Is Sports Betting Legal in Alaska?
Gambling is virtually non-existent in Alaska; with no casinos, poker rooms, horse racing venues and even a state lottery. The only live betting action available to residents are bingo rooms, pull-tab cards and charity wagers. As online betting isn’t explicitly prohibited by law, it’s the only viable solution for Alaskans searching for some form of gambling reprieve.
According to Section 11.66.270 of the Alaska Statutes, gambling is defined as “staking or risking 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”. This implies that any wager made in Alaska is considered unlawful, except for social games held at homes with no house player, house bank, or house odds and where no money is being made by the house. Though this law has generally not been enforced against bettors, gambling can be deemed as a violation for its first offense and Class B misdemeanor for each subsequent offense. So on the off chance that you are caught, you essentially get off with a warning the first time.
Gambling remains illegal in the state of Alaska, and no forms of regulated sports betting are available either online or offline. Since 2018, Alaska has not gone forward with any changes related to legalizing sports gambling. If an individual is found guilty of gambling, the offense can be issued as a violation for the first time and more severe penalties for subsequent offenses. Bookmakers are not as lucky, as promoting gambling in the first degree carries a Class C felony charge.
Betting with an offshore sportsbook appears to be the best option for sports bettors in Alaska. To date, there have been no reports of anyone being arrested or charged with a crime related to online sports betting in the state. Since Alaska has not regulated any form of online betting and is unlikely to do so anytime soon, there are also no specific laws in the Alaska Statutes that prohibit it.
Offshore sportsbooks don’t need to adhere to US federal laws or Alaska state laws as they are located in different countries. Most of these sportsbooks accept Alaska residents, demonstrating that up until now, the state has shown no resistance towards online gambling. In some ways, bettors can even feel safer placing bets while in Alaska as opposed to other states – due to the law that allows people to gamble within their own home and the warning issued upon a first offense.
Betting Laws By States