Once in 1994, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, which allowed them to grant gaming licenses to organizations wanting to open online casinos, we were off to the races. The first such platform opened its virtual doors that same year, and the sector has not looked back since, as playing online casino games has become a hobby to millions and an industry with annual revenues of over $60 billion.
Nonetheless, it has not been smooth sailing, as different countries regulate gambling in different ways, and many restrict or outright ban the activity in its online form. In the US, online sportsbooks were illegal on a federal level until two years ago. Nevada was the only state to offer sports betting to both visitors and residents.
However, players look to circumvent region-restrictions that prevent them from playing casino games at their preferred gambling platform by using a VPN for online gambling purposes. Now, if you are wondering if this is allowed, or even legal, read on, as we explain everything below. Though, remember that if you have the gambling itch to always play in trusted and reviewed online casinos. Do not register at a gambling site on a whim.
What Is VPN?
VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. It is a service, a private network that transmits and encrypts data while it travels around the internet. When using such as service, the information you send into the digital world goes through an encrypted tunnel that no one can see into, not hackers, not your internet provider, nor your government. VPN lets users surf the web securely and privately, as well as gain access to websites that they would not be able to, due to censorship blocks.
You can use this kind of service on any device. You are not limited to just reaping its benefits on your laptop or desktop computer, but you can also use it on your mobile device and tablet.
Why Do People Use VPN for Gambling?
Most online casinos are not available to all players from all countries. There could be a whole range of reasons as to why, but mainly it has to do with regulations in some countries which prohibit online gambling, and residence from said countries to visit such off-shore websites.
By utilizing a VPN service or various location masking apps, a player can mask his IP address, and make it appear to the casino’s server that he is from a location that is different than his actual one. When doing this, he could be engaged in illegal activity, depending on the laws of his country of residence, which is something the casino wants no part of, and it usually clearly indicates this in its terms and conditions. There you will often find clauses that state that by using their website, you confirm you are not a resident in a restricted jurisdiction.
A player may also use a VPN service to set up multiple accounts and claim different promotional offers that he has already gotten, such as a welcome bonus. Online casinos indicate that they allow one bonus per household or IP address.
Alternatively, the player may have no nefarious intent. He may only use a VPN service for security and privacy purposes, hiding his activity from prying eyes.
Issues You May Face When Using VPN at an Online Casino
If the gaming platform you are playing at discovers that you are using a virtual private network, a few scenarios may play out. First, if they establish that you have used such a service to engaged in unlawful, fraudulent, or improper activity, they reserve the right to terminate your account. In this event, you may forfeit your account’s balance, and the online casino can disclose your information to other parties such as credit card companies, banks, or any other entity that may have a legal right to this information.
Some sites may be more lenient. They may close your account, refund your balance and inform you that you are a persona non grata. Thus, denying you further access to their website, warning you that they will implement more serious measures if you dare repeat this behavior.
If you happen to be using a VPN service by accident, or for security, and your account gets suspended, you can try to reach out to a customer service representative. Relay your situation. Explain how and why your VPN was active. The casino may understand if you communicate that you use a VPN for work or other purposes and that this was just an oversight, and you had no dastardly intentions. They will likely reinstate your account and let you off with a warning, directing you to read through their terms and conditions.
Also, you should know that hackers use VPNs. Therefore, many websites ban VPN IP addresses commonly used in hacker attacks. So, if you are trying to access a gaming site through one such service with no success, perhaps the resolution to your problem will be turning off your VPN or switching to a new address or service.
Can I Legally Use VPN for Online Gambling?
In almost all cases, yes. There is nothing illegal about using a VPN service if you are not committing crimes. You are free to install such software on any of your devices or subscribe to such a service. You can also legally use it to access sites that are available for players from your region, utilizing it only as an added layer of protection.
It is the online casinos themselves that have guidelines that forbid its use. In some countries, you may be breaking the law by playing at an off-shore site using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions, but, if caught by the platform, the biggest threat you face is the termination of your account and the confiscation of your funds. Law enforcement agencies are very unlikely to prosecute such matters, and you’ll almost certainly avoid any legal repercussions.
So, can I use a VPN for gambling? Yes, but be careful where you are using it, and why. If you must, it is wise to communicate this to the platform before starting on your gaming journey, to see if you may get a pass. Because if you do not, you may run into trouble when trying to withdraw your funds.
Best VPN for Gambling
If you have chosen to go down this path, you should know that the market offers a ton of variety, and new services are popping up each year. All you have to do today is read a guide on how to use a VPN for gambling, and select a product that best suits your price range and needs.
It is always wise to opt for a VPN that offers a wide selection of server locations, strong encryption, and a good track record of unblocking restricted content. Some sites may be able to detect that you are spoofing your IP address, regardless of the service you are using. However, they can do this far easily with less-established and proven brands. Also, look for excellent privacy features and usability in regards to apps.
According to many, the two top-dogs in the sector and the most recommended VPN´s are NordVPN and ExpressVPN. Based in Panama, NordVPN has no legal obligations to keep any data of your activity, and it offers speedy service that’s reliable with servers around the globe. ExpressVPN has a massive network of two thousand servers to choose from and features a 30-day money-back guarantee on all their subscription plans.
However, if you opt for any of the following, you won’t be making a mistake, Norton Secure VPN, Cyber Ghost, Surfshack, and ProtonVPN. They provide a quality service at reasonable prices.