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Alaska Sports Betting Updates

No form of sports betting is currently legal in Alaska. If AK is ever to legalize sports betting in the future, the state is likely to favor online sports betting over retail sportsbooks due to its vast size and small population.

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Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites in Alaska 2022

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Sports betting sites are not available in Alaska. However, sports fans in AK can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

Alaska Sports Betting Summary

The Last Frontier is famous for its tricky living conditions, making it difficult for sports betting to launch. As one of the most sparsely populated states in the US, but the largest by area, Alaska lawmakers have ruled out the launch of retail wagering as impractical. However, an online-only market is possible. While lawmakers failed to pass legislation in 2022, another attempt to alter the state betting laws is likely in 2023.

The state’s Governor Mike Dunleavy has been one of the biggest supporters of sports wagering, introducing bills to legalize sports betting and a state lottery in 2020. However, his legislation didn’t pass the House or the Senate. If any bill did reach his desk, the Governor is likely to sign it and introduce new revenue sources to the state. Read our complete guide to discover everything about sports wagering in Alaska.

Alaska Online Sportsbooks Summary

If sports betting launches in Alaska, online wagering will be at the forefront. Online sports betting was the focus of SB 188 and HB 385, but neither bill passed. More attempts to legalize sports betting are likely in 2023.

No sportsbooks have shown a public interest in launching in AK, but Barstool Sportsbook would be expected to be one of the first to go live. Penn National Gaming owns Barstool, and the Alaska Department of Revenue owns over 23,000 shares in the parent company. This connection to the state would make launching the sportsbook easier.

In addition, Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are already available with Alaskans able to play with brands like ESPN, FantasyDraft, and Boom Fantasy. DraftKings and FanDuel also operate in the state and could use this infrastructure to launch online sportsbooks in the future.

You cannot place wagers on horse races online, and pari-mutuel betting is also unavailable. You can visit the neighboring Northwest Territories in Canada and pick wagers online using Sport Select. However, you must go to a partnered retail location to place these bets.

Latest Alaska Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in Alaska

There are no forms of legal sports betting in Alaska. While retail wagering may not be possible, three online sports betting bills have been introduced since 2020. Two of those bills were introduced by the state’s Governor. However, no legislation has passed. You can play DFS games, but there is no pari-mutuel or online horse racing.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Alaska

  • July 6, 2022: The Alaska Department of Revenue sells some of its shares in Penn National Gaming. The Department still has 23,369 shares.

  • February 22, 2022: Representative Adam Wool introduces HB 385 to the House. The bill intends to legalize mobile sports betting in Alaska. It is referred to the Labor and Commerce Committee, where it dies.

  • July 6, 2021: The Department of Revenue commissions a $400,000 study into the feasibility of sports betting and other forms of gambling.

  • February 12, 2020: Gov. Dunleavy introduces SB 188 and HB 246 to lawmakers. Both bills intend to legalize sports betting and a state lottery, but are referred to committees and die.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court strikes down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Each state is given the right to legalize sports betting.

Alaska Sports Betting Background

Alaska has historically not had much interest in gambling, and this wasn’t expected to change when the US Supreme Court struck down PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) in 2018. Many states in the US have been attracted to sports betting because of extra tax and revenues but Alaska has never needed this, thanks to its oil profits. However, Gov. Dunleavy turned to sports betting and lottery, as “new revenue sources to diversify our economy” and introduced SB 188 and HB 246 in 2020.

Future of Alaska Sports Betting

The introduction of HB 385 in 2022 shows there is still interest in launching sports betting in Alaska. As sports betting spreads in the US and Canada, pressure on AK lawmakers to launch wagering will increase. Another attempt to pass betting legislation is likely in 2023.

Barstool Sportsbook is a favorite to launch if sports betting is legalized in Alaska. The Alaska Department of Revenue has shares in Penn National Gaming, the company that operates the sportsbook. DraftKings and FanDuel are also likely to go live, due to them already operating DFS games in the state.

Alaska Sports Betting Locations

There are no casinos in Alaska, as the state does not permit gambling. However, there is the potential for one tribal casino operated by the Metlakatla, with the tribe already able to operate pull-tab games and bingo. In addition, the 2021 Department of Revenue feasibility study also examined potential casino locations in the state. However, until lawmakers legalize casino gambling, there will be no casinos in the Last Frontier.

