Alaska may be cold and lack their own professional sports teams, but that doesn’t mean that residents are any less inclined to enjoy betting on sports. Due to their proximity to legal US bookmakers, this presents a bit of a problem for Alaskans seeking options for betting on their favorite sports events, teams and athletes. The state is not opposed to all gambling entertainment, with several regulated forms of betting allowed in the state. However sports betting is a different kind of animal in the legal landscape of US gambling laws. Sports gambling is the one form of betting that is governed by federal laws that reach across the country.
Thankfully there are licensed offshore sportsbooks that legally offer betting services to gamblers in the United States, including residents of Alaska. As long as you know where you can legally place your bets, you have access to legitimate online sports betting. This page of our website was written specifically for citizens of the Last Frontier, and will guide you through the legalities surrounding sports betting in Alaska. We will provide insight into what is and is not legal to participate in, how US federal laws affect your options, and how to legally access industry leading US online sportsbooks that are licensed, regulated and located offshore.
Best Online Sports Betting Site
For Alaska Residents
Betonline Sportsbook is a reputable and trusted brand that legally welcomes players from the United States, including those in Alaska. They are licensed and regulated in Panama City, Panama, and new customers are eligible for a 50% match bonus up to $2500 on the first deposit. In addition, Betonline provides a lifetime 25% match bonus up to $1000 on all deposits made into your player account. They offer mobile sports betting options as well as live betting and live in play betting features. They cover all major US and international sports categories with a wide range of wagering options and competitive odds and lines.
Does Sports Betting Even Exist in Alaska?
You might not think so, but Alaskans are actually big sports fans. Now, they don't have any real professional teams to speak of, but they still have a wide range of fans. One of the best parts about being in a state that doesn't have any specific team is that you can choose whichever team you want without feeling some sort of obligation to your state's home team. This is evidenced by Alaskans who like a wide variety of teams, from the Seahawks and Packers in the NFL to the Yankees and Marlins in MLB. Many Alaskans are avid sports betters as well, which means they visit different sportsbooks to put down money on point spreads, over-under scores, proposition bets, and more. So while it's nowhere near the market of a state like California or New York, sports betting does exist in Alaska and actually makes up a hefty percentage of the state's gamblers. Almost all of this sports betting takes place via websites, as there isn't much of a presence in the state for off-site sportsbooks and betting shops.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Alaska?
There are no forms of state regulated sports betting available in Alaska either online of offline. Even if Alaska's lawmakers wanted to legalize this form of gambling entertainment for the state, they would be prohibited by federal law from doing so. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and the Federal Wire Act combine to effectively outlaw any form of state based sportsbook gambling. This means that you will not have access to any type of online bookmakers that are based inside of Alaska.
So what then are your legal sports betting options? Since there are no opportunities for US based online sports betting, your best option is to look outside of the United States for legally sanctioned online sportsbooks that accept players from Alaska. I bet your first thought was ‘isn’t that illegal?’ PASPA and the Federal Wire Act only impact and govern US based sports betting. These two laws have no influence over international sportsbooks that are operating legally within the industry. In addition, neither of these laws makes it a crime for US residents to participate in online sports betting that is provided through a legitimately licensed and regulated sportsbook that is located outside of the United States. The sports betting sites recommended on this page all fall into this category of legally licensed destinations.
Do US lawmakers like the fact that you can legally bet on sports offshore? No, they hate it. But the federal laws that are in place do not allow them to legally do anything about it. There are a few states that have specifically prohibited placing bets online, but Alaska is not one of them. Therefore, Alaska’s statutes and laws do not prohibit anyone from placing bets online. Both the federal and state laws that govern gambling are focused on curtailing illegal gambling operations, not necessarily going after participants from a player perspective. Neither the feds nor state officials are really interested in the gamblers themselves. There are no cases at all in Alaska of any individuals being arrested, investigated or prosecuted for placing bets online. When it all is said and done, betting on sports at licensed online sportsbooks located offshore does not violate any state or US federal laws. The sportsbooks that we mention on this page have all been vetted for legitimacy, ensuring that they hold legal and legitimate licensing and compliance certifications. They are also subject to strict regulatory oversight from a respected governing jurisdiction, allowing them to operate legally within the industry.
State and Federal Gambling Laws to Contend With in Alaska
State laws against gambling are fairly lax in Alaska and are aimed more at the people who offer gambling odds and open gambling establishments. In the state, people who gamble aren't held as criminals. But that's just the state. Many Americans often forget that, although it's directly contrary to the Constitution of our nation, the federal government still rules over states like an emperor ruling over subjects. To that end, federal regulations against gambling are still in effect in Alaska, of which there are three. The first, the Federal Wire Act, was set in motion back in 1961 and deals with people who knowingly use a wire communication (which is updated to include Internet transmissions) to accept money for gambling wagers.
