Gambling Online Using a VPN – Is It Illegal?

Written by: Sadonna Price, OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker
4 minute read
Online Gambling With VPN

As the number –and popularity– of online casino sites increase, so does the presence of new digital threats. Recent studies show that more than 25% of all internet users use a Virtual Private Network. Can an online gambler play legally at a casino site using a VPN? While safety is the primary concern, avoiding geo-restrictions is also a reality.

According to research, the online gambling market will grow by $114 billion during 2020 – 2024. No one can deny that online betting is gaining a tremendous rise in popularity. Another industry that’s noticing substantial growth is Virtual Private Networks or VPNs. 

In 2016, the VPN market generated around $15 billion in revenue. In 2020, this number hit $23.6 billion, and by 2022, it should surpass $35 billion.

News Highlights

  • VPN masks your real-world location and evades geo-restrictions.
  • Online casino players need to avoid gambling on sites that do not accept players from their area.
  • Players can end up losing their account funds on the casino sites.

What is a VPN?

VPN is an acronym for Virtual Private Network. This service disguises your internet traffic from your Internet Service Provider, establishing secure and encrypted connections for greater privacy, making your online actions untraceable.  

Essentially, it connects your device to a server, allowing you to browse the internet using that server’s internet connection. If the server’s location is in a different country, it will appear that your internet access comes from that location. This provides you access to content restricted to users from your region.

Why Do Online Players Use a VPN?

The above explanation is the main reason why most online gamblers use these services. They want to bypass region-restrictions and play on sites they usually wouldn’t be able to, or win prizes for which they are not eligible.

To comply with international laws, gambling sites must use geo-blocking to deny access to players from certain countries, which forces many to turn to VPNs. That said, players may also use these services to protect themselves from untrustworthy Wi-Fi hotspots or to maintain their anonymity online.

Is It Legal to Gamble Online Using VPN?

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In general, VPNs are legal to use almost everywhere. You can install a VPN software on your device, or subscribe to a service. It’s legal to access any online gambling site using this service if you’re browsing. You can also freely use the service to play on a legally available site, using the VPN as an added layer of protection.

Things get illegal when a player uses the technology to play for real money at online casinos that do not accept players from his location. For instance, gambling sites located in Italy or France do not allow players from other countries. If you use a VPN to bypass this restriction, you’re breaking the law.

Nonetheless, law enforcement agencies are unlikely to prosecute. However, the site will likely terminate your account, and it will confiscate your funds. Most sites terms and conditions have such a cause. 

Play Safely at Online Gambling Sites

Safety is essential when playing at legit online casinos. As with anything that involves money transactions online, you should be well-aware of all the risks associated and how to minimize them. Here are a few things to look out for:

  1. Gambling License

    Make sure that the site you’re considering has a valid license from a reputable regulatory body. These organizations review the companies they license for fairness and financial stability.

  2. SSL Encryption

    Always check for the lock icon in your address bar. Click on it, and see what kind of encryption the site uses to protect your data.

  3. Reputation

    Browse the internet, read player reviews, learn how long the platform has been operating, and if there have been any complaints.

  4. Terms and Conditions

    Carefully go through this page. It may take a while, but it’s well worth trying to find out beforehand about potential issues and pitfalls.

Tread Lightly With a VPN

Using a VPN to avoid geo-restrictions and gambling laws is illegal. You risk having your bankroll confiscated and having your account closed. The ideal scenario is to stick to sites that you can legally access for your location, play there, and only use VPN as an added security layer.

Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price OUSC Expert in Online Casinos and Poker

Sadonna is a former professional poker player. Passionate about writing and loves using her creativity to provide insight into the interesting gambling world.

Learn More About Sadonna