Poker in Alaska


Population: 731,545

Capital: Juneau

Currency: United States Dollar ($)

Time Zone: UTC-8

State Name Abbreviation: AK

Casinos with Poker

Alaska was bought by the United States from Russia in 1867 for $7.2 million. Since then, it has made back its price many times over. Alas, almost none of that revenue came from the gambling industry.

That is because almost all games of chance are illegal in Alaska. There are a few bingo halls on Native American land. However, the most they offer is some pull tab games. While the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 does allow Native Americans on tribal land to operate casinos on their own will, the Alaskan legal landscape is so harsh on gambling that even they can’t put up a “proper” casino with slot machines or table games. Evidently, this makes it impossible for commercial poker rooms to operate as well.

So, what do Alaskan poker players have left to cling to? Not much.

They can host their own private games. Social poker games are legal as long as no rake is collected. They can travel to the neighboring Canada, where they play in any of the many legal cardrooms. Closest to Alaska are the poker rooms in Yukon territory.

Or, they can try one of the real money poker apps that use the sweepstake model, such as PokerBros. At least there’s no news coming about Alaskan authorities cracking down on those.

Famous Alaskan Poker Players

Adam Hendrix from Anchorage, AK tops the Midnight Sun state’s all time money list on Hendon. He has $1.767 million in live tournament cashes.

In August 2019, he finished 2nd in the €1,100 No Limit Hold’em – EPT National event at EPT Barcelona for €346,500. That is the biggest single live tournament cash of his career to date. In 2017, he came very close to winning his first ever WSOP gold bracelet. He got to the heads-up stage in the $1,500 Pot Limit Omaha Hi-Lo event. However, he lost to the man with a befitting name for a poker tournament, Nathan Gamble. Thus Hendrix finished second for $137,992.

Second on the Alaskan all time money list is Perry Green from Fairbanks, AK with $1.124 million in cashes. He’s an old school poker pro, having won his first WSOP title in the 1976 $1,000 Ace to Five Draw event. He has a total of 3 bracelets. Also, his World Series cashes span over 4 decades.

On the online MTT database PocketFives, there is a single player who set their location as Alaska. A player with the screen name “oneGypsyPlz” on Blackchip Poker and “clarkus” on Americas Cardroom has cashed for $51,281 in online tournaments.


– Playing Live Poker in Alaska –

   Live Poker Legislation in Alaska

Alaska has one of the most restrictive laws in the Union when it comes to gambling, as we wrote in our intro. Alaska Statutes Title 11.66.200; 05.15.680 covers the definitions and penalties of illegal gambling.

Unfortunately, almost all games of chance, including poker, are prohibited. Even on casinos on Indian reservations, only Class II gaming facilities are authorized, such as bingo and pull tab games. Class III gaming, which would include poker, table games, and slot machines, is not allowed anywhere in Alaska. Thankfully, at least social gambling is allowed by law.

Also, in February 2020, Governor Dunleavy (R) introduced the Alaska Lottery Corporation Act. This piece of legislation established the Alaska State Lottery.

  Live Poker Venues in Alaska

As we wrote multiple times above, there is no public poker room in operation in the entire state of Alaska. The closest one is in Dawson City in Yukon, Canada.

If you’re desperate for any kind of gambling action, you can try the two Native American bingo halls in the state: Klawock Bingo in Klawock, AK or the Metlakatla Bingo Hall in Metlakatla, AK.

– Casinos and Poker Rooms in Alaska –

  Online Poker in Alaska

Although with land based gambling, Alaska is much stricter than most of the other states; when it comes to online gambling, it’s not so different from most other states at all.

That means that they don’t have any legislation in place pertaining to online gambling per se. This makes it illegal by default, as federal laws prohibit internet gambling unless it’s explicitly allowed and regulated by state law. The most important federal law is the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act.

Thankfully, real money poker apps using the sweepstakes model, such as PokerBros or Global Poker, are just as legal in Alaska as anywhere in the United States.