They call Alaska the Last Frontier, and that’s certainly the case for gambling. There are severe limits on any kind of wagering, and online sportsbooks in Alaska are unable to operate anywhere in the state. Hopefully, things are changing. In 2020, the state government proposed a change in the law to permit sports betting. That points to a new attitude at the top, which could see a thaw in gambling regulations in the frozen north.

Are online sportsbooks legal in Alaska?

No. Alaska has some of the most restrictive gambling laws in the USA. Indeed, it is one of just five states that does not currently operate a state lottery. As a result of this hard-line stance, Alaska online gambling permits almost no betting of any kind. The closest thing to sports betting that Alaska will allow is Daily Fantasy Sports. These are regarded as skill contests, not games of chance, so Alaskans can enjoy these.

Otherwise, exceptions are limited to tribal gaming venues with a small range of wagering options. In addition, there is no effective legislation to prevent small-scale social gambling at home or with friends. Commercial betting, whether online or at bricks-and-mortar venues, remains illegal despite a 2020 proposal to liberalize the rules.

Best sportsbooks in Alaska

Right now, America’s most popular sportsbooks are unable to operate in Alaska. However, as soon as the law changes, the surest bet is that the market’s biggest players will be rushing to the north to get a piece of the action. Here’s a look at what to expect from some of the key names.

BetMGM Alaska

In several states, BetMGM already has a big online presence. Customers like its generous sign-up offer, and they stick around for a weekly loyalty bonus for anyone staking more than $50 in a week. Critics point out that both the website and the app can be relatively slow, especially when processing live bets.

DraftKings Alaska

You will find DraftKings has an online presence in the state. However, this is nothing to do with its sportsbook or casino offer. Instead, DraftKings Alaska is limited to its Daily Fantasy Sports games, the closest thing to legal sports betting in the state.

BetRivers Alaska

When new sports betting markets open for business, BetRivers is usually among the first sportsbooks to go live. Naturally, that wouldn’t count for much if the product wasn’t right. Happily, sign-up bonuses worth up to $500 and a high-quality app make BetRivers a genuine, trusted contender in any market.

FanDuel Alaska

Like DraftKings, FanDuel started out in Daily Fantasy Sports. Therefore, like DraftKings, it can offer its DFS markets in Alaska. However, it is unable to provide the sportsbook and casino options that are so popular elsewhere in the U.S.

Who can use online sportsbooks in Alaska?

At the moment, nobody can legally play at sports betting sites in Alaska. The state has some of the most restrictive gambling laws in the USA, and there is no such thing as a licensed sportsbook in AK. This applies to online and retail offers. Some offshore gambling platforms will allow Alaskan customers to sign up. They rely on the fact that they have licenses in other jurisdictions. However, there are risks associated with this, since these offshore options are not regulated in any way. That means, in the event of any dispute, customers have next to no legal protection.

How to get started with sportsbooks in AK

It’s only easy when you know the answers. For betting newbies, signing up and placing that first bet can be a daunting experience. Happily, we’re here to help. Read on for a quick run-down of what you need to get busy with your betting.

  1. Find an AK sportsbook from our list. Start off by picking an Alaska online gambling site from our list that suits your preferences.
  2. Sign up for an account. The sign-up process is usually fairly straightforward. Typically, new customers need to provide cell phone and email contacts and then choose a username and password. The last four digits of your SSN usually suffice to verify your account. Sometimes, though, additional one-time checks will be needed. It might be irritating, but this helps protect you against identity fraud.
  3. Choose one of the sportsbooks promotions. Some sportsbooks offer a selection of offers for new customers to choose from. Others have a single promo, but the value of the bonus varies according to the size of your first deposit or wager. Whatever you go for, check the details to make sure you understand all the requirements before you start betting.
  4. Make a deposit with your preferred payment method. You can check out the pros and cons of different payments below. Most sportsbooks invite you to make a deposit as soon as you register your account. When you do so, you can select the most convenient way for you to manage your funds.
  5. Start betting. Look through the markets that interest you. When you find a bet you like, click on the odds. Select your stake on the bet slip, and click confirm. You’re ready to go.

