Governor Bill Walker signed into law today SB 157, which promotes greater economic development and job growth in Alaska. Sponsored by Senator Lesil McGuire of Anchorage, the bill clarifies that restaurants and other venues featuring arcade-style amusement games may lawfully operate in Alaska. Governor Walker signed the legislation during a bill-signing ceremony at his office in Juneau.
These arcade businesses are family-friendly and can significantly add to Alaska’s economy. For example, Dave & Busters is seeking to open a location at the Dimond Center mall in Anchorage. It is anticipated that Dave & Buster’s will spend approximately $10 million to build said location, and once operational will employ approximately 140-160 workers. Moreover, this addition to the Dimond Center is the keystone to a much larger renovation project for the mall that is anticipated to employ approximately 200 construction workers. In this time of economic uncertainty, this is an effective way to add well-paying jobs to Alaska’s economy. Passage of this bill will give businesses like Dave & Buster’s the sure-footed legal ground to move ahead
with their plans.
Finally, it should be made absolutely clear that this narrow bill does not in any way legalize traditional gambling, nor does it legalize casino-style video gambling such as video poker, slots, or roulette. Once again, this bill only clarifies that arcade-style operations that award tickets to be redeemed for toys and other novelties are lawful.