Casinos in Alaska and the gambling industry in general is some the most restricted in the United States. At least for fans of casino gambling, there are tribal casinos allowed in the state.
Even those are limited to certain games. Otherwise, it is pretty much controlled tribal gaming and charitable gambling. There is not even a state lottery in Alaska.
So, what are the legal forms of gambling in Alaska? Basically, tribal casinos operate in the state. They are hardly casinos since they only operate bingo and pull-tab machines.
Pull tabs are at best imitation slots using paper tickets instead of coins and spinning reels. The other legal form of gambling allowed is charity fundraising gambling. Even then the law restricts that to bingo, lotteries, raffles and other small lottery-like games of chance.
If you are in Alaska but still want to enjoy the standard classic casino games, try out the casino cruises. These sail out to international Canadian waters where more forms of casino games are allowed.
For our readers outside of Alaska, there are online casinos that accept players that you can access in your states. We have listed them below.
Best Casino Sites in Alaska
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Tribal Alaska Casinos
- Agate Pull Tabs Sand Point, Alaska
- Atka Ira Council Pull Tabs Atka, Alaska
- Juneau Tlingit and Haida Tribal Bingo Juneau, Alaska
- Kake Tribal Heritage Bingo -Kake, Alaska
- Klawock IRA Pull Tab Shoppe Klawock, Alaska
- MIC Gaming Hall- Metlakatla, Alaska
- Native Village of Barrow Pull Tabs- Barrow, Alaska
- Sitka Tribal Bingo -Sitka, Alaska
Cruise Casinos in Alaska
Not all hope is lost for Alaskan gambling fans. There are cruises that have a wide range of casino games. There you can enjoy classic casino card games such as poker, blackjack, baccarat and more.
Additionally, out get to experience legitimate slot machines not pull-tab machines. So, are casino cruises legal? In short yes.
These casino boats sail out to Canadian waters where gambling is legal. That way Alaskan players can enjoy classic casino games legally.
- Crystal Cruises – Crystal Serenity in Anchorage, Alaska
- Royal Caribbean International – Radiance of the Seas in Juneau, Alaska
History of Gambling in Alaska
Gambling in Alaska has not expanded, but not for lack of trying. For the longest time, you could not gamble in any way in Alaska. That seemed to change in 1960 when charitable gambling was legalized.
All the gaming operations records had to be public up to 1993. Casino Cruises operated on Alaskan waters until 1995. Below is a timeline of Alaskan gambling versus the state law.
1990– Alaska voters go to the polls to vote weigh in on legalizing gambling and establishing an Alaska Gambling Board. The result was 64% of the voters against the legalization of gambling
1993– the National Indian Gaming Commission approves proposal for a casino in Klawock. Two years 1995 – State legislators undercut the plans made by Klawock when they criminalize card, wheel and dice games. Not only did this affect the proposed casino plans but it affected non-profit organisations who used those gambling games to fund-raise. Additionally, other native tribes who had planned to follow suit were effectively stopped in their tracks.
1995 – The state also bans casino cruises from operating in Alaska waters
2003– A bill that would have laid ground for a state lottery is rejected.
2003– Another attempt at allowing cities in Alaska with larger populations to have casinos was shut down when the house voted against it. In that same year the proposal to turn the defunct Alaska Seafood International plant in Anchorage into a casino was also rejected.
2005– A proposal typo vote on an Alaska Video Lottery Law was rejected
2008– A vote was held for Alaska residents to weigh in on whether they wanted gambling legalized. The majority again voted against the motion.
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