Betting Sites For Ex-Pats and Brits Abroad

british passport travelMost people dream of one day living in a foreign country, perhaps because of the weather or maybe on account of the fact that the British government is invariably awful. There are countless reasons why someone might want to live abroad, spending as little time back in the United Kingdom as possible. Whatever the thought process behind such a move, does the decision to leave for pastures new mean that betting with British-facing companies is a thing that people can’t pack into their bag and take with them? Or is it still a possibility?

The answer, as you might imagine, is complicated. In some locations you can log into your UK account, but that will only apply if the laws and rules are the same in that location. Most of the biggest betting companies, however, have their own sites that operate in countries such as Spain and Germany, which you can sign up to and bet with. The problem there is that they are separate and distinct from their English sites, meaning that you will need to have a residential address and a bank account in that country in order to bet with them. There are other options available, such as using a VPN, but this will almost certainly contravene the terms and conditions of your account.

Betting In Your Home Country

Question Mark Problem Solving ThinkingOnce you’ve made the decision to move abroad, the chances are high that you’ll have opened a bank account in your new country and that you have a residential address that you live in. This means that signing up for the Spanish version of your favourite betting site, say, should be relatively easy. You give them your address, your bank account details, your e-mail and you are good to go. You have to use the Spanish version of the site in question rather than the English one, but that isn’t too much of a hardship for most people.

Where problems arrive is if you live in the foreign country for the majority of the year but come back to the United Kingdom regularly. In this instance, you might not have opened a foreign bank account or perhaps you don’t live in a permanent address. When that is the case, you will find it much more difficult to open an account with your betting company of choice and will possibly not even be able to. You might wish to turn to the British version of your favourite bookie, but to do so from your country of residence might not be legal.

Best Betting Sites For Brits Abroad

plane flyingIf you want to stick with one betting brand then the best thing to do is choose one who is licensed to operate in the country or countries you frequent the most.  Most of the bigger brands have multiple licenses that allow them to operate in other European countries, e.g. Italy and Spain, and countries around the world, e.g. South America, US, etc.

Restricted and unrestricted countries are generally listed in the terms and conditions or if not can be found out by contacting your brand directly.

Some countries accept the UK gambling license as being sufficient to offer services within their borders and when this is the case it is sometimes possible to use your UK account abroad.  This is especially true if you are in a British crown dependency.

Over the years, however, more and more countries have decided to now regulate gambling themselves with their own laws and systems.  This means that betting companies cannot simply let you use your UK account in a market that has different rules.  For example, taxation laws vary widely across the globe when it comes to gambling and this is one reason why you can’t use one account everywhere.

Therefore, it is common now that if you want to bet with a brand abroad you will generally need to open account in that country and that requires you to have residential status.  There are ways around this but all of them will contravene the T&C’s of the betting site you signed up to and could also infringe on local gambling laws.

Using A VPN

someone using a vpnIn instances when, for whatever reason, you can’t open an account with a local bookmaker, you might want to turn to the world of Virtual Private Networks. These are apps or systems that essentially trick the internet into thinking that you’re somewhere other than where you are. You might wish to watch British Netflix when on holiday, for example, or keep yourself safe when surfing the internet on a public network. Whatever the reason, a VPN will ensure that you can trick websites into thinking that you’re somewhere other than where you really are.

One benefit of this is that it allows you to tell your British betting company that you’re in the United Kingdom, even though you’re actually not. You can place bets to your heart’s content and not have to worry about opening up an account with a foreign bookmaker. It allows you to use your main betting account, even though you’re not in the UK and have no intention of being any time soon. The downside of using a VPN is that it almost certainly breaks the rules of your bookie’s terms and conditions to do so.

Ultimately betting companies are responsible for ensuring customers are who they say they are, their funds are there own and that they are in the location they say they are in.  If you are betting from another country, say France, but tricking a UK bookie that you are in Britain at the time then you are contravening these rules.  You could also be breaking the gambling rules in the country you are currently in.  In some countries you can even go to prison (or worse) for gambling (e.g. Iran).  Therefore betting companies work to prevent people accessing their sites using VPN’s and even if you do manage it if you are caught then you are likely going to forfeit your bets and have your account closed.

Asking Others To Place Your Bets For You

giving money to someone elsePerhaps you’re not particularly tech-savvy and the idea of using a Virtual Private Network is all too much for you. This is entirely fair, given that not everyone even really understands what a VPN is, let alone how it works and what to do with one. If you fit into this category, one of the things that you might consider doing is speaking to a friend or a family member back home who you trust. You can send them money and ask them to place the bets for you, perhaps even giving them your password for your online betting account of choice.

You will obviously need a partner who you know will do what you want, rather than just take the money for themselves or put the bet on something else, thinking that they know better. You will have to be able to send them the money easily enough and communicated with them on a regular basis, which isn’t always easy for everyone to do. There’s also the fact that doing this will also break the terms and conditions of your contract with your betting company, meaning that it’s no more allowed than betting with a VPN.

Again, companies have to know who is betting with them and where the funds come from.  This is to prevent minors betting, people who are vulnerable or people using criminal money to gamble with.  You may get away with giving someone else money to gamble with but ultimately it is against the rules and if/when you are caught expect an account closure.

What Happens When You Break The T&Cs

terms and conditions written on type writerKnowing that you’re breaking the terms and conditions of the contract that you entered into with your betting company of choice is one thing, but putting up with the consequences is something else entirely. It might seem like something a little bit silly, but betting companies will come down hard on people breaking their terms and conditions. It is possible, for example, that they’ll choose to withhold your winnings and not allow you to withdraw money that you have won on the bets that you’ve got someone else to place for.

There’s also the possibility that they’ll close down your account entirely, simply shutting it down and taking your money with it. Whilst you might wish to complain, if you’ve broken the terms and conditions of the site then there’s very little that you can do other than accept your fate. You have, after all, done something that it very specifically says you’re not allowed to do in the terms and conditions, where it will also explain what will happen to the accounts of people that choose to ignore said Ts and Cs.

Other Things To Bear In Mind

LegalIt’s easy to understand why someone might wish to place a bet or two when they’re living abroad. Gambling rules are generally quite relaxed in the United Kingdom, so it’s possible that people will have developed a taste for having a flutter that they wish to continue when they’re away from home. The problem is, not every country is as relaxed about gambling as the UK, so people that don’t understand the local laws on the matter can quickly find themselves on the wrong side of them, having to deal with the consequences.

One such example is the United Arab Emirates, where gambling is illegal. Someone found betting in the UAE could quickly find themselves sent to prison, with ignorance rarely taken as an excuse. Not only that, but the UAE’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority believes that the use of a VPN is against the law, so merely signing into one without even placing a bet could see you in hot water. Is the bet that you want to place on a horse race or football match really worth going to prison for? That’s what you need to consider.