Alaska, the largest and most northern state of the US, has always taken a rather cold and dismissive view of gambling. For example, there are no actual casinos and no state lottery – in fact, most forms of the land-based variant are outlawed. The few that are allowed include bingo bets and gambling on pull tab in First Nations reservations, as well as dog mushing and comparable tournaments of chance, which see the profits rather go to charitable organisations as opposed to individuals’ pockets. Even poker and blackjack are defined as games of chance, as opposed to skill, placing them under the restrictive measures of the state. So what is Alaska’s deal?
Perhaps Alaskans figured they’ve already gambled enough by living in the “final frontier”, on the edges of civilization. Or, perhaps it’s a combination of economics and conservative politics. With a scant population of just over 700,000, Alaska is a wealthy state with oil money royalties rolling into the coffers, as well as into citizens’ checking accounts. In short, this has encouraged a distinct lack of political and social will to make gambling a legal reality.
So what’s a wannabe gambler supposed to do in a state like this? Go online. At the moment there is nothing written in the Alaskan laws that explicitly prohibits online gambling, although there are regulations in place, which you’ll have to abide by. That said, the possibilities to play at online real money casinos, as well as fun play casinos, free play online casinos, mobile social casinos and Facebook casinos, are there, as long as you have an Internet connection.
The Legalities of Online Gambling
In the United States, gambling is regulated by the laws of each state, with the approach being quite varied. Some states have disallowed all forms of gambling, while others have seen it as a tourism and revenue booster. Most states, however, fall somewhere in between, with almost all of them allowing gambling in some limited form for charitable reasons.
When it comes to online gambling in Alaska, there are no laws stating that it’s legal, but there are also no laws stating that it’s illegal either. What do we make of this grey zone? Well, it means that there is no online gambling licensing authority for starters. Plus, if you consider the rigid attitude adopted by the government of Alaska when it comes to gambling activities and operations in the state, it’s worth noting that there’s no active campaign to outlaw online gambling. In fact, there is no mention at all of the Internet in their statutes. In other words, online gambling doesn’t fall under the scope of illegal gambling activities the way offline gambling does, and no-one has ever been prosecuted or arrested for gambling online. So unless you are someone who owns a site that takes wagers, bets, and more, in which case you’d be considered a gambling entity and charged, you can safely go ahead and play in the virtual world.
Take note that when it comes to gambling age limits for Alaskan players, it varies. For example, when it comes to both offline and online bingo, you have to be 19 years of age, whereas with online casino games, sportsbooks or poker rooms, you must be over 18.
Recommended Online Gambling Sites
Even though there are no clear-cut online gambling laws in place, Alaskan players can safely sign up to play and bet at selected online casinos and sportsbooks, operating legally from offshore destinations. There is always the risk that an explicit law can be put in place overnight, but in those cases, your online casino destinations will notify you and disallow you from using their site. If you’re looking for just entertainment without any kind of financial reward, many of these online casinos will have free play options. You can also search for free play online casinos and free fun online slots. These are 100% safe to play at, as there is no money in play, and therefore cannot be regarded as illegal.
Online Casino Banking
One of the biggest determinants for playing at a gaming site is, whether or not you can safely, quickly and easily deposit and withdraw funds. Take note that there is a federal law in Alaska, known as UIEGEA, which prevents financial institutions like banks from accepting gambling transactions. However, this should not be a hindrance, as all licensed and regulated online casinos that accept players from Alaska, offer a variety of secure and trusted banking methods that include some of the biggest global and region-specific names in credit and debit cards, prepaid vouchers, web wallets and more.
Online Gambling Tips for Alaskan Players
As a player from Alaska, you’ll want to make sure you’re operating within the limits of the law – for starters, you must be of legal gambling age. Then make sure you’re playing at a recommended online site from an offshore destination, which offers secure payment methods, a wide variety of top-quality games, generous bonuses and promotions, around-the-clock customer support, fair gameplay, responsible casino conduct and more. When it comes to the bonuses, make sure you read the fine print and remember…the Internet is also a great source for checking up on online casinos and seeing what other players have to say about it. There are also plenty of sites that will give you guidance as to what casinos you, as someone from Alaska, can play at. Also remember that there are numerous free play online casinos, which carry zero legal implications for you: these are great if you want to test out games and are happy to not win money. In addition, there are social casino apps that you can check out, as well as how to play on Facebook casinos.
Also worth noting, is that playing fantasy sports games are 100% legal in Alaska. These are considered games of skill and risk, as opposed to games of chance, which means they are not defined as gambling. We can therefore safely recommend these as a worthwhile alternative to online casinos and sportsbooks.
The Bottom Line
It’s a simple fact that Alaska is a state whose residents are largely ambivalent about gambling. It has no prominent pro-betting lobbyists to push through new gambling legislation. So for now, it exists in a zone where land-based gambling is heavily restricted, and online gambling is neither legal nor illegal. That said, you can safely gamble online, as long as you do so within the confines of what is allowed for Alaskan players.