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Playing Online Poker in the State of Alaska - Yup, It Is Completely Legit

Alaska map
Alaska's state flag

Now you may be asking yourself, "Can I play online poker for real money in Alaska?" and the answer is a resounding yes. When 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 to hold a very prominent spot in the Alaskan culture right now as evidenced by the dearth of options for land-based gambling. In fact, 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, this does not necessarily mean that you have no Alaska online poker 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!



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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! 

Table of Contents

1.   Poker Sites
      1.1. Ignition
      1.2. Chico Poker Network
      1.3. Bovada
      1.4. Horizon Poker Network
      1.5. Winning Poker Network
      1.6. Grand Poker Network
2.   Selection Guidelines
3.   Payments
4.   Laws
5.   Gambling History
6.   Gambling Timeline
7.   Regulated Poker?
8.   Live Gambling
9.   Famous Players
10. Conclusion
11. Address in a Nearby State?
12. FAQ
13. Additional Resources

 

Online Poker Sites Available in Alaska

As an Alaskan, you have quite a few possibilities when it comes to choosing an online poker site. Rather than leaving you to perhaps fall into the hands of an unscrupulous business entity, we've done the work of identifying the most reputable and legitimate online poker rooms that serve Alaska. When you play at any of the organizations on our list, you'll benefit from well-designed software, a plethora of game stakes and types, and the prompt payment of any winnings you're fortunate enough to accumulate.

 

    Ignition Poker

Positive Attributes of Ignition Poker

If you're searching for the poker site with the largest number of players active, then Ignition is where you ought to go. This PaiWangLuo Network member room is #1 by this metric. When you make a deposit, you'll get to claim a 100% up to $1,000 poker bonus that clears at a 30% rakeback equivalence in tournaments and SNGs.

  Ignition Poker Banner Highlights CTA

Ring games are listed in the Ignition lobby from $0.02/$0.05 up to $10/$20 for NL Texas Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha/8. If you'd rather play limit formats, then you can sample the LHE and LO-8 gameplay as high as $30/$60. Ignition's Zone Poker is another product beloved by those who relish its fast pace. In Zone, you can fold your hand whenever you want and be instantly transported to a new table to receive a new set of hole cards.

Sit n' gos are denominated from $1 + $0.01 up to $200 + $14. There are a few interesting variants that you might not encounter elsewhere: Beginner games that pay a larger portion of the field and Triple Ups that grant the top third of the finishers a prize equal to three times the buyin. In October 2017, Jackpot Sit & Go appeared at Ignition. They use a random number to multiply the prize pool anywhere from 2 to 1,200 times the buyin.

Multi-table tournament buffs will find plenty to love in the offerings here. Each week, there's a $150 + $12 $100,000 guaranteed event that headlines a schedule consisting of $1.5 million in weekly guarantees. In addition, there are frequent tourney series throughout the year, like the Black Diamond Poker Open. They usually distribute millions of dollars in prizes across dozens of events.

You can play Ignition from either a desktop computer or a mobile device. However, only cash games and Jackpot Sit & Go are supported for mobile, so you'll need a regular computer if you want to sit at other types of games. All games in the Ignition Casino section are fully accessible from phones and tablets, though, so you can sample them whenever you want a break from poker. There's a 100% up to $1,000 casino bonus waiting for you.

Banner Highlights CTA for Ignition Poker

Click on the above banner link to be transported to Ignition to create your account. For more info first, take a look at our Ignition Casino Poker review page.

 

        Chico Network

Chico Network's Selling Points

Devotees of soft poker tables and plentiful promotions often head over to the Chico Network, which houses Sportsbetting.ag and a couple of other sites. The poker first deposit offer here is a mammoth 100% up to $2,500 bonus, and the clearance rate is very enviable too: 33%.

