Municipalities and qualified nonprofit organizations are eligible to conduct gaming activities as set out in the Alaska Gaming Reform Act. The purpose of these activities is to derive public benefit in the form of money for these entities.
Qualified organizations include: civic or service organizations; religious, charitable, fraternal, veterans, labor, political, or educational organizations; police or fire departments and companies; dog mushers’ associations, outboard motor associations, and fishing derby and nonprofit trade associations. Gaming activities include primarily the sale of pull-tabs, bingo and raffles.
The Charitable Gaming Program issues permits and licenses to conduct gaming activities, collects fees and taxes, conducts audits, investigates complaints, and provides educational outreach to municipalities and qualified organizations.
Permits are issued annually with fees ranging from $20 to $100. Licenses are issued annually with fees ranging from $500 to $2,500. A 3% tax on pull-tabs sold by distributors is collected on a monthly basis. A 1% fee on net proceeds is collected annually from permittees if their gross receipts exceed $20,000.
Monthly, quarterly, and annual returns are filed by permittees and licensees conducting gaming depending on the amount of gross receipts and the type of permit/license. Manufacturers and distributors file monthly reports. Operators must file monthly reports to permittees.
Disposition of Revenue
The Department of Revenue’s Tax Division deposits permit and license fees, pull-tab taxes, and net proceeds fees into the General Fund.
1960 – The Alaska Legislature legalized gaming and gave oversight for all gaming activities to the Department of Revenue.
1984 – The department authorized pull-tabs by regulation.
1988 – The Legislature legalized operators, authorized pull-tabs, and increased prize limits.
1989 – Under administrative order, gaming functions transferred to the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development.
1993 – Under administrative order, gaming functions transferred back to the Department of Revenue, and organized as a separate gaming program.
– House Bill 168 significantly changed various aspects of the statutes governing charitable gaming in Alaska. Third-party vendors were brought under statutory control, which allows permittees to contract with them directly to sell pull-tabs and the department was authorized to issue Multiple-Beneficiary Permits (MBP). MBPs enable two to six permittees to conduct gaming activities jointly. Minimum payments increased from 15% to 30% of adjusted gross income for pull-tab games and require a minimum of 10% of adjusted gross income for all other activities.
1995 – The Legislature legalized cruise ship gambling activities in Alaska waters during the 1995 season. The gaming statutes required that cruise ships pay a fee to game in Alaska, and this generated more than $500,000 in revenue during the 1995 season. This law expired after 1995.
1996 – The Legislature authorized three new gaming activities – the “Sled Dog Race Classic,” “Deep Freeze Classic, and “Snow Machine Classic.” The Legislature also created the “McGrath Kuskokwim River Ice Classic,” and “Creamer’s Field Goose Classic.” The Legislature prohibited the donation of net proceeds from pull-tabs and bingo activities to registered lobbyists and certain political organizations.
2014 – The Legislature made a change relating to games of chance and contests of skill to allow the department to issue permits for bull moose derbies. It also expanded the definition of “ice classic” to include the “Snow Town Ice Classic.” The change was made through HB 268 (CH 22 SLA 14).