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Playing Online Poker in the State of Alaska

Alaska map Now you may be asking yourself, "Can I play online poker for real money in Alaska?" and the answer is a resounding yes. Alaska's state flagWhen you are thinking of online gaming hotbeds, you generally do not think of Alaska at the top of that list, and after the research we have done, there is no reason to think that assumption isn’t correct. Gambling and poker does not appear hold a very prominent spot in the Alaskan culture right now, as evidenced by the dearth of options for land-based gambling, and the fact that out of 50 states, Alaskans were ranked number 40 with regard to percentage of state population partaking in Internet poker. But just because gambling is not the fad du jour for your state, does not necessarily mean that you have no options. 

At the Federal level, Internet poker is not regulated, nor is it criminalized.  It is perfectly legal for players to engage in real money poker games over the web.  However, we would all feel more comfortable in a regulated market, so as to avoid another "Black Friday" incident.  The state of Alaska itself  seems to have little chance of passing state regulation of online poker any time soon, mainly due to a lack of political will.  We suggest writing your congressional leaders and letting them know you want regulated online poker in your state!

Now with all of that said, that does not mean that citizens of the state of Alaska are out of luck if they are in the mood to fire up an online poker game while in the privacy of their home, igloo, etc.  The Northernmost state of the union has some great offshore gaming sites who are willing to service those would be poker players in Alaska and we have compiled a list of those sites for you to choose from! 

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Alaska?

Ignition Poker

Ignition Poker Logo  Ignition Poker, which is part of the Bodog Poker Network is a great option for players from Alaska.  New players can take advantage of a generous deposit bonus of up to $2,000 ($1,000 max for poker, $1,000 max for casino).  These deposit bonuses clear at the fastest rate of any US friendly poker site.  Small depositors will note that their bonus clears at an astounding 100% rakeback equivalent.  For the high rollers taking advantage of the full $1,000 bonus, it will clear at a 33.5% effective rate. 

Ignition also has some very easy tournaments and cash games, and boy do they have a lot of them. According to Pokerscout.com the 7-day rolling average for cash game players 1500 simultaneous players.  If you add in the tournament and sit and go players, the numbers approach 10,000 players! Speaking of tournaments, Ignition has a very capable tournament schedule culminating each week in a $100,000 guaranteed tournament that often far exceeds the guarantee. 

Ignition also has a newly updated casino with a $1,000 initial bonus and unlimited $1,000 bitcoin reload bonuses available to AK-based players.  Ignition has a very capable mobile gaming client, the best of any US-available site in fact.  Whether you're looking to play poker or casino on your phone or tablet, their software will offer a smooth and satisfying experience.

Professional Rakeback Ignition cta

If you would like to start playing Ignition Poker from the comfort of your own home then you can click the banner above to get the best deposit bonus offer available!

Chico Poker Network

Chico Poker Network  Chico Poker Network, headlined by BetOnline, has seen a fairly meteoric rise in its traffic over the past couple of years.  This has made the network an intriguing possibility for many players as they offer good games, a Sit n’ Go leaderboard and many other promotions.  While they don’t offer rakeback, players can take advantage of deposit and reload bonuses fairly regularly.  This room is a good option for sit-n-go players and full ring cash game players as both are a fairly popular variant on the site.  According to PokerScout.com the 7-day average of cash game players is 750, with daily spikes nearly twice that high.

No limit Holdem and pot limit Omaha make up the bulk of cash game play, with heads up, 6max and full ring games available.  Hi/lo Omaha also runs as well as no limit Omaha (a very swingy game!).  Games start at the micro stakes levels where you can wager pennies and go all the way up to $1,000 buy-in games where you can win or lose a small car in a nights worth of play.  The tournament options are more sparse on this network, but what tournaments do run are rather soft due to there being sports and casino gamblers punting in them.

Speaking of sports and casino gamblers, if you happen to be one of them, Chico Network also has a pretty damned good sportsbook, as well as a large online casino option for players.  Chico Network also offers great promotions for both the sportsbook and casino that allow players to easily supplement their win (loss) rates and take advantage of the quick withdrawals and payment processing available.  The promotions offered change frequently, but the bonuses are typically quite good.  The one caveat worth mentioning is that if you do take a bonus offer, you will not be able to withdraw any funds from your account until you complete the bonus offer or it expires (most bonuses are 30-90 days in duration).