Sportsbetting.ag Play Now Banner CTA Image

NLHE, PLO, and PLO/8 action can be had at SB.ag at blind levels ranging from $0.01/$0.02 up to $5/$10. If you mostly spend your time playing the Cadillac of Poker, then there's a special opportunity waiting for you at designated NL Hold'em tables of $0.50/$1.00 and above. A Bad Beat Jackpot can be triggered by taking JJJJ or better to showdown and losing. This pot has paid out to the tune of $990K+ before. Boost Poker, only the second fast-fold variant to appear on the U.S. internet poker environment, also beckons though the player pools are somewhat small.

SNGs are listed from $1.34 + $0.16 up through $200 + $15. Lottery-style Windfall tournaments are three-handed competitions that award a prize pool determined by multiplying a random number by the buyin level. Lucky entrants may get the opportunity to play for 2,000 times the amount they paid to register! Sadly, given the attention devoted to sit n' go poker, the MTT scene here is underwhelming. The largest weekly tourney is the $90 + $9 $50K Gtd Main Event. The Main Event does grow to $100 + $9 and $100,000 guaranteed on the final Sunday of every month, though, so you will have periodic chances to win your share of a sizeable prize pool.

The Chico Poker Network has released downloadable poker clients for Mac and Windows, apps for iOS and Android, and a web-compatible site that works in basically every modern web browser. You therefore have no excuse to avoid this room regardless of the type of hardware you possess. You can climb your way atop the three weekly leaderboards (SNG, cash, and MTT) from your phone, tablet, or PC and attempt to garner your share of the $20,000 that's up for grabs. Furthermore, your play at the tables entitles you to about a 5% valueback return in tournament buyins from the comp points program.

SB.ag Highlights CTA Banner for Poker

Get started at Sportsbetting.ag Poker by clicking through the above banner. We've prepared a comprehensive Sportsbetting Poker review for your enlightenment. If you're curious about another room on the same network, then browse over to our factual BetOnline Poker review.

 

    Bovada Poker

Bovada's Positive Features

Bovada is on the same network that Ignition is, so you'll see the same opponents, tables, and software at either poker room. Bovada's poker welcome bonus is a bit worse in that it's only 100% up to $500, but the site makes up for this shortcoming in a number of other ways, which we'll go over below.

  Bovada Poker CTA: Play Now

Whereas Ignition has only poker and casino gaming, Bovada contains these options as well as a sportsbook and racebook. You can bet on NFL, MLB, NBA, and all the other American leagues you like to follow. There's also a broad array of international events covered as well, like English Premier League and tennis matches. Many contests are featured in the Live Betting screen, which means you can make additional wagers even after the game has already begun!

The racebook allows you to bet on the horses at tracks in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, and South Africa. Win/Place/Show is just the start of the betting action to be had; you can also place trifectas, daily doubles, and all the other exotics you would expect. Boxing and wheeling your bet is possible for sure.

You'll receive bonuses in all of these distinct forms of gambling when you make your deposit at Bovada. The poker bonus, like we mentioned earlier, is good for $500. There's an additional $250 for the sportsbook and racebook sections as well as $1,000 for the casino that you can take advantage three times on three deposits. The total bonus haul is ($500 + $250 + $1,000 * 3) = $3,750. But if you fund your account using Bitcoin, this sum jumps to $5,500 because there are bonuses exclusive to those who deposit with this crypto-currency.

Bovada Highlights Banner

To bet on poker, casino, sports, and races, follow the above banner and set up your Bovada account now. Want to find out more about the organization first? Check out our review of Bovada Poker, Sports, Casino, and Racebook.

 

    Horizon Network

Good Features of Intertops Poker

Intertops, and the rest of the Horizon Poker Network, may be one of the best-kept secrets in online poker. You see, this U.S.A.-friendly poker enterprise has easy games, many bonuses, and new promotions every month. Yet the number of people who choose to play here and work through the 200% up to $1,000 initial deposit bonus is fairly small.

