Governor Mike Dunleavy is behind the legalization of sports betting.

  • The Governor of Alaska is proposing to make sports betting in the state legal.
  • Two bills are slated to go before the Legislature for approval sometime during the 2020 session that ends in May.
  • Estimates say that legal sports betting and a state lottery would bring in millions per year in revenue to help the economy of Alaska.

JUNEAU, Alaska – Governor Mike Dunleavy will propose legal sports betting in Alaska to the state’s Legislature. The bills that will be introduced by the Governor are AK SB 188 and AK HB 246.

The duo known as the Alaska Lottery Corporation Act, would help in the regulation of an Alaska State Lottery as well as allow for keno, scratch-offs, and legal sports betting.

The Reason For The Bills By The Governor

Alaska is facing a tremendous gap in its fiscal budget that is estimated at about $1.5 billion. With these new resources for revenue, that could help in making that gap smaller. If Dunleavy’s plans for gambling and sports betting legalization in Alaska come to fruition, it could bring in as much as $100 million in revenue each year to slowly go toward paying the $1.5 billion gap.

“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,” said Governor Dunleavy. “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.”

Under the Alaska Lottery Corporation Act, AK SB 188 and AK HB 246, would make all of the above games legal. The Corporation would be made up of a board of seven people to oversee operations of gambling in the state.

Not only would the revenue go toward helping with the debt in Alaska, but it would also help with a number of state programs like foster care, senior services, the homeless, drug abuse, and domestic violence rehabilitation programs.

These bills have been referred to take the floor and be heard by the Committee on State Affairs. No date has been scheduled on the calendar but the Governor will share the floor with another bill proposing for the legalization of a state lottery.

Dunleavy’s plan to have that as well as sports betting in Alaska is expected to bring in over ten times the amount of money that the other bill would once it becomes law. Alaska’s Legislative session ends in May.

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