Poker in Alaska
In 1867, the United States paid Russia $7.2 million to acquire Alaska. It has since more than compensated for its initial investment. Unfortunately, the gambling industry contributed little to none of that total but poker in Alaska should be something you cannot ignore.
Since virtually all forms of gambling are forbidden by law in the Last Frontier state of Alaska, this makes sense. On Native American territory, you can find a few bingo parlors. Unfortunately, the only games they have pull tabs. While Native Americans on tribal land are technically allowed to run casinos at their own discretion under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, the gambling climate in Alaska is so restrictive that not even they can open a “proper” casino with slot machines and table games. Obviously, this eliminates the possibility of legal, commercial poker venues functioning as well.
Alaskan poker players, what hope do you have now? Very little.
Individuals have the option of holding their own private tournaments. Poker can be played legally when played for fun, and no rake is taken. They could simply cross the border into Canada, where they would find a plethora of legitimate card rooms. Poker halls in Yukon territory are the closest to Alaska.
In addition, they can download one of the many options, such as the real money poker app PokerBros. At least there hasn’t been any word that the Alaskan government plans to crack down on them.
- An estimated 731,545 people call California home.
- Juneau is the capital of Alaska.
- Money in U.S. dollars ($)
- Currently, it is 8 hours behind UTC.
- Abbreviation for “Alaska” as a state name: AK.
Poker Stars from the Last Frontier
Anchorage, Alaska’s Adam Hendrix is the top money winner on Hendon in the state of Alaska. He has won $1,767,000 in live tournaments.
To the tune of €346,500, he took second place in the €1,100 No Limit Hold’em – EPT National event in August 2019 at EPT Barcelona. That is the most money he has ever won in a single live tournament. He nearly won his first WSOP bracelet that year (2017). He advanced to the heads-up round within the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo tournament. However, he was defeated by Nathan Gamble, whose name is fitting for a poker tournament. Thus, Hendrix earned the runner-up prize of $137,992.
Perry Green of Fairbanks, AK, has $1.124 million in cash and ranks second on Alaska’s all-time money list. His first World Series of Poker title came in the $1,000 Ace to Five Draw event in 1976, making him a true veteran of the game. There are three bracelets on his wrists. Over the course of four decades, he has earned money from the World Series.
There is a single Alaskan listed as their location on the online MTT database PocketFives. An online poker tournament winner who goes by the name “oneGypsyPlz” on Blackchip Poker and “clarkus” on America’s Cardroom has raked in $51,281.
Participating in Live Alaska Poker Games
Regulatory Framework for Online Poker in Alaska
We mentioned in the introduction that Alaska has some of the nation’s strictest gambling laws. Alaska law defines and punishes illegal gambling in Title 11.66.200 and 05.15.680.1.
Sadly, poker and other games of chance are illegal. Class II gaming facilities, like bingo and pull tab games, are legal even on Indian reservation casinos. Poker, other table games, and slot machines fall under “Class III” gaming, which is illegal in Alaska. Thankfully, the law recognizes gambling for entertainment purposes.
And in February of 2020, Republican Governor Mike Dunleavy of Alaska introduced the Alaska Lottery Corporation Act. The Alaska State Lottery was created by this law.
Places to Play Poker Live in Alaska
The state of Alaska does not host any public poker rooms, as we’ve mentioned several times above. Dawson City, in the Yukon Territory of Canada, is the nearest.
There are two Native American bingo halls in the state: Klawock Bingo in Klawock and the Metlakatla Bingo Hall in Metlakatla.
Gambling Halls and Poker Rooms in the Last Frontier State
The legality of Internet Poker in the Last Frontier
Although Alaska has stricter regulations on land-based gambling than the majority of other states, it is not so different from the majority of other states, like the poker rooms in Oklahoma, when it comes to online gambling.
There is no legislation in place that specifically addresses online gambling. Inasmuch as federal law prohibits online gambling except where expressly allowed and regulated by state law, this activity is therefore, illegal. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 is the most significant piece of federal legislation on the subject.
Thanks to the sweepstakes model used by apps like PPPoker and Global Poker, real money poker is legal in Alaska.