You can visit the Northwest Territories in Canada and place retail sports bets using Sport Select. You can choose your wagers online but must confirm them in person at participating retail locations. Since November 2021, Sport Select has welcomed single-game betting as well as parlays.

Alaska Lottery Locations

There is no official state lottery in Alaska. However, Gov. Dunleavy’s SB 188 included the creation of a lottery to oversee sports betting. However, there wouldn’t be any betting at lottery retailers due to Alaska’s sparse population.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

There is no retail sports betting in Alaska, so you can’t wager at sports venues. There is also no horse racing in Alaska, and pari-mutuel betting is illegal.

Alaska Responsible Gambling Resources

  • Alaska National Council on Problem Gambling – Provides an overview of support resources in Alaska, a 24/7 helpline, and live chat. (800) 522-4700

  • All Treatment Alaska – Lists treatment centers in Alaska where you can visit to receive help for problem gambling. (269) 248-5248

  • Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes meetings across the state where problem gamblers can go and share their experiences. It also offers a treatment program.

As there is no legal gambling in Alaska, the state does not provide a self-exclusion policy or official problem gambling support resources. However, it does welcome organizations like those listed above to help anyone struggling with problem gambling.

Teams to Bet on in Alaska

  • Pro Sports

As a state with less than one million people, Alaska doesn’t have the infrastructure to support a major league sports team. The closest US state to Alaska is Washington, so Alaskan sports fans are split between supporting US teams and franchises in nearby Canadian provinces. Here are some of the most supported teams among Alaska residents:

Oregon Washington
Portland Trail Blazers (NBA) Seattle Seahawks (NFL)
Seattle Mariners (MLB)
Seattle Kraken (NHL)
  • Minor League Sports

As there are no major league sports teams in Alaska, the minor leagues are very important to local sports fans. The Fairbank Ice Dogs are a Tier II junior team in the North American Hockey League Midwest Division. Playing at the 2,200-capacity Big Dipper Ice Arena, the team has won two regular season championships in its history.

The Kenai River Brown Bears play in the same division as the Ice Dogs at the Soldotna Sports Center. Founded in 2007, the team have lost in the semi-finals of the playoffs every year from the 2010/11 season to the 2013/14 season.

Soccer fans have been delighted since the Alaska Timber started playing in the Last Frontier Division of the United Premier Soccer League. The team is affiliated with the MLS’ Portland Timbers and won the division in 2020.

  • College Sports

Alaska Nanooks: While the University of Alaska Fairbanks Nanooks play at the Division II level, the ice hockey team plays in the NCAA Division I as an independent. Former Nanooks players include two-time Stanley Cup winner Shawn Chambers and one-time Stanley Cup winner Colton Parakyo.

Alaska Anchorage Seawolves: Named after a mythical creature in Tlingit and Haida traditions, the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves play in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The ice hockey team plays in Division I and has appeared in three NCAA Tournaments.

  • Women’s Sports

There are no professional women’s sports teams in Alaska, but fans of women’s sports get behind teams from local colleges. For example, the Seawolves women’s gymnastics team competes in the NCAA Division I in the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation.

How Does Alaska Compare to Other States

  • Market Coverage

Alaska does not have any neighboring states that can reflect what sportsbooks may look like in the state. The nearest state is Washington, which supports retail wagering through partnerships with tribal casinos. The state is expected to follow the Tennessee and Wyoming model and operate a mobile-exclusive market. Looking at these states, it’s clear that AK bettors will be able to access a wide range of betting lines on major league sports like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. There will also be many options for niche sports like MMA, NASCAR, and European soccer.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

Again, the best comparison point for Alaska is the US online-only states. Brands like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Barstool Sportsbook are available in Tennessee and are expected to launch in Alaska. These betting operators are available in dozens of states and provide the same competitive odds everywhere. For example, Barstool Sportsbook is noted for its excellent total betting lines on major league games.

  • Gambling Revenue

Alaska is missing out on tax revenue by not legalizing online sports betting, as shown by the success of Wyoming. Alaska has a similar population to Wyoming (around 600,000 to AK’s 700,000), and WY also has a low population density. Wyoming’s online-only sportsbook market is the most realistic model for AK to follow. As of June 2022, WY has handled $103,991,926 in wagers with revenues of $9,627,922. With a tax rate of 10%, Wyoming has collected $364,495.