CTA Banner Highlights for Intertops

The new player's bonus can be earned at different speeds in different types of poker games, and it may be worth as much as 27% rakeback depending on your game selection tactics. Besides the bonus, you'll also get a 36% rakeback deal when you register through our links, and this RB will remain in effect for the entire lifetime of your account. A new depositors freeroll ticket is yours upon making your first deposit, allowing you to try to win a piece of $1,000 in prizes without having to pay anything to enter. You'll also be rewarded with 100 free lines to use in the attached casino: a value of $90 or more.

There are rarely more than about a dozen tables running at any one time here, and they're usually for 50NL and below. Sit and goes are pretty well deserted, and those that do run tend to be for microstakes. There are plenty of tournaments every day, but most of them are for buyins of $20 and below. You can pay $50 + $5 every evening to enter The Sundowner, which guarantees $1,200. On Sundays, though, Intertops takes a different tack by reducing the Sundowner buyin to $15 + $1.50 while simultaneously bumping the guarantee up to $4,000.

The department in which Intertops truly shines is in the profitability and variety of its recurring promotions. Reload bonuses pop up every month or two as do satellites to prestigious live poker events. You'll collect gold coins as you play, which you can exchange for no deposit bonuses. A Loyalty Levels system is another way to pick up some free cash. Every week, there's a $4,000 rake race that rewards the top 100 participants, and it isn't too hard to place. Further promos are available in the casino and sports sections of the Intertops website.

Highlights CTA Banner for Intertops Poker

Score your welcome bonuses at Intertops by using our link above to go to the site. You may wish to read our solid Intertops Poker review first so that you know what to expect.

 

     Winning Network

Positive Features of ACR

The Winning Poker Network is the second-busiest locale in the United States for poker games online, so signing up for its flagship site, Americas Cardroom, is certainly something to consider. As a new player, you'll be able to receive a 100% up to $1,000 bonus as well as $50 for free to deploy on whatever games catch your fancy. The bonus is worth 20% rakeback.

ACR Play Now Poker Banner!

Perhaps the strongest aspect of the WPN is its best-in-class tournament lineup. It's not for nothing that we named it the premier room for online tournaments available to U.S. residents. Besides a $150 + $15 Sunday Special (the largest Sunday Major for Americans at $150,000 Guaranteed), you'll see frequent $500 + $40 Million Dollar Sundays, which boast seven-figure prize pools. On top of this, there are regular series, like the Online Super Series, that hand out millions of dollars in prizes and consist of contests in a wide range of poker disciplines.

The sit n' goes are nothing to sneeze at either. They're spread from micro-stakes up to games costing thousands of dollars to enter. Apart from the standard-issue single-table tournaments that you'd find at any internet poker site, ACR also has two formats that are somewhat distinct. SNG 2.0 is a nine-player affair that uses a pregame round to hopefully increase the prize pool. Jackpot Poker is a lottery-style sit-and-go with a top payout of 2,500 times the buyin.

Cash game poker comes in several incarnations: No Limit Hold'em, Pot Limit Omaha, Pot Limit Omaha/8, Limit Omaha/8, Limit Hold'em, and Seven Card Stud (Both Hi and Hi-Lo). Big-bet games are offered from $0.01/$0.02 to $25/$50 while the fixed-limit variants are listed up to at least $30/$60 and, in some cases, even higher.

Americas Cardroom maintains two separate weekly leaderboards: one for cash gamers called The Beast and another for SNG aficionados referred to as Sit & Crush. Each of them pays out tens of thousands of dollars every seven days in satellite tickets and cold, hard cash. Beyond these leaderboards, there's also an Elite Benefits VIP club that returns back as much as 70% of the rake you generate depending, of course, on the amount of volume you can achieve.

ACR Highlights CTA Banner

Follow the link above to create an account at Americas Cardroom. Our detailed Americas Cardroom review will answer any questions you have.