If you think that Chico Poker Network is what you have been looking for in a comprehensive gambling site, then you can get access to the best deposit bonuses by clicking here for either BetOnline or Sportsbetting (they are sister sites and essentially the same product).

Grand Poker Network

Grand Poker Network Logo  Grand Poker Network may be the newest and smallest poker room on this list, but their parent company has been around for a very long time.  GPN is owned by the 5Dimes Group, which is one of the most trusted names in low fee sports betting, and as such, their new poker room should be trusted without the fear that may come with newer, unproven sites.  While the room is small, it is still growing thanks in part to a very generous 50%+ rakeback deal.  Also the soft games are the hallmark of the room and it is a great opportunity for players to take advantage of the juicy action.  With that said, the game selection could be better.  You will find the traditional No Limit Holdem and Pot Limit Omaha games running from micro stakes penny games up to $500 buy-in midstakes games.  They also run various small buy-in tournaments and sit and goes.  Be sure to keep an eye out for the Advance2Go sit and goes, as that is where you can use the poker points accumulated from cash games and tournaments to earn 50-100% rakeback.

 Alaska residents will also have access to the world-renowned "reduced juice" sports book on 5Dimes; they simply have the lowest spreads and the best lines.  5Dimes makes it exceptionally easy to deposit and withdraw money from your accounts, as they have upwards of a dozen options for would be players to use.  You will also have access to the bitcoin deposits and withdrawals offered through Grand Poker network, which is what Professional Rakeback recommends that you use, so this means some of the quickest and easiest funding of accounts can be yours exceptionally easily, as outlined in our awesome guide on how to set up these deposits and withdrawals. Grand Poker Network offers one of the premiere sportsbooks and casinos available to US-based players.

To become a member at 5Dimes and get access to their casino, sportbook and poker client, follow the link provided here.

Winning Poker Network

Winning Poker Network Logo  Winning Poker Network, which consists of America’s Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, PokerHost, True Poker and Ya Poker is the second-largest network available to players from Alaska.  Winning Poker Network has a full host of games running around the clock and features numerous innovative offerings that aren’t available on other US-friendly networks, such as huge rake races, Jackpot Poker and a clone of the award-winning PokerStars VIP program.  Winning Poker Network offers the Elite Benefits VIP program, which allows higher volume players to enjoy up to 65% effective rakeback, or a flat rakeback structure, with more casual players in mind, as well as many value-added promotions for cash games, tournament and sit-n-go players.   Winning Poker Network is also a bitcoin friendly room, so players will be able to deposit and withdraw safely, quickly and effectively. According to PokerScout.com the 7-day average is 900 players, making it the second largest site available to US players and the 8th largest poker network world-wide.

This network offers most of its action at Fixed Limit Holdem, No Limit Holdem, and Pot Limit Omaha with regard to cash games.  They also run 7 card stud in various formats as well as Omaha Hi/Lo.  Buy-ins range from micro stakes up to massive $5,000 buy-in games where you can win or lose a small house (don't say we didn't warn you)!  Tournament action is robust and rivals that of Ignition Poker.  One area that WPN excels above all other options is that of really large guarantee tournaments.  In fact, they are the only Alaskan-friendly site to offer $1,000,000 tournaments, which they run approximately every three months.

If the Winning Poker Network sounds like a site you'd like to try out, we suggest signing up at one of the following sites: America's Cardroom, Black Chip Poker, PokerHost, or True Poker.  Each of them offers a 100% matching bonus up to $1,000.  Deposits can be made via credit card and cash transfers, but we highly recommend using bitcoin here as well since it is so much faster for both deposits and withdrawals once you've taken the time to set it up.

Payout Report for Players

Players can expect no real difference in the payout times from Alaska than the rest of the states chronicled in our report.  Ignition, Winning Poker Network, Grand Poker Network and Chico Poker Network all have bitcoin withdrawal options that make payouts exceptionally fast (in many cases only 24 hours).  Other withdrawal methods exist, and some are also rather fast, but do take longer than the bitcoin option, hence our rather strong recommendation that you utilize the bitcoin crypto-currency. However the normal options such as credit cards, checks, Western Union and Money Gram may be easier for some players.  No matter your choice these sites provide relatively easy and safe options for deposits and payouts.

