Can You Gamble Online From Other Countries?

Published 3:42 pm Tuesday, November 22, 2022

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People can gamble online from anywhere at sites that accept users from their region. Naturally, each country has laws regulating what forms of betting are allowed within their borders, but few say anything about residents using offshore sites. Even those regions that outright forbid this activity rarely seek to prosecute individuals who choose to play/bet at platforms based elsewhere from their soil.

It is vital to note for non-legally savvy people that laws apply to physical spaces, not citizens. In the US, New Jersey allows virtually all types of internet wagering. Whereas Utah, in general, prohibits most gaming activities. Utahns can gamble at websites licensed and overseen by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement only if they are in the Garden State. When they find themselves in New Jersey, the state’s laws apply as equally to them as they do to the people living there, permitting them to enjoy the state’s licensed gambling apps.

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Even though millions of Americans in regions with no commercial gaming establishments know they can go to Indian reservations for casino-style entertainment because federal and state gambling laws don’t apply to such sanctuary areas. However, concerning the digital sphere, gamblers often get confused regarding where they can play/bet. That is where gaming review hubs come into play. For instance, the best online US casino can be found on the ranking table. That is an analysis website that aggregates US-based and foreign gambling apps that accept US players.

Below, a short explanation follows of how casino and sportsbook sites get regulated and if it is possible to circumvent geo-restrictions.

Countries/States Where Online Gambling Is Legal

The online gambling sector debuted in 1994 when Antigua and Barbuda, a sovereign country in the West Indies, decided to make this activity legal by passing its Free Trade and Processing Act. In the first few years following the inception of this industry, only smaller countries looking for foreign investments followed in the footsteps of this Caribbean nation.

In the US, in 2011, after a then-novel interpretation of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 by the Department of Justice, US states became free to legalize online casinos. New Jersey did this first in 2013, and since, only five more territories have done the same. These are Pennsylvania, Delaware, Michigan, Connecticut, and West Virginia. As for sports betting, over thirty US states have allowed this pastime to their residents post-2018, with many permitting safe sportsbooks available over the internet to get run in these territories.

Again, despite state regulations, many Americans still opt to utilize offshore gambling sites, and they do so without any legal consequence, even from states that prohibit this action, as authorities have better things to spend tax money on.

In Asia, gambling is still somewhat of a taboo topic. Games of chance are only legal in specific Indian states and illegal throughout China and Japan. Given that nearly 41% of Africans are Muslims, it should surprise no one that many nations in the world’s second-largest continent forbid betting. Some only allow entry into gaming venues for tourists.

Europe is a different story. The Old Continent is home to multiple highly-regulated and developed markets, with The UK, Sweden, and Denmark serving as three examples. Recently, Germany and the Netherlands modified their laws to allow online gaming, introducing country-wide self-exclusion systems simultaneously. More are also looking to do this.

Territories With International Regulators

As touched above, Antigua and Barbuda got the online regulatory ball rolling in 1994 with its Division of Gaming, a part of the country’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission. Two years later, Curacao began creating its master license holders, and in 1998, the Panama Gaming Control Board got birthed.

International internet gaming licensors include the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, The Alderney Gambling Control Commission, and the Malta Gaming Authority. These bodies let their licensees accept players from a myriad of global regions.

Gambling With VPN

Virtual private networks, or VPNs for short, are services that let users mask the IP address given to them by their internet service provider by funneling their data through a private server. The technology permits VPN users to present themselves as people accessing the World Wide Web from a spot different from their actual location. Many do this as a security measure because when someone uses a virtual private network, their internet service provider cannot see what they are accessing, keeping everything away from prying eyes.

Due to the ability to spoof IP addresses VPN tech provides, most gambling sites ban accounts that use it since it can get utilized for bypassing geo-restrictions and bonus abuse purposes. Those that implement it to boost safety when gambling online must remember to continuously use the exact spoofed location because someone’s account getting accessed from multiple spots in a short period raises red flags.  

This article was written in collaboration with online slot experts.