Americas Cardroom is part of the Winning Poker Network, and as such, it can count on the assistance of its network partners in running its poker operation. They all pool their player traffic and other resources together to contribute to a poker room that's head-and-shoulders above what any single one of them would be able to put together on its own. Some of the other top-rated WPN sites are: BlackChip Poker (read review), True Poker (read review), and PokerHost (read review). They all provide rakeback upon request, and you can find out how to obtain it with our page devoted to the subject of rakeback at the Winning Poker Network. For a thorough explanation on how rakeback works and how it compares to the Elite Benefits rewards package, consult our WPN rakeback vs VIP benefits comparison.

 

        Grand Network

Image of Grand Network's Positive Features

The Grand Poker Network is a fairly recent entrant into the U.S. online poker arena, having opened for business in 2014. You can trust that it's on the up-and-up, however, because its leading brand, 5Dimes, is a longstanding provider of online sportsbetting and casino gaming options for more than two decades.

Because of the heavy player crossover from the other gambling divisions at 5D, the games here are some of the most unbelievable in all of online poker. Your adversaries mostly won't have any idea of how to play poker properly, and as a consequence, your profits should soar. You can contend against these fish at stakes between $0.05/$0.10 and $1/$2. One potential pitfall is that player volume is a bit thin, but you can always keep 5Dimes in reserve as your backup site while selecting another room as your principal place to play.

Tournaments are also worthy of your attention because a handful of them every day don't charge any house fees! You'll therefore boost your return on investment to a considerable degree simply by entering these events without having to retool your strategy in any other way. Additionally, there's a $500 freeroll every Sunday, and the field size is pretty reasonable. The downside is that there are no MTTs priced higher than $5.50, so you won't be making millions here. On the plus side, cash games and tournaments both qualify for the 50% rakeback deal that we've arranged with site management.

5Dimes banner CTA image link

To start on your 5Dimes Poker adventure, click our banner link above. To read more about this site, look through our Grand Poker Network review.


 

How to Choose the Right Alaska Poker Site

All of the online poker choices we've discussed above are fine organizations that will treat you (and your money) with respect. They each have their own strengths and drawbacks, and so the ultimate decision of which one is best will hinge upon your own personal preferences and playing style. We cannot really tell you where to play, but we can highlight a few factors that you might want to think about as you ponder where to sign up.

» If you're keen on playing where there are the greatest number of games running, then Ignition, Bovada, and WPN are the three most bustling U.S.A. poker rooms.


» If the size of your welcome bonus is your primary consideration, then the Chico Network's $2,500 deal should be sufficient for you.


» If you're searching for an all-in-one gambling shop, then Chico, Bovada, Intertops, and Grand all fit the bill nicely.


» If you intend to play from a Mac or mobile, then Chico, Ignition, Bovada, and Grand will permit you to access poker from your favorite device.


» If you're interested in setting up a rakeback account, then Intertops' 36%, Grand's 50% and WPN's 27% ought to leave you happy.


» If you think that VIP programs are desirable, then WPN's Elite Benefits, Intertops' Loyalty Tiers, and Chico's Comp Points might be the answer.


» If you seek big tournament cashes, then you'll maximize your ability to win one by playing at Ignition or the Winning Poker Network.

 

Online Poker Payouts

Coins and Dollar Bills

All the organizations on our list of recommended Alaska online poker sites pay out wins honestly. Thus, it's more a question of how to request your money rather than if you'll get it. While there are a few payment channels that have been around for decades, like bank wires and paper checks, this is one area in which it's better to try out newer solutions. Bitcoin is our preferred payout system because it has low fees and rapid transaction timeframes. All of the rooms that we deal with allow you to make BTC transfers. If you haven't yet explored the exciting world of crypto-currency, then we've prepared a primer on Bitcoin gaming for you to educate yourself about it.

