The chances are that you have heard of a VPN, or Virtual Private Network, to use its full title. The basic use of a VPN is to make it look like you’re accessing the internet from somewhere else, rather than your current location.
Log onto the internet from the USA, and your provider will know you are there. Use a VPN that points to the UK and you can be sat on a beach in LA, though your internet provider thinks you are in the UK.
People use VPNs, some use them on a daily basis and there are many reasons for doing so. One reason why people use a VPN is to place a bet by accessing the new betting.sites that are available, if they are away from home, or in a country where betting is either not allowed, or not easily accessible.
But is this practice legal? We’ll have a look at VPNs here, and the legalities surrounding their use for betting purposes.
What is a VPN
When using a VPN, what you are effectively doing is adding an additional layer of security to your online browsing. A VPN disguises you online, making people believe you are elsewhere.
A tunnel is used to connect you to a remote site elsewhere in the world, and by going through this, when you access a site it doesn’t know where you are from. To give a location, VPNs put you somewhere else in the world, and you can choose where you are, which is why they have become so valuable to people.
So, basically, a VPN is a disguise you use online to mask your location. You will be given another location, and you can set this to somewhere in particular, which is how VPNs give people an advantage when they are wanting to do things online.
Is it Legal to Use a VPN to Bet?
The simple answer to this question, like many other things relating to the use of VPNs, is that there isn’t a simple answer.
Here are a few things that you will need to consider though.
The first thing is that you have to live in a country where online gambling is legal. Some countries have simple rules about this, others are more complex, it depends where you live.
Then the second thing is that every country you are in will also have rules around betting. For example, those looking to log on and bet on the English Premier League, who hold an account in England and are from England, still need to be in a country where gambling is allowed.
However, all this does is ensure that you are not breaking the law with the country you are gambling with. If you are from England, and hold an English betting account, you are doing no wrong. However, you are breaking the law in the country where you are betting from if you are using a VPN to get around their rulings.
What VPN Rules do Betting Sites Have?
Regardless of the betting site, you are signed up with, the chances are that they have something in their rules which prevents the use of VPN software to conceal your identity. If they find out you are using this, your account will more than likely be closed.
The reason why bookmakers don’t like VPNs is because they do not only mask your location. They also conceal your I.P. address, something they use to stop people from holding multiple accounts and getting around restrictions. It is also a way for people to claim the new player offer they have multiple times.
With mobile betting on the rise via mobile apps and VPNs available for mobile devices, bookmakers are now focusing on this area. You may get away with it from time to time, either on your mobile or your computer, but this isn’t a strategy you should be relying on for a long period.
Do it once while you are abroad, you may get lucky, but do it multiple times and you risk the closure of your betting account.
Even places where the same bookmaker operates are not safe for this. For example, you bookmaker in England may also offer betting in Spain, but as an English customer with an English account, you cannot bet on the Spanish version of their site, or use a VPN to get onto the English version.
Some continue to take the risk, but bookmakers are certainly clamping down on this and will continue to do so.