus, it accepts crypto payments, and its minimum deposit is only $25. Apart from crypto, you can also deposit funds via Visa, Mastercard, bank wire transfers, or American Express. The platform is perfectly safe and licensed by the Panama Gaming Control Board, which makes it compliant with the US gambling laws.
Is Online Gambling in Alaska Legal?
With online casinos thriving across the US and in fact the world, we were also interested in learning how Alaska treats online gambling platforms. As it turns out, there are no regulations in regard to online games. With that being the case, local businesses are prohibited from operating online casino sites. However, offshore websites are still not banned from accepting Alaskan gamblers, even though playing on out-of-state platforms is considered illegal.
The situation is not clear, and most of it is in the legal gray area, but one thing that is certain is that playing on international platforms does not provide players with security and protection from the local government. For example, if the player deposits money and the casino refuses to give it back, the player has no one to turn to for help. The same is true for any potential winnings made on foreign websites.
In practice, players will likely be able to get their funds, provided that they did their gambling on licensed, legitimate websites.
History of Gambling in Alaska
With gambling being only partially regulated and allowed only under specific circumstances, there is not a lot in terms of gambling history to note.
The first legislature that legalized certain forms of gambling for the first time in the history of Alaska came in 1960. It gave the Department of Revenue full control over gambling activities, with 100% oversight. At the time, the state law only allowed bingo.
Then, 24 years later, in 1984, the Department also authorized pull-tab games for the first time ever. Another 9 years passed before the bill HB 168 changed every statute governing gambling, and for the first time, the state took regulatory control of 3rd party vendors. The vendors were allowed to contract with the local government and sell pull-tabs to gamblers directly. The bill also took minimum payments from 15% to 30% of adjusted gross income.
In 1995, the state legislature legalized gambling activities on cruise ships that sailed Alaskan waters, although they were required to pay a fee in order to offer games. This generated over half a million in revenue in a single year when this was possible. Then came 1996, and the state legislature legalized three additional games — Deep Freeze Classic, Snow Machine Classic, and Sled Dog Race Classic.
In 2003, a new bill known as HB240 attempted to create a state lottery system, but unfortunately, it was rejected by the state legislature. Finally, after nearly 20 years of inactivity, Governor Mike Dunleavy attempted to legalize sports betting in the state in 2020 by once again trying to bring a lottery system. However, this attempt also failed, and so to date, Alaska doesn’t have a state lottery, sports betting or legalized online or land-based casinos other than the ones in Native American reservations.
Casinos in Alaska
Speaking of Native American tribe-run casinos, they are allowed to operate, but even they cannot legally offer slots, video poker, or classic table games. That limits them to offering pull-tab games, although the number of venues that offer them is quite limited. It also doesn’t help that Alaska is among the largest US states, and among the most scarcely populated ones at the same time. So, online casinos would have much greater success in Alaska than brick-and-mortar types of establishments.
Lloyd is passionate about online gambling, he lives and breathes blackjack and other table games, and he enjoys sports betting.
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