 

 

Alaska Online Poker Laws

Legal Book

Alaska doesn't have any legal codes dealing with poker as conducted online, so we have to fall back on the statutes that concern gambling in general, which are contained in the Alaska Statutes, Title 11 - Criminal Law - Chapter 11.66 - Offenses Against Health and Decency - Article 02 - Gambling Offenses. First off, let's start with a few definitions. In 11.66.280, we see that:

(3) "gambling" means that a person stakes or risks 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;

There are a list of exceptions that follow, including bona fide business contracts, amusement devices, and activities permitted in other parts of the law, which basically refers to charitable gaming. Poker is not excluded from this definition of gambling, which means that whether or not it's permitted under Alaska law hinges on what's considered a “contest of chance.” The lawmakers have declared in the same section of law that:

(2) "contest of chance" means a contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that the skill of the contestants may also be a factor;

Ah, it's the old Material Element Test. Some contend that poker is a game of chance under this rule, but others believe otherwise. The entire test is basically subjective, and so it can be interpreted in whatever way the AK authorities would like. For more information on the Material Element Test and its shortcomings, you can read this paper by gaming lawyer Erica Okerberg.

Moving on to 11.66.200, which defines the crime of gambling, we encounter the following language:

(a) A person commits the offense of gambling if the person engages in unlawful gambling.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to a prosecution under this section that the defendant was a player in a social game.
(c) Gambling is a violation
(1) for the first offense;
(2) punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 for the second and each subsequent offense.

For a first offense, which is considered a violation under Alaska law rather than a misdemeanor or felony, the punishment is a fine of not more than $500. Even for subsequent offenses, the fine merely rises as high as $1,000. There's no possibility of incarceration at all.

Even if we put the worst spin on the language employed here and treat poker as though it were contrary to the law, these fines are largely an imaginary threat. Alaska has never prosecuted – much less convicted – anyone for playing online games for money on their computers. You're totally in the clear, from a legal standpoint, if you wish to enjoy real money internet card games while residing in Alaska.

Notice that you can't get in trouble for participating in a “social game.” This is described as ”gambling in a home where no house player, house bank, or house odds exist and where there is no house income from the operation of the game.” Home games are thus OK as long as nobody is making any money other than as a player.

Things are not so chipper for people actually engaged in gambling as a business. The crimes for which they can be legally charged include Promoting Gambling in the First Degree, Promoting Gambling in the Second Degree, Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree, Possession of Gambling Records in the Second Degree, and Possession of a Gambling Device. Some of these offenses are Class A Misdemeanors while others are Class C Felonies. The maximum punishments can be as serious as five years in prison and a fine of $50,000.

Regardless of these legal proscriptions, there are hardly any online gaming firms that exclude Alaskans from partaking of their services. These groups have retained the advice of expert counsel who have probably assured them that their risks of ever getting into legal hot water are in the range of slim to none. Thus, you have a comprehensive palette of internet poker rooms to choose from.

 

 

History of Gambling in Alaska

Hourglass

The climate of Alaska rendered it unappealing to Europeans for quite a while, but this doesn't mean that there wasn't any gambling going on. The Tlingit people played a variety of wagering games with gambling sticks. Some of these sticks were marked with different patterns, and others were unfinished. The most notable of these pieces was the naq, or devilfish, which acted as a kind of joker or trump. The games involved predicting which stick would be drawn next, attempting to select the naq without looking, and other chance-based activities.

In the 1800s, Russia started minor colonization and fur trading within Alaska, but the total number of people associated with these enterprises was never great. Perhaps nervously eyeing neighboring British colonies and contemplating the difficulty of defending such an icy outpost, Russia sold the area to the United State in 1867 for $7.2 million. The press criticized this purchase, calling it “Seward's Folly” (after Secretary of State William Seward), “Seward's Icebox,” and “(President) Andrew Johnson's Polar Bear Garden.” Initially, the territory seemed to have nothing to offer but ice, snow, and fish.

Photograph of Skagway in 1898
Skagway, Alaska, 1898

However, the discovery of gold on the Klondike River in 1896 and at Nome in 1898 precipitated a gold rush. Though the Klondike strikes were located in Canada, the closest ports were Skagway and Dyea in Alaska. These towns benefited from the infusion of cash provided by the prospectors and other businesspeople in the area, and gambling halls flourished along with saloons and bordellos. Though there's little historical documentation one way or the other, legend has it that Klondike solitaire first originated or became popular among these gold-hunters.