Rep. Wool’s HB 385 suggested a tax of 12% against mobile sportsbooks. The Last Frontier could likely bring in more revenue than WY because Alaska has a larger population and fewer neighbors with online sports betting.

  • Betting Taxes

You need to pay sports wagering taxes to the IRS no matter what state you are in. You must declare all your winnings and complete a W-2G form if you win more than $600. Sportsbooks can also hold up to 25% of your winnings to comply with federal tax rules. You usually must also include your betting winnings in your state income tax, but Alaska does not charge this type of tax to its residents.

Alongside state tax, sportsbooks need to pay a 0.25% excise tax on every monthly betting handle in line with the Internal Revenue Code. Every employee involved in taking wagers also incurs a $50 payment.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Alaska?

Rep. Wool’s most recent sports betting legislation intended to give the Alaska Department of Revenue regulatory power. This would give the Department complete oversight over sports betting, including creating the rules and collecting taxes for betting sites. The alternative option is to set up a new regulatory body to oversee sports betting. Gov. Dunleavy’s bills suggested creating a state lottery which would also have oversight over sports betting in the state. Other US states’ betting markets are regulated by lotteries, such as West Virginia and Montana.

Regardless of the regulatory body, the requirements will be the same. The body will be responsible for creating the licensing process so sportsbooks can launch and provide safe betting for players in the state.

FAQs

Is betting legal in Alaska?

No, sports betting is not legal in Alaska. In 2020, two attempts to legalize wagering were headed by Governor Dunleavy, but neither of the bills passed. There was another bill in 2022, but this also failed to pass.

Who would govern sports betting in Alaska?

The most recent sports betting bill suggested the Alaska Department of Revenue as the regulator of sports betting in the state. Governor Dunleavy wanted to create a state lottery to oversee wagering with his sports betting bills. Any regulatory body would be responsible for ensuring every sportsbook operated within regulations.

How old would you have to be to bet in Alaska?

Representative Wool’s HB 385 had the legal gambling age in Alaska at 21. You would need to upload a copy of your photo ID to an online sportsbook to prove your age before being able to withdraw.

When will sports betting launch in Alaska?

The earliest sports betting can launch in Alaska is late 2023 or 2024. As the 2022 legislative session is over, no sports wagering legislation can pass until the 2023 legislative session. If a sports betting bill passes, the state will need some time to create the licensing process and allow operators to set up.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Alaska?

If sports betting is legalized in Alaska, it will likely be available online only. The size of AK and its small population means retail sports betting probably won’t be profitable, so lawmakers have focused on mobile wagering.

Will sportsbooks in Alaska be safe?

Before any sportsbook launches in Alaska, it must be checked and tested by the state’s regulatory body. This body will be responsible for setting up a licensing process to ensure every betting site delivers a safe and fair experience.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Alaska?

Yes, all US bettors need to pay taxes on betting winnings. You must declare all winnings to the IRS and fill in a W-2G form with any winnings over $600.

Can you play DraftKings in Alaska?

No, you can’t use DraftKings to wager in Alaska because sports betting is illegal. However, you can use the operator’s Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. The closest state with DraftKings Sportsbook is Oregon.

Can you play FanDuel in Alaska?

FanDuel is unavailable in Alaska, but you can use the site to play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. The nearest state where you can bet with FanDuel is Washington, where there is a retail sportsbook at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino.

Can you play BetMGM in Alaska?

No, sports betting is not legal in Alaska so you cannot use BetMGM. There is a BetMGM retail sportsbook at the Emerald Queen Casino & Hotel in Washington.

Can you play Caesars in Alaska?

Like all sportsbooks, you can’t use Caesars in AK. If you visit Washington, there is a retail sportsbook at the Muckleshoot Casino and Spokane Tribe Casino.

Can you play TwinSpires in Alaska?

No, you can’t use TwinSpires to bet on sports or online horse racing. TwinSpires is shutting down its sports betting product in many US states.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Alaska in the future?

Barstool Sportsbook is the most likely sportsbook to launch in Alaska in the future, with the Alaska Department of Revenue owning shares in operating company Penn National Gaming. In addition, Daily Fantasy Sports operators FanDuel and DraftKings also seem likely to launch.