Senate Bill 157, also known as the “Dave & Buster’s bill,” unanimously the Senate Wednesday afternoon. It amends Alaska statutes on electronic gaming devices to include specific language allowing the trading tickets and tokens for items like candy and “electronic novelties.”


The bill’s sponsor, Republican Sen. Lesil McGuire of Anchorage, called the bill a simple housekeeping measure meant to clarify vague language.


“It’s come to our attention that there’s a little bit of vaguery around electronic games and family-theme oriented restaurants,” Sen. McGuire said. “Dave & Buster’s is one of the businesses that’s looking to come into Alaska. We’ve had Chuck E. Cheese also existing for years, possibly operating outside the scope of the statute.”


Sen. McGuire says the change in statute would not, in any way, open up the definition of gambling in Alaska.


“Most of us don’t wish to have legalized gambling, so this doesn’t change that,” Sen. McGuire said.


Sen. McGuire estimated Dave & Buster’s would bring $23 million into the state during construction expansion, roughly 200 construction jobs and employ 140 to 160 Alaskans year-round.


“We’re all talking about the economy. This is a bill to help grow the economy in our neck of the woods, in Anchorage,” Sen. McGuire told colleagues on the senate floor.


SB 157 will be sent to the house of representatives.