Several prominent names in the world of gambling, like Wyatt Earp, headed over to Alaska to take advantage of the conditions brought about by the gold rush. However, they were not all reputable gentlemen. Con man Jefferson Randolph “Soapy” Smith soon set up shop in Skagway, running games of chance and poker. His operations were rigged, though, and they were designed to separate a gambler from his money in as efficient a way as possible.

Newspaper Report on Soapy Smith's Death
Newspaper Report of Soapy Smith's Death

Soapy amassed political power through shady dealings, aided by the fact that many of the residents of Skagway were only there temporarily with their ultimate destination being the gold fields some distance away. Nevertheless, Soapy's antics caught the attention of the more stolid and honest Skagway citizens who formed organizations to try to unseat him. Ultimately, the situation devolved into violence when Soapy Smith was gunned down in 1898 following a three-card monte dispute.

During this time, Alaska was governed as a military district, and there was no body of Alaska law dealing with gaming, so it was mostly ignored by the authorities. The temperance movement was gaining strength, however, and it sought to crack down on drinking as well as the associated vices of prostitution and gambling.

Alaska gained territorial status in 1912, and anti-gambling statutes were drafted. The text of section 2032 of the 1913 Compiled Laws of Alaska reads as follows:

That each and every person who shall deal, play, or carry on, open or cause to be opened, or who shall conduct, either as owner, proprietor or employee, whether for hire or not, any game of faro, monte, roulette, rouge-et-noir, lansquenet rondo, vingt-un, twenty-one, poker, draw poker, brag, bluff, thaw, craps, or any banking or other game played with cards, dice, or any other device, whether the same shall be played for money, checks, credit, or any other representative of value, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than $500, and shall be imprisoned in the county jail until such fine and costs are paid: Provided, that such person so convicted shall be imprisoned one day for every $2 of such fine and costs: And provided further, that such imprisonment shall not exceed one year.

There's ample evidence to suggest that this law was widely ignored, but the general theme of being against gambling has ever since been a feature of the Alaska legal framework. After becoming the 49th state in 1959, oversight of gambling came under the purview of the Department of Revenue, and charitable bingo was the only game permitted. It was a while before the next authorized form of real money gambling appeared: pull tabs in 1984.

In 1993, there was an overhaul of the state's gambling legislation, but all allowed activities still have to be run through charitable entities, and vendors must also meet with government approval. Organizations applying for charitable gaming licenses have to open their accounting books to public inspection and must pay taxes on the revenue generated. Some of the rules that must be obeyed relate to the maximum prizes that can be awarded and minimum payout percentages. Municipalities can host charitable events too, but they must hold special elections to approve of gambling.

In 1995, cruise ships were allowed to offer gambling while within Alaskan waters, but the legislation authorizing this expired at the end of the year and was not renewed. Other forms of charitable gambling have been added to the list of legal activities, and they often have an Alaska-specific flavor to them. Examples include betting on the outcomes of dog mushes and salmon fishing contests.

Attempts to expand the menu of state-authorized gambling in AK in the 21st century have met with repeated failure. In 2003, a bill to enact a state lottery was defeated, and in 2008, a ballot measure to create a statewide Gambling Board failed.

Gambling Timeline of Alaska

Timeline of Alaska Gambling

Prospects for Alaska Online Poker Regulation

Manila File Folder

Comparing Alaska to other American states, we can only but conclude that it's among the least likely to establish a state-supervised online poker framework. Not only has it been historically against gambling, with limited charitable exceptions, but it also has a very low population: about 750,000. Thus, any legal, regulated online poker economy would have to partner with other states to have any chance of success. In order to set up such a system, the appropriate legislation would have to be drafted and passed, a licensing body would have to be established, companies would need to be enticed somehow into serving such a small market, and agreements to share player traffic would need to be signed with other states. We don't foresee this happening until and unless state-approved internet poker rooms start to become as popular as state lotteries. And even then, given that Alaska lacks a lottery, it's not a given that such a prospect would necessarily materialize.