When will sportsbooks be legal in Alaska?

For gamblers in the Last Frontier state, the likely legalization of sportsbooks — whether online or retail — remains the big question. Unfortunately, the prospects are not encouraging right now.

Historically, gambling has not been popular in Alaska. Today, it is one of just five states that does not run a lottery. In 1960, the state authorities introduced laws around betting for the first time. Most of these were intended to prevent gambling from taking place. In 1995, briefly, cruise ships moored off the Alaskan coast could operate casinos. However, this law expired at the end of the year. Since then, residents in the far north can only wager on bingo or ‘pull tab’ games (a type of scratch card) at designated tribal gaming venues.

In 2020, Governor Mike Dunleavy proposed a new law that would permit sports betting and more. However, neither chamber of the state legislature backed Dunleavy’s bill and there were no changes to the law. Moreover, while other states have attracted significant lobbying from the gaming industry, Alaska has a population of just 800,000 people. With such a small potential market, few companies are eager to invest much time and money into influencing political opinion in Juneau.

As a result, it is far from clear when Alaska will see a renewed attempt to allow gambling in the state. However, it is certain that when the day arrives, there will be a strong focus on the internet wagering. After all, with a sparse population spread across a vast area, retail betting is unlikely to be a profitable proposition for many.

Crypto betting options at AK sportsbooks

Cryptocurrency and online gambling go well together. Today’s sportsbooks are increasingly happy to accept deposits in crypto. Gamblers in Alaska might find this a viable way of getting around restrictions about online action in the state. Here are some of the top digital currencies that you could use at sportsbooks.

  • Bitcoin. The most famous crypto of them all. When Bitcoin launched in 2009, many dismissed it as a geeky fad. Today, though, it is world-renowned and regularly makes the headlines.
  • Ethereum. After Bitcoin came to Ethereum. The second major player to join the market is still a market leader today. That means it is widely accepted by gambling platforms. Like all the best cryptos, it offers secure, untraceable transactions. However, it is also vulnerable to market volatility and can be complex for bettors accustomed to conventional e-wallets and bank accounts.
  • Dogecoin. The good news for Dogecoin users is that their preferred currency has low transaction fees and fast delivery times for payments. The bad news is that it is a relatively new player on the market, which can make it difficult to find gambling platforms that accept it. Dogecoin betting is likely to be more prevalent in the future.
  • Binance. Not surprisingly, the leading crypto exchange quickly decided it needed its own cryptocurrency. Binance coin, launched in 2017, was the result. It is already a viable option for betting, not least because Binance is so big that other platforms want to get involved. However, it is not ideal for every user. The coin is only available after setting up an account at Binance and many of the more attractive sign-up offers for Binance gambling sites are beginning to lose their value.
  • Litecoin. Inspired by Bitcoin, Litecoin was one of the first alternatives on the market. It started back in 2011. In many ways, the two cryptos are similar and offer similar advantages to gamblers. Speed and anonymity are key features, while volatile prices are a major danger.
  • Stellar. This currency is often regarded as similar to Ripple. Jed McCaleb, the co-founder of Ripple, was on the first floor with Stellar as well in 2014. Stellar’s fans like high speeds and low fees. They also enjoy good liquidity on many exchanges. However, there are worries that this crypto is getting stale. The Stellar foundation holds about 60% of the total value of the currency, and development seems to be in decline in recent years.
  • Cardano. Environmental friendliness is Cardano’s big selling point. Launched in 2017 by Ethereum co-founder Charles Hoskison, many believe it has improved on its more illustrious predecessor. It uses a proof-of-stake protocol, which consumes less energy than the more common proof-of-work protocol and should make for ‘greener’ transactions.

Today’s AK betting apps and betting sites like to offer various ways of making deposits and withdrawing winnings. They all have pros and cons, from convenience to transaction fees. Here are some thoughts about the most popular payment methods currently in use.

