Because I’m the person in the know when it comes to online casinos, the other day, my friend asked me if there was a way that he could play with a UK-based online casino that accepts UK-based players only. He lives in the USA, so naturally assumed that the answer would be a big fat, “No” or a sarcastic, “Yeah, just move here!”
Except, there is a way to get around these restrictions that doesn’t involve a big move: you can access the online casino using a VPN (virtual private network). And, you can use one regardless of the country you’re in and the country where the online casino operates.
…but, before you run off and sign up to a VPN service, you need to understand a few things.
What Is a VPN?
VPN stands for “Virtual Private Network” and it’s a way of connecting your device (i.e. your computer, phone, or tablet) to the internet in such a way that it conceals your data from third parties. It protects you from other online entities (e.g. websites, hackers, spies) tracking and monitoring your online activity.
In particular, it hides your IP address from websites. Your IP is the equivalent of your home address, but for your online activity. Your internet service provider (ISP) allocates this address to your internet traffic. People can use your IP address to find out who you are, and websites use it to identify you. Your IP provides information such as your country of origin and your ISP. For example, when you use a website, it would be able to tell if you’re a Sky or BT customer and where in the world you’re located.
When you use a VPN, though, it provides you with a temporary IP and this hides your true IP from everyone online. Therefore, VPNs allow you to use the internet anonymously. Websites (and spies and hackers) won’t know who you are or where you are.
What’s the Relevance of VPN for Online Casinos?
Many online casinos only allow players from specific countries to play on their sites. For example, many UK-based casinos will only allow you to play if you are in the UK.
They can tell if you’re in the UK by looking at your IP address. If it’s a UK-based address, you’ll be able to access their games.
That means that if you’re located elsewhere, you won’t be able to play…
A VPN will conceal your IP from the casino, but you can also use it to generate IP addresses that appear to come from a specific country. So, you could use your VPN service to make it appear that you are in the UK when you aren’t.
That allows you to get around the casino’s rules and play games from anywhere in the world.
What Are the Risks of Using a VPN with Online Casinos?
Before you rush out and sign up to a VPN service, you need to be aware of a few things.
First, there’s a high likelihood that circumventing the casino’s rules breaks the terms and conditions of use. You may find that they ban you from using the site.
Second, they may be able to tell that you’re using a VPN to access their site, and when you come to draw your winnings, you won’t be able to, meaning that you can lose all of the money that you deposit. And this can happen at any point, days, weeks, even years into playing.
Third, some VPN services don’t have the option of letting you choose the country the IP address appears to come from. Most of these services require payment, so if you do decide to use a VPN service to access casino games, make sure the service offers you this option. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your money and they may not offer a refund.
Finally, when you do come to withdraw your money, they may need you to prove your location, and they’ll realise you aren’t in the country you’re supposed to be in.
The casinos don’t want you to access their sites using a VPN. In the UK in particular, they spend a lot of money making sure their casino are safe and adhere to the law. They know that people will try to use VPNs to connect to their site and they are on the lookout.
Should You Use a VPN to Connect to an Online Casino?
Our take is that it’s not worth the risk. You stand a high chance of losing money somewhere along the line. Instead, try to stick to the casinos that let you play problem-free, i.e. the ones that fall within your jurisdiction. There are thousands of online casinos and new casinos pop up all the time. We’re sure that you’ll find some fun casinos whilst sticking to the rules!