 

Terrestrial Gaming

Brick Building

Alaska has one of the bleakest ecosystems for land-based gambling anywhere in the United States. Casinos are not present, apart from a few tribal bingo halls and pull-tab facilities, which are not casinos in the traditional sense because slots are not permitted. There's no lottery and no pari-mutuel racetrack betting. Very limited wagering on sporting events can be found due to carve-outs in the law for moose derbies, dog sled races, and similar competitions, but these occasions are few and far between. All of these activities must be managed by a licensed group to be legal.

Card players in The Last Frontier must content themselves with social games, which are explicitly allowed under the law, and membership cardrooms that get around the law by not charging a rake. Instead, members must pay a fee every so often, like once a month, and can then play poker for the chance to win real money prizes.

Famous Alaskan Poker Players

Shooting Star

Alaska is a pretty out-of-the-way state, far from the global hotspots of poker. Yet, there's at least one prominent poker practitioner who hails from its icy expanses. Perry Green is a native of Anchorage who achieved a moderate level of success at the tables during the '70s. He picked up three WSOP bracelets, the latest being in the 1979 $1,500 No Limit Hold'em event. He also finished second to Stu Ungar in the 1981 WSOP Main Event, collecting $150,000. Most of his more than $1.1 million in live MTT prizes came in decades past, but he has still been active in the poker scene more recently. In the mid-2000s, Green spearheaded an effort to get poker legalized in Alaska, but his efforts came to naught.

 

Conclusion

With a lack of brick-and-mortar poker options, online poker in Alaska may represent the most practical way to play cards against other competitors. Choose an Alaska online poker site from our list of honorable companies, and then get ready for exciting gameplay whenever you want, around the clock.

 

 

Do you have an address in a nearby state?

Alaska and Nearby StatesIf you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer cottage, second apartment, family estate, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you. Here's a list of the states that residents of the Last Frontier would typically have secondary residences in 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!

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Online poker in Alaska is a subject that has a lot of wrinkles and nuances. If you have questions about it, then you might be able to find the answers below. We've compiled a lot of information that we think Alaskan online poker players may find useful.

Does State-Regulated Internet Poker Exist in Alaska?
No, there are no licensed Alaska online poker rooms, and there doesn't appear to be any real demand for setting up such a system. Most voters are against gambling expansion, and this, coupled with the small size of the Alaska market, makes it unlikely that we will see this situation change anytime soon.

Is It Legal for Me to Play Online Poker in Alaska?
Yes, it's completely legal for you to partake in online poker in Alaska. There are no statutes explicitly criminalizing playing cards on your computer, and the general gambling laws have never been enforced against internet poker fans. Federally, it used to be argued that transmitting online poker wagers over the internet was a contravention of the Wire Act, but a reinterpretation of the law in 2011 means that this legislation is only applicable to sports betting, not poker, lotteries, or any other form of betting. The provisions of the UIGEA used to be applied against poker-related transactions, but this is no longer the case.

Is PokerStars Legal in Alaska?
Yes, it's totally OK to play at PokerStars, from a legal standpoint, from within the borders of Alaska. However, you won't be able to do so because Stars itself blocks Americans from utilizing its services. This decision was made as part of the settlement of the Black Friday indictments against the company and its officers in 2011. PokerStars promised to keep out of U.S. markets, and it has been as good as its word up through the present day.

Is Ignition Casino Poker Legal in Alaska?
Ignition Casino Poker is a legal option for customers from Alaska, and the firm gladly welcomes them to its poker room. Although the Alaska government would probably contend that Ignition is operating in contravention of state laws, the execs at Ignition would likely counter that overly restrictive state legal regimes are themselves in violation of well-understood treaties and World Trade Organization rules that allow for the cross-border trade in all kinds of merchandise and services, including real money online gaming. Ignition is part of the PaiWangLuo Network, a Hong Kong-based investment group that relies on international trade agreements to allow it to conduct its business in many jurisdictions around the global.