  • American Express. Amex is a venerable name in the payments market. However, longevity has not helped it scale up its online operations. American Express cards are notably less popular with internet gambling platforms than competitors such as VISA or Mastercard. This is largely down to the relatively high fees companies must pay to have Amex process any transaction.
  • VISA. The world’s most popular card provider, VISA is likely to be the easiest way for many people to make deposits with a card they already own. The downside comes when it’s time to make a withdrawal. Many gambling platforms have restrictions on making payments to credit or debit cards, meaning customers have to set up an alternative method to access their winnings.
  • PayNearMe. If using a card to bet is a problem, PayNearMe could be the solution. Although it involves handing over banknotes, there is no need to drive out to an out-of-town casino. Instead, your local convenience store likely handles PayNearMe transactions. That way, you get all the advantages of a cash transaction, and you can do it while you’re picking up the groceries.
  • Venmo. This mobile payment service is something of a hidden player on the market. After PayPal bought up Venmo in 2012, customers often find that the option of making Venmo transactions is available indirectly if they choose PayPal as their preferred method. Convenience is the big selling point. Many gamblers will have a few bucks in their Venmo account as a matter of course, so it’s a simple matter to use it to fund a wager or two.
  • Play+. Online gamblers are a core market for Play+, which created its pre-paid card, especially for use on betting sites. You can fund your Play+ account from your e-wallet or bank. Those funds are then ready to use on your preferred gambling platform(s). If you win, you can withdraw your prize to your Play+ card and spend it as you please.

When online sportsbooks arrive in Alaska, bettors can expect a range of tempting offers to encourage them to sign up. Gambling companies like to use promos to attract new customers and reward existing ones. Here are some common bonuses.

  • No deposit bonus. This type of promo is more popular in online casinos than in sportsbooks. As the name suggests, a reward is given as soon as you open an account. It is not tied to depositing or gambling any of your own funds. Usually, a no deposit bonus will be a small free bet or a few free spins on a casino slot. Typically, it comes with a hefty wagering requirement, so be careful to read the fine print.
  • Matched deposit bonus. This promo is often used as a sign-up offer, with the gambling platform giving new customers free bets to the value of their initial deposit. Some sportsbooks also use it as a loyalty bonus to encourage existing players to gamble more. It can be a good way of boosting your bankroll and increasing your stake at no greater risk to your own funds. Once again, though, there may be additional conditions to meet before you can withdraw funds.
  • Sign up bonus. When a sportsbook wants to get new customers, it offers a bonus for creating an account. These offers are usually free bets of some kind, but might also be greatly enhanced odds on a particular market or a promise of a no-risk wager to start you off. Sign up promos are good one-time offers, but companies will crack down on attempts to create multiple accounts and claim the bonus several times over.
  • Free bet bonus. A free bet allows you to back a result without risking your own funds. Betting companies offer these as sign-up promos, and also as rewards in loyalty schemes or VIP clubs. When bettors stake a free bet, they can collect the winnings as usual. However, the stake will not be returned. This limits the value of a free bet when backing an odds-on favorite.

Are there any retail sportsbooks in Alaska?

Not at present. Alaska’s gambling laws are among the most restrictive in the U.S. As a result, tribal gaming halls are the only legal gambling venues in the state. Here, bettors can play bingo or wager on pull tab games, a scratch card variant. Some residents also like to use ‘casino cruises’, sailing out into Canadian or international waters to play slots and table games.


How old do I need to be to bet on sportsbooks in Alaska?

Since sportsbooks are not permitted in Alaska, there is no legal betting age.

What are my options for online sportsbooks in AK?

At present, with no regulated sportsbooks in the state, Alaskan gamblers have limited options. The only realistic choice is to use off-shore platforms that accept customers from Alaska. However, this poses some risks to users, especially in the event of a dispute with the betting company.

When will sportsbooks become legal in Alaska?

Nobody knows. The last attempt to legalize gambling in AK was in 2020.

Is it illegal to use VPN in Alaska at online sportsbooks?

No. However, there are complications. Typically, gambling platforms will require some form of proof of residence before processing financial transactions. Thus, while a VPN can help you to set up an account, it may not be able to assist with depositing and withdrawing your funds.