Is Gambling Using a VPN legal?

For most gamers, a VPN is a useful tool for combating lag and reducing bandwidth throttling in online games. For streamers, it’s a way to appear as if they are in the same country that their channel is targeted at.

However, for online gamblers who use VPNs, it might be illegal in certain cases. So just how legal is it to gamble with your VPN?

When it comes to gambling, many people consider other factors than where you’ve physically placed yourself when you place your bet – laws around the world tend to be pretty similar everywhere when it comes to sports betting, so using a UK IP address to place a bet on the Premier League is unlikely to give you any kind of edge, and it’s also legal.

However, when it comes to online casino games or poker, things get murky pretty fast. For example, if you play poker for real money in America, anywhere other than the state of Nevada, Delaware or New Jersey is illegal – but what about with your VPN?

The Real Reason Why Casinos Don’t Like VPNs

The reason why this might be illegal is due to payment processing restrictions that most – but not all – sites insist upon. If you use a credit card processed outside of America (or wherever else gambling laws are strictest), then many will assume that you’re committing fraud and deny your winnings – and some sites don’t let you withdraw your winnings at all.

A credit card processing in a more lenient country or state might get past this security check, but that’s not something you should do. This is because of the risk that the issuer of the card reports the payment as fraudulent and denies it, which results in your entire account being closed down and any winnings seized.

Other methods of payment such as WebMoney might be anonymous options, but they’re also designed for transferring money between people’s personal accounts rather than gambling transactions – so again, it is not recommended to make online casino bets while you’re on your travels.

There are always going to be limits on what you’re allowed to do with your VPN, even if gambling online is 100 percent legal, so take care when you try it.

If you gamble at all while traveling abroad, it’s important to know the regulations for where you are, so we’ve provided some unofficial information below about the most relevant regions for most people.

List of Global Online Gambling Laws By Country

United States

There are federal laws against online gambling in America but they don’t apply to everyone – it’s illegal for banks to engage in transactions with offshore gaming websites that accept American customers, and also illegal for businesses to provide these services.

United Kingdom

Not for sites that hold a license in another EU country – if you play at an offshore site with licenses in Europe or most other parts of the world, you’ll be breaking the law.

If your chosen site holds a license somewhere outside of Europe, it’s probably legal to use a proper casino VPN. Ignition Casino is one example. It isn’t licensed by any EU regulatory agencies but it is endorsed by many celebrities in the iGaming community.

Canada

Canada has some pretty tight laws about gaming, but it won’t deny players the ability to access foreign online casinos.

Australia

The government passed legislation that will regulate interactive gambling in 2016 – until then, offshore sites were technically banned from offering their services to Australian citizens. Even recently there have been high-profile scandals regarding casinos.

Kenya

It certainly is – under Kenyan Law No 25 of 2016, anyone caught promoting betting or gambling can be fined or sent to prison for up to ten years.

India

Varies by state. There is no federal law in India that prohibits online casino gambling in most regions. It is not illegal for non-Indian casino businesses (so-called offshore corporations) to operate websites that are tailored to Indian consumers, even though Indian casinos are unable to advertise or have sites dedicated to online gambling games such as casinos, sports betting, and bingo. Sites like Indiacasinos.com have listed operators that offer clever bonuses in order to attract new customers without breaking the laws.

Malaysia

The answer is “no” – in fact, even getting caught looking at an offshore sportsbook could get you into trouble.

Malaysian law dictates that only a corporation established in Malaysia can operate a sports betting website. In practice, this means that anytime you access an offshore site from Malaysia, you’re breaking the law. However, as with most countries that have laws against gambling, there appears to be a “turn a blind eye” policy in place.

China

Sites offering online betting to Chinese players were banned in 2009, and the ban has been extended every year since. It’s not entirely clear whether this is because of pressure from the Chinese government or if Chinese gamblers aren’t interested in online gaming (the Great Firewall makes it difficult for them to access international sites even if they wanted to).

Conclusion

Gambling online with a VPN is legal in most countries, but it can be restricted or even illegal depending on your location and the specific site you’re using.

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