Quick Facts about Alaska's Gambling and Poker Views

Individual Online Gamblers

Even though there is not much to do in the state of Alaska during the winter months, the state government has not decided to take a lax approach to gambling and what it deems illegal gambling. Anyone caught in the act of illegal gambling in the state will be assessed a class B misdemeanor for each offense. Illegal gambling is defined as anyone who risks anything of value on a game of chance. Luckily, the state does allow for social gambling, but it is very strict and essentially would only allow for non-raked poker games to take place. The house cannot make income, have house players, and have house lines and a few other specific laws that count out most forms of gambling that someone might try to slide through the laws.

The Alaska state law does not deal specifically with online poker and no one in the state has ever been brought up on charges of illegal gambling in terms of online poker or other online gambling. For that matter, no citizen in the USA has ever been brought up on charges for playing online poker.  The laws in the state are fairly old, i.e. created before the Internet existed, and it is unlikely they would get updated at any point in the near future to really deal with online poker.  It is also unlikely that they would be used to attack an online poker player.  Players from the state should feel fairly comfortable about participating in online games.

Online Poker Operators

This is a two-edged sword.  If one is running a social game then one is probably going to be pretty safe operating in the state. While one would need to be very careful to make sure they don’t run afoul with the laws on the books, running a poker game in the state seems to be a fairly safe choice. Now, other types of gambling are not nearly as good in the eyes of the law, so someone should be fairly careful if they are going to attempt that. Online sites would likely fall under the not acceptable forms of gambling if one were attempting to run such games as a for profit business, as they would be fairly hard to pass off as a social endeavor for a myriad of reasons. That being said, online sites have never been prosecuted in the state, and that’s unlikely to change, as even if the state wanted to, the chances of the site operators being in Alaska at any point is exceptionally slim.

How do Offshore Gambling Sites view Alaska?

While I would like to be nice to Alaska and say that online sites view this as an important state to do business in, the truth is that it is not.  Out of 50 states, Alaska ranked 40th in volume of play per capita.  The Alaskan government hasn’t aggressively gone after online sites and this lack of interest has meant that online sites operating in the state of Alaska do not really have much to worry about from a legal perspective.  Thus offering services to those in the state is just not dangerous criminally, civilly, or financially. Alaska lacks brick and mortar gambling options as well, so online poker is actually a really good choice for those in the state as they don’t have to leave their house in the cold winter months, but still are able to get their poker fix. While it might not be the most profitable of states, it is a fairly smart idea to offer services to those residing in the state as it appears to be a low risk business proposition.

Regulation Chance for Online Poker

The chances of Alaska adopting regulated online poker or any kind of gambling in the near future are pretty small. Not only is the player base not really existent to support it, the state has a really interesting political makeup. While the state is fairly conservative, it isn’t in the most common type of way that people think of when they say that word. The state is made up of a lot of individuals who want the government to stay out of their business and leave them alone. So while this might seem really good for potential gambling in the state, it does hurt when trying to pass government regulated enterprises. It’s not impossible that something in the state could happen, but it is also not likely to be really high on the list of things that will happen either. Any form of regulated gambling in the state would also need to be combined with other regulated state markets, as Alaska's poker population is just too small to create a sustainable critical mass of liquidity by itself.

Land Based Gambling

Well, if you are going to Alaska to hope to participate in brick and mortar gambling, you are going to be severely disappointed. Not only is it one of only a handful of US states to not have a state lotto there are also no commercial casinos, racetracks, sports betting or real tribal casinos. If you really have to get your gamble on while in the state though, you could try a bingo hall or hope that one of the charitable organizations in the state is running something that night. Those options are going to be about the best you can hope for in the state, which really is not much. This actually makes Alaska one of the hardest states to do any kind of gambling in while you are within its borders, even though it could also be seen as one of the states that indoor activities might be best.

It is pretty clear that if any kind of regulated gambling were to come to the state that there would need to be a major overhaul of how things are done. With no real tribal casinos and no commercial casinos there just isn’t the infrastructure to support any kind of gambling in the state. This doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen, as it very easily could if the population demanded it, but it makes it a lot more difficult, especially because there isn’t anyone that stands to gain anything from having regulated online gambling in the state. Of course laws would need to change in the state to get these regulated land based casinos in place in order to then work on the regulated online casinos as well, which is a lot of hoping and movement to be waiting for.

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you.  Here are a list of the states that residents of the last frontier would typically have secondary residences at and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them:  Hawaii, Oregon, Idaho, CaliforniaWashington, and Nevada.  If you happen to live in another state not on this list, perhaps you could check out our guide to Online Poker in the USA.  If you've found this site useful, please consider sharing with others as a means of growing the overall poker community, it really is best for all of us!