Alaska Governor introduces legislation to create new gambling body

It looks as if Alaska’s governor wants to explore gambling expansion in the state.

Alaska’s Governor, Mike Dunleavy, has introduced a piece of legislation that would create a new state lottery corporation with the aim of introducing new legal gambling options in the state.

The Senate bill, SB 188 and its accompanying bill in the House, HB 246, are now with their respective State Affairs Committees where they will be discussed.

What’s covered in the legislation

Both SB 188 and HB 246 outline plans to create the Alaska Lottery Corporation, a new regulatory body that would be responsible for organizing, operating and regulating a state lottery.

The new regulatory body would operate within the Department of Revenue and will be made up of a seven-member board that will be appointed by the Governor. The lottery corporation would consist of five public members, Alaska’s Commissioner of Revenue and one commissioner that will be selected by the Governor.

If the legislation is successful, Alaska’s new state lottery could include in-state and inter-state lottery draw games along with instant win games, keno and sports wagering. These games could be offered at land-based venues and online.

Dunleavy said: “In the face of low state revenues, my administration has been actively seeking new revenue sources to diversify our economy. Not only does this legislation have the potential of creating new business opportunities, the profits generated from lottery activities will be designated to K-12 education, domestic violence prevention programs, drug abuse prevention programs, foster care, and homelessness.

“Alaska is one of only five states that does not have any form of a state lottery. I believe it is time we, as a state, have the conversation on the potential benefits that could come from a state lottery.”

Gambling in Alaska

Alaska is one of the most restrictive states in the US when it comes to gambling activities. Currently, state law prohibits sports betting, online poker, live poker and online casino gambling.

The states tribal gambling establishments are also restricted in their offering as they are only permitted to offer bingo and pull-tab games. Residents can, however, enjoy casino gambling on cruises that go into international waters.

If the proposed legislation is successful, Alaska would be able to introduce several new gambling activities.

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