Is BetOnline Legal in Alaska?
Yes, BetOnline legally allows Alaskans to sign up and play for real money in its poker room. This Panama-licensed poker site follows strict rules about financial transactions and honest gameplay, so you can feel safe playing on it. You won't be breaking any laws when you log into BetOnline and take a seat in the card games.

Is Global Poker a Legal Poker Site in Alaska?
The company says it is, but we think it might not be. The answer to this question is too complicated for this FAQ. Nevertheless, we've addressed it along with other Global Poker details in our comprehensive review of the site.

How Old Do I Have to Be to Gamble in Alaska?
Alaska has established minimum gambling ages for its land-based gambling scene, and these same regulations transfer online. To play in a bingo hall, you must be at least 19 while for all other types of gaming, 21 is the minimum age. Online gambling operations will probably allow you to sign up for an account as long as you're 18 or older. This is because they can't realistically gate their registration pages based on the legalities of hundreds of distinct jurisdictions around the world. We do recommend that you exercise your responsibility to ensure that you're above the relevant age limit for the state that you live in so that you don't run into any problems later on.

Should I Set up My Own Online Gaming Enterprise in Alaska?
All the entities that provide online gambling services to Alaska are located offshore and are thus outside the reach of AK law enforcement. It would be very unwise for you to attempt to flout the law by instituting your own poker, casino, or sports betting platform from within the state's borders. You could be charged with Promoting Gambling in the First Degree and Possession of Gambling Records in the First Degree, both Class C felonies that carry the risk of five years in prison and fines of as much as $50,000.

How Can I Deposit and Withdraw Money for Online Poker?
There are quite a few processors that allow you to put money onto gaming sites and take it off after you win. They include credit cards, money transfer services, and bank wires. However, the best methods to use are digital crypto-currencies. They let you move your cash around more or less anonymously, speedily, and with low fees. Bitcoin is the most famous of these coins, and all the Alaska online poker sites that we work with support BTC for deposits and payouts. Another up-and-coming crypto-currency is Ethereum, and you can read our ETH online gaming guide to learn how to use it for online poker. We've also prepared a similar walkthrough for Bitcoin Cash although there are as yet only a few internet gambling destinations that transact in BCH.

Do I Owe Taxes on My Online Poker Winnings?
Despite the fact that they look with disfavor upon online betting pastimes, the state leaders in Juneau certainly want to collect their share of the profits. The same is true of the Internal Revenue Service in Washington, D.C. Online poker and gaming firms don't report any of your financial details to the authorities; that's your job. The best way to file will depend upon your personal playing profile and income situation, so we can't really give you much guidance in this department. It's best if you consult a qualified CPA or IRS Enrolled Agent to lend you a hand with this tedious paperwork.

Can I Play Internet Poker on My Mac?
Over the years, quite a few internet poker rooms have rolled out Mac-compatible poker clients. Sportsbetting.ag, Ignition Casino, and 5Dimes fall into this category. Even at sites that don't have a dedicated Mac software solution, it's sometimes possible to play through browser-based poker interfaces using a Mac. Finally, even at sites that are Windows-only, you may have luck running the poker application through emulation software, like Parallels.

Are There Mobile-Compatible Online Poker Sites?
Mobile smart devices account for a growing share of total web browsing activities, and this trend doesn't appear to be slowing down. Poker organizations have been keen on expanding into this burgeoning market, and you'll find mobile poker rooms at Sportsbetting.ag, Ignition Casino, and Americas Cardroom to name just a few. In some cases, only a few game types are listed for phone and tablet users, so you'll still want to download the regular desktop client for the best possible card game experience.

 

Additional Resources

There's only a little bit of gambling going on in Alaska, but you can learn more about it with the links below:

 

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!