The second piece of federal legislation is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, known as PASPA. This is the legislation that defined sports betting as illegal gambling, known as the Bradley Act, and save four states in the USA, it is against federal law to offer sports betting. The thing about this Act specifically is that it's a piece of federal legislation that dictates state law, so you know the feds mean business with PASPA.
The third piece, which was the shot heard 'round the world, is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, known as the UIGEA. This was the big crackdown against online gambling, and it cost gamblers and bookmakers billions of dollars all told. Some things are excluded from the act, such as fantasy sports (yes, you can gamble on fantasy sports legally) and tribal casinos, and in some state-specific instances horse races and greyhounds. But for everything else, which is the lion's share of all casino games, poker, and sports betting, the UIGEA makes it expressly illegal.
There is a silver lining here, however. Whether Alaska laws or the federal regulations, the government is only looking to crack down on people who open gambling establishments and accept money for gambling wagers. The average Joe gamblers out there who simply like to bet from their living rooms are not targets. In fact, as long as you can find a location such as one of the offshore sites we recommend, it is actually technically legal for you to bet. There are no laws on the federal books or in the state of Alaska prohibiting Alaskan residents from gambling on sites set up offshore and outside of US jurisdiction. So, if you have an interest in sports betting, simply find a website that's located outside of the United States' reach, then it's perfectly legal to gamble there.
Types of Sporting Teams in Alaska
So, way up there in Alaska, where there's far more land than people, one might think that at least one professional franchise has a huge stadium. Right? Well, unfortunately, you will not find any professional sports teams in Alaska. In fact, there are very few semi-pro teams or any types of sports teams in general. Even when speaking about high-school and collegiate sports, the pickings are incredibly slim in Alaska. A lot of this has to do expressly with the weather. It's incredibly cold in Alaska. Another factor is the odd schedule most Alaskans keep, with their 30-days of sun, 30-days of night and how they cycle on and off in The Last Frontier. By and large, however, there's a lack of sports teams there because there's a lack of people. New York City has roughly ten times the population of the whole of Alaska. And while NYC is a big draw for everyone, so they can have viable sports teams, Alaska cannot repeat that success.
Let's say that Alaska built a 300-million-dollar stadium for the Alaskan Assault, the newest NFL team in the NFC. How many people show up to attend the games there? How many new people will travel in to watch the Assault play the Packers in a playoff game? Most importantly, however: How many people outside of Alaska would watch their games and buy their merchandise? Unfortunately for Alaskans, there just isn't a market for professional sports. Even hockey, which seems a great marriage in a cold state, cannot find a strong enough foothold to really take off in Alaska. And that's saying an awful lot about the state of fandom in the state! There are plenty of sports betters there, but there's a big difference in betting on a team in your living room and showing up at -20 F to root for your home team.
Alaska does have a hockey team from the ECHL, which is like the poor man's NHL. It stands for the East Coast Hockey League, and while it does have a decent following, particularly the Alaskan Aces, the league itself is really small potatoes. You're never going to see highlights on an ESPN or national network. You'd be lucky to read about the results in the paper. There's also a summer league baseball league in Anchorage, which has teams like the Anchorage Glacier Pilots and the Anchorage Bucs, but this entire league doesn't have the reputation and reach of a 12-year-old's little league. The biggest stadium they have, Mulcahy Stadium, only seats 3,500 and is rarely sold out. But keep one thing in mind: We're talking about Alaska here. Alaskans aren't conventional people, so we couldn't rightly expect them to appreciate conventional sports.
Other Alaskan Sports to Consider Betting On
Do you know what the number-one spectator sport is in all of Alaska? Dog mushing! If you live in Florida or Cali or even somewhere that doesn't get a blizzard an average of every three months, then you might be scratching your head. But if you're an Alaskan, then you know that dog mushing is a great sport that the entire state can get behind. Dog mushing is considered the state sport of Alaska, and it consists of dogs, usually huskies, pulling people on a sled through a long course. These international dogsled competitions don't have the sponsorship of NASCAR or the commercial media buzz of the Super Bowl, but in Alaska these big events are basically equivalent of the Tour de France.
Many Alaskans actually bet on dog mushing, and most of them will do it in person. The fact of the matter is that, per reach, dog mushing is a niche sport that's confined almost entirely to a state like Alaska, so you won't find many sportsbooks offering mushing odds. However, some sports books do have entire dog racing sections, and when a big event comes up in Alaska, you can actually find odds on a sportsbook. It's not something that's happening with every sportsbook, but the largest ones typically do have something for the largest events in Alaska.
Because of a lack of sports in the state of Alaska, many Alaskans are constantly using the Internet to keep up with their favorite teams in football, baseball, basketball, etc. Many of these people also try out online sportsbooks to place wagers on their teams. If you want to bet on sports from Alaska, please remember to act within the law by going with a website that's based outside of the US's jurisdiction. This way you're safe and can bet whatever you want without breaking any laws.