Sports betting in Alaska is not currently legal. However, there have been a few attempts to push through regulations that would make online sports betting legal, so let’s take a look at what could one day be available to Alaskans.
Can I Legally Bet on Sports in Alaska?
At the moment, it’s not legal to bet on sports in Alaska, however it is possible to bet on fantasy sports via sportsbooks such as FanDuel or DraftKings.
In 2022, there were a couple of attempts to encourage online sports betting legislation. In February 2022, Representative Alan Wool put forward a bill titled HB385 that would allow, and regulate, online and mobile based sports betting. In May of the same year, the legislative session in Alaska came to an end, with no agreement made regarding the allowance of sports betting. Unfortunately, this seems to be a repeat pattern, with the same actions and outcomes occurring two years previous in 2020 – that time with the support of Governor Mike DunLeavy. Many believe that a large part of the problem in agreeing legalized sports betting in Alaska is the relatively small population compared to the size of the state itself. There are also very few professional sports teams in comparison to other states. As a result, legislators are less inclined to push through with an agreement – the urgency and demand is not there as was so evident in other states.
Sports Alaskans Will Be Able to Bet On
As with other states that have already legalized sports betting, there is sure to be a great range of markets available to Alaskans once governors approve legislation. If the state takes a similar route to many others, for example Ohio, betting on college sports, such as the NCAAB will also be possible, alongside, esports and all the top professional sporting events such as the NBA, NHL and NFL.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular sports that are legal to bet on in other US states.
There are no professional football teams in Alaska and it is the only state in the whole of the US that has no college football programs. Despite this, if sports betting becomes legal in Alaska, it may be possible to bet on teams across state, meaning access to some of the biggest rivalries such as Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears, or the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams. And there’s many exciting events such as the Play Offs and the Super Bowl which concludes the NFL season.
The Alaska Nanooks have a men’s college ice hockey team that plays in the NCAA Division 1 league, representing the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Their home is at The Carlson Center in Fairbanks. There is no NHL team for Alaska, however the ‘local’ team to support is the newly established Seattle Kraken who are part of the Pacific Division in the Western Conference. One of the top events to look forward to in the NHL is the Stanley Cup. This is an annual event at the end of the season in May and sees the winner of the National Hockey Association (NHA) take on the winner of the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA).
At an NCAA level, the team to look out for in Alaska is the Anchorage Seawolves. Similarly to other sports markets, there is no professional basketball team partly because of the low level of population and the distance between Alaska and other major league teams. The demand is not there, and is not likely to be so any time soon. However, with match ups in the NBA such as Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks, or the LA Lakers and Boston Celtics there’s still plenty of Alaska sports betting potential. The NBA season runs from October to April with the play of finals starting at this latter date.
Locally, we have the annual Great Alaska Shootout which is a men’s and women’s college basketball tournament held in Anchorage, Alaska. During this event, the host team, University of Alaska Anchorage invites three other teams to compete. 2022 was won by Alaska Anchorage on the women’s side so the home side will be looking to consolidate this success with future wins.
There are six local college teams from four cities in Alaska who participate in a summer collegiate league. The Alaska Baseball League is set up for those playing at NCAA level who want to compete and move on to a professional level of baseball. The 2022 league winners were the Anchorage Glacier Pilots who defeated the Mat Su Miners 6-2. The other teams making up the leaderboard are the Chugiak Chinooks, Anchorage Bucs, and the Peninsula Oilers. As for the NHL, there are no Alaskan teams for sports betting fans to support. However, as with other sports there are some great NHL rivalries to enjoy, such as the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens.
Betting Bonuses and Promotions
One of the main attractions to a sportsbook is often the bonuses and promotions available to new customers. These can be as creative and generous as a site wants to make them, however there tends to be a pattern in terms of what is offered as a welcome offer. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular betting promotions that are likely to be available once Alaska sports betting is live and running.
