Alaska could legalize commercial card rooms soon
The Last Frontier could authorize commercial card rooms
Alaska hopes to change a long-standing law that prohibits card rooms and casinos. A bill has been introduced that, if approved, would have a major impact on the state’s economy, as well as tourism, and is already garnering support among the state’s politicians.
Representative Colleen Sullivan-Leonard introduced House Bill 103 (HB 103) last month. It would allow commercial gambling venues in Alaska, with a one-time $100,000 licensing fee and 9.5.% gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax.
Sullivan-Leonard asserts, “HB103 will expand the gaming laws in Alaska to include the operation of card rooms hosting banked and non-banked card games. Card rooms in the state of Alaska have been contemplated for years, now is the time to stop contemplating and make them a reality. Let’s bring the cards out of the back rooms and in a fun, social setting for all to enjoy.”
The lawmaker expects legalized commercial gambling, which would run alongside tribal gaming facilities, will help boost Alaska’s economy, building up tourism and development projects. While her goal is welcome and the bill has been gathering support, it still faces an uphill battle in a state that has considered gambling a “sinful industry.”
One entity opposed to the bill is the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, which has stated, “Ask any Alaskan if they know someone who has struggled with addiction, and more likely than not, you’ll hear a story about how a fellow Alaskan was hurt by a substance use disorder.”
However, for a health department, it doesn’t have a good grasp on health. Scientists and psychologist have already proven that “gambling addiction” doesn’t exist. What exists is the propensity to become addicted to “something.” The same individual that becomes addicted to gambling is just as likely to become addicted to alcohol, yet alcohol is still legal.