Alaska may not come to mind when thinking about online casinos or gambling entertainment in general, but there are still many options available for people who are looking for the thrill of placing a bet. Unlike many other states that have land-based casinos strategically placed near major cities, Alaska’s small population and strict stance against gambling leave the state empty of casinos and gambling halls.
What Kind of Gambling is Available in Alaska?
The only establishments that do offer some legal gambling to the population in Alaska are owned by Native American tribes and they are only legally allowed to offer bingo or pull-tab games.
Although the local government is very much against most forms of gambling, there are only some forms that are considered illegal and the vast majority, like online gambling, is simply unlegislated.
To work around most gambling laws, many people turned to cruise ship casinos that sail in international waters, which was legal until the law expired in 1995. At that point, the law was not restored and there were no policing options to stop people from gambling on ships. Today, cruise ship gambling is in a gray area and many players also now consider online gambling outside of US laws.
What Online Casinos are Available from Alaska?
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Alaska Offshore Casino Statistics
Alaska is the 42nd most active state that participates in offshore online gambling at casinos as of 2020 with a gross win amount of $3.1m. Alaska contributes to 2.67% of all offshore casino activity in the United States for 2020. Click here to see a breakdown of all offshore gambling activity broken down by state.
The following is a breakdown of all offshore casino gambling from Alaska since 2003.
*Note: Data from 2020 are currently based on estimates.
Source – H2 Gambling Capital
Offshore gambling statistics for sports betting from Alaska can be found here.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Alaska?
Just like most of the states in the U.S., there is a very gray area when it comes to placing bets through websites online. While the general law prohibits online casinos based within the state to offer gambling for real money, there are no strict rules about offshore casinos that are regulated overseas.
Unlike other states that have a bigger population to demand change in gambling laws, Alaska has a smaller population that has a long battle ahead against lawmakers who are firm with illegal gambling.
Differences Between Land-based and Online Gambling
Since Alaska does not have any traditional land-based casinos like more pro-gambling states, they do have several Native American-owned bingo establishments that also offer pull-tab games, though that is the extent of the legal gambling offers. They are highly popular for players who are looking for gambling entertainment apart from expensive cruise casinos that offer a wide range of classic gambling games like slots and table games. In the past, they were a legal means of gambling offshore, but the law expired in 1995 and has not been reinstated since.
Due to the lack of gambling offerings and even the prohibition of the lottery, players are looking for different alternatives that will give them the thrills and options that the state currently does not have. Online casinos seem to be the answer that plenty of players find interesting, and they are flocking to the sites that currently cater to players in the US.
Online casinos are essentially a virtual version of a classic land-based casino. The sites offer a wide range of casino games like slots and table games, with some even offering players live dealer games for a little extra excitement and interaction.
Common games that online casinos offer:
- Virtual game shows
- Live dealer table games
Although some online casinos will have classic gambling games along with an offer of sports betting, it is still a more specialized form of gambling that has sites dedicated solely to live and virtual sports.
How to Find the Best Alaska Online Casinos
While there are no online casinos based within the state, there are many offshore online casinos that offer US players a chance to enjoy classic and modern casino gambling games for real money. For players who are new to online gambling, there are a few things to consider before going through the registration process that all sites require before a bet can be placed.
License and Regulation
Always look for a license and the site registration to ensure they are able to offer gambling online. Every site will have a license registered from jurisdictions and license authorities from the following regions:
- Isle of Man
- Costa Rica
- Antigua and Barbuda
The license and registration will normally be located at the bottom footer of the main page or within the site’s terms and conditions. If they are not easily located, players can also contact customer support for more information.
Even if an online casino holds an international online gambling license, many will have country restrictions that prevent players from certain countries from playing some or all games on the site. A quick search in the terms and conditions or within the support pages will have a list of countries and games that are restricted.
Good Game Selection
The game selection is one of those factors that lots of people do not even consider checking out before joining a casino online. Many assume that all classic casino games will be offered, though this is a common misconception. There are many online casinos that aim to offer a good variety of slots, table games, sports betting, and live dealer options, some choose to keep their site simple with a limited type or variety of games.
To avoid getting bored too quickly or going through a registration process for games that do not match gambling needs, take a quick browse of game collections to see what is available at the time.
One of the biggest benefits of online gambling is the fact that sites always offer players a bonus to give them an edge in the games they love. Most sites will have a generous welcome bonus for new sign ups, along with regular offers that are listed on their promotions page. The offers given to players are a good way to see how generous the casino is and how competitive they are with other sites online.
How Can I Stay Safe Gambling for Real Money Online?
When there is a market for gambling games online, there is also the potential for falling prey to scam sites. Since most online casinos that cater to US players are offshore and unregulated, players have a hard time seeing the difference between legitimate and scam sites.
Research Popular Sites
New players should always put in a good amount of research to find which sites are most popular online. The details of the site and player reviews are generally a good indicator of the experience that players should expect from joining the site. Highly rated sites are a good place to start to avoid falling to cons.
Available Banking Options
Most US states do not allow players to gamble online and because of this, major banks do not allow transfers for deposits or withdrawals from known gambling sites. To allow easy and safe payments, online casinos offer a range of payment options from trusted e-wallets and some have also begun allowing cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
Safety and Security
Players who want to gamble online will have to complete a registration process that often needs a valid photo ID. Banking transactions for deposits and withdrawals also need personal information to validate transfers, which is why the safety and security of information is a very important factor to consider before gambling online. Look for SSL encryption and other measures that will protect sensitive information from potential hackers.