Matched Deposit Bonuses
Typically offered as a welcome bonus, matched deposit bonuses offer a percentage addition to your initial deposit. For example, the offer may outline 100% up to $50, so if you make a first deposit of $20 then the online sports betting site will mirror this with another $20. The online sportsbook will not match anything above the ceiling amount of $50. This can be a great way of testing out a new site, boosting your betting power by a little more than you expected. Be mindful that all matched deposit bonuses come with terms and conditions that render it almost impossible to withdraw and potential winnings. These will include stipulations such as wagering requirements, winning caps, time limits and payment method exclusions. It’s important to read through all t&cs before accepting a promotion to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting into.
Another common promotional offer is the free bet. These are regularly offered in association with matched deposit bonuses, but equally as often on their own. Free bets are a great way of testing out a new site, or a sports market you aren’t so familiar with before using any of your own money. As with deposit match bonuses, free bets come with terms and conditions, such as a potential minimum deposit, so read through before accepting an offer.
Daily Fantasy Sports Betting
Despite it being illegal to bet on sports in Alaska, it is possible to bet on fantasy sports under the ruling that it allows for an element of skill over chance. This skill comes in the form of analyzing statistics and gaming potentials, as well as possessing a decent level of knowledge of sports and how the leagues have previously concluded.
There are a number of apps that offer daily fantasy sports events, however Fanduel and DraftKings dominate the industry. The age limit for betting on DFS stands at 21 years and above. Daily Fantasy Sports differs slightly from the season long fantasy sports leagues in that the events run on a day by day basis with athletes and teams awarded points based on performance. Check out some of the DFS tournaments via one of the licensed operators listed at the top of this page.
Alaska Sports Betting Payment Methods
One of the most popular methods of making a sports betting deposit is with a Visa or Mastercard debit card. Everyone has gone through the process of making a digital payment, and not much will vary when it comes to placing a bet online. One great thing about debit card payments is that it will always be available, and is not likely to be excluded in bonus offers. However, for those who are particularly security conscious, handing over personal bank card details isn’t always appealing, in which case an e-wallet or another digital option may be better suited. Debit cards aren’t the fastest when it comes to withdrawing cash from online sportsbooks, but those eligible for Visa Fast Funds will find that their money reaches their accounts a lot quicker.
If you’re looking for a banking method that’s more secure than a debit card and faster with transactions, an e-wallet may be your best bet. There are a range of e-wallets available, all generally offering a similar service but with varying benefits and fees associated.
The main ones to look out for are PayPal, Venmo, and Skrill. What these allow for is the collection of any of your bank card details in your e-wallet account - and when you make an online casino deposit all you need to submit is your email address on the cashier page. There is a downside to e-wallets in that they are often invalid alongside promotions and offers – this means that you will need a secondary payment option for bonus acceptances. You can use e-wallets for all regular deposits and withdrawals.
Paysafecard is one of the most well known prepaid cards available. A prepaid card is the safest way of making a deposit at an online sportsbook as the only information you need to submit on the cashier page is the code on the back of the voucher itself. It’s also a great way of monitoring your spending as the prepaid card has to be bought in advance meaning you can never go over budget without buying a new card first. The only downside is that this payment method is deposit only, so you’ll have to find a second option for withdrawing anything back into your bank account.
Problem Gambling and How to Bet Safely
Gambling on an outcome should always be a fun addition to sport, and not the main event itself. Here are a few tips on keeping safe when betting.
- Only bet through a licensed sportsbook. At Compare.bet we only recommend licensed settings so if you stick to those we review, you are on safe ground. Each site will outline their license details at the base of their homepage so it should be clear if you’re on a safe site;
- Stick to a budget. It’s important to know how much you can bet, and potentially lose;
- Speak to friends and family. Never keep your sports betting a secret, this is when problem gambling can come into play. If a bet doesn’t feel right then it’s potentially time to reconsider your habits. Always tell those closest to you what you’re up to and keep everything in the open;
- Never allow betting to interfere with your personal and social life. If this becomes the case, you may need to step away from the sportsbooks for a while;
- Make use of on-site monitoring tools. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to take a break every so often, and sometimes using an account blocking tool is the easiest way to do this;
- It’s important to always bet with a clear mind and as such, we recommend you never gamble under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Problem Gambling Organizations
If you want further advice or support with problem gambling, there are several organizations that can help.