There are a myriad of ways that betting companies attempt to keep track of who it is that is signing up to use their services. When you sign up, you have to give over details such as your email address, telephone number and physical address, yet there are also other ways that sites will track who it is that is using their offerings. One such way is by tracking IP addresses, with some sites putting a limit on the number of accounts per IP address or household.
In many instances, this won’t be a problem. A husband and wife living together with their two children won’t necessarily both bet and so will never encounter an issue with signing up to betting sites. For others, though, this can cause a major issue and members of the same household will be banned from opening more than one account as the betting company attempts to counter fraud. It’s not ideal, but there are ways around it.
What Is An IP Address?
Before we look at why a betting site might look to limit the number of accounts on the same IP address, it’s worth exploring what an IP address even is. Every device connecting to the internet has an IP address, with IP standing for ‘Internet Protocol’. This is a set of rules that are in place in order to govern the format with which data is sent over the internet or on a local network.
IP addresses are an identifier that allow information to be sent between various devices that are connected to a network, containing location information. They are an essential way of how the internet works, being assigned to devices by the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, which is a division of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers. All devices connected to the internet have their own IP address.
Type ‘What is my IP address?’ into your search engine of choice and you’ll be presented with a range of numbers between 0.0.0.0 and 255.255.255.255, which is your IP address. Anytime you do anything online, your IP address will be monitored and a note will be made of the fact that you visited a site or downloaded something. This means that your online activity can always be tracked and monitored.
Why Do Betting Sites Care Who Signs Up?
The ability to track and monitor who is signing up for a betting account via their IP address or physical address is important to betting sites for a number of reasons. The first thing that you need to remember is that there are a large number of people out there who are problem gamblers and they often request to be stopped from logging on to their betting accounts. In order to stop them and not someone else, companies need to know who they are.
On top of that, they also need to be stopped from just opening another account if they get the urge to place a bet. Those that are desperate to keep betting will sometimes attempt to open another account in a different name, which betting companies need to be wise to. In order avoid this happening, companies will keep track of a customer’s physical home address as well as their online address, which comes in the form of their IP address.
Another reason betting accounts look to keep track of who is signing up to use them is in order to stop people from perpetrating fraud. Betting companies will often have offers available that are specifically limited to new customers, for example, yet punters will want to take advantage of such offers more than once. One way that they’ll attempt to do so is by creating an additional account as a ‘new’ customer, even though they aren’t one.
Finally, there’s also a need for betting sites to avoid people using them for the purposes of laundering money. Because of this, it’s really important for companies to know exactly who it is that is setting up and account with them and depositing and withdrawing money. Again, monitoring the likes of IP and physical addresses allows them to do so in a convenient and sensible manner.
What It Means For Punters
From the point of view of customers, the number of accounts being limited according to the likes of your physical address or your IP address isn’t always a convenient factor. There are some companies out there that limit accounts to one per address, which can obviously cause issues for certain households. A husband and wife that want an account each would find it difficult, for example, as would a brother and sister that are living together.
There are also multiple occupancy households, such as students or flatmates who all share the same Wi-Fi but are independent from each other. Imagine living with five other people, none of whom you’re related to or in a relationship with, and every one of you wants to have a betting account. Unfortunately the site you’re looking to sign up to only allows a maximum of three customers per IP address, so you’re unable to open your account.
Options To Avoid Getting Caught Short
There are things that customers can do in order to still open an account, even if someone else in their household already has one at the time that they’re signing up. The first thing you can look for is a betting site that is more generous than others in terms of how many customers it will allow from the same IP address or household. That won’t solve all problems, however, so there are other things that you can think about.
If you live at the same address as someone else then it’s worth getting in touch with the betting company directly. More often than not they will be understand of your predicament and happy to allow all of you to have an account with them. You might need to prove that you’ve got a separate bank account and that you are independent from each other, but once the proof has been provided your individual accounts will be opened.
If it is your IP address that is causing the issue, there are other measures you can take to stop that from being the case. One thing that you might wish to consider is signing up for your betting account using your mobile phone, ensuring that it is not connected to your Wi-Fi when you do. Your mobile will have its own IP address, separate from anything that is connected to Wi-Fi and supplied by your account provider rather than your broadband provider.
Another option open to you is that of using a Virtual Private Networks. You can sign up for free VPNs, but it is always advisable to opt for a paid one if you can afford it. VPNs effectively look to ‘trick’ the website that you’re visiting into thinking that you’re somewhere other than where you are. A person in London could use a VPN to suggest that they’re in Spain, for example, or someone in York could appear to be in New York.
VPNs are good way of ensuring your privacy online, but they do have their downsides. Some betting companies won’t allow you to sign in and use their services if they believe that you’re using a VPN, as an example. There’s also the fact that you could accidentally tell the gambling website that you’re located in a country where online gambling is forbidden, which will obviously stop you from being able to open up an account.
That being said, if you ensure that you connect to an English site via your VPN, the chances are high that you’ll be able to open your account without any problems. The VPN will ‘spoof’ a new IP address, which will trick your betting company of choice into thinking that you’re a new customer, or at least that you have a different IP address from a current customer. It’s not an ideal solution, but it’s better than nothing.