If you’ve done any research into either cyber security or else placing bets when you’re in a foreign country then you’ll no doubt have seen people talking about VPNs. The acronym stands for Virtual Private Network and it is a way of setting up your device so that it appears as if it is located somewhere other than it actually is.
Given that some bookmakers won’t let you bet when you’re in a foreign country, for example, a VPN is a way of tricking them into thinking you’re in the United Kingdom when you’re actually somewhere far more exotic. The question, then, comes down to whether you are actually allowed to place a bet when using one.
Why People Use VPNs
The most obvious reason to use a Virtual Private Network is in order to make it appear as though you’re located somewhere that you’re not. When it comes to betting, this is often tricking the betting companies into thinking that you’re in the United Kingdom rather than in a country where they don’t have a licence to offer their services.
That isn’t the only reason to use a VPN, however. It has become more and more common for people to make sure that their computers are protected by Virtual Private Networks when they’re doing even the most basic of things. VPNs connect your device to a server located elsewhere, which allows you to ensure that foreign parties can’t snoop on what you’re doing.
By hiding your true location you can gain a degree of anonymity online, as well as protecting yourself as much as possible. If you need to access a business network whilst you’re abroad, for example, then VPNs will help protect you. That’s on top of the ability to access geo-blocked websites or streaming services that offer different content depending on your location.
Can You Bet Using A VPN?
There are vast swathes of people who are concerned about losing their privacy online who run a VPN as a standard precaution. There’s nothing wrong with doing that because they’re not illegal and they’re an especially useful thing to put in place if you’re using a public internet connection such as in a coffee shop or library.
Of course, it’s entirely reasonable to imagine that you might be in one of those locations and wanting to place a bet, so you might wish do so via a Virtual Private Network. The problem is, using one might well lead to a warning from your betting site of choice that they’re unable to find your true location because of the fact that you’re using a VPN.
You see, the issue with you using a VPN with betting companies is that they’re not licensed or allowed to offer their services in certain countries. As a result, they need to know whether you’re located in one of the countries that they’re licensed to operate in. That’s why different gambling companies will have something that will flag up if someone’s logged in using a VPN.
The reality is that most betting sites might well have that technology, but they’re unlikely to actually stop you from placing bets because they want to you lose so that they can have your money. The downside for them is that there are specific rules in place over things like money laundering, so if they’re know you’re not where you say they are they have to stop the bets.
Read The Small Print
If a gambling company bans the use of Virtual Private Networks then they will say as much in their terms and conditions. This means that it’s important to read the small print if you’re looking to bet when using a VPN. They’ll do this because they want to stop people from hiding their IP address and set up multiple accounts with the same companies.
If you consistently use a VPN, especially when you find yourself in a territory where their use is banned, then you will almost certainly find yourself blocked from placing bets and even with your account shut down. Of course, if you’re using a VPN to place bets in a country where gambling is illegal then you’ll still be breaking the local laws even if your company of choice allows you to.
The answer, then, is a confusing one. It is not illegal to use a Virtual Private Network in most countries, through it is in some. You might well find yourself in a situation where it’s legal to use a VPN but illegal to gamble, so you’ll still be breaking the law by connecting to a server outside of the country to place a bet.
Most betting companies have rules in their terms and conditions that say that you can’t use a VPN, but that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to do so. You’re taking a risk trying, however, as if you’re caught then there’s a chance that your account will be shutdown and the bets will be declared invalid. If in doubt, read the small print.