Whether you are a British expat living in a foreign nation permanently or simply a tourist outside the UK for a few weeks, giving up your betting hobby simply because you have left the UK is probably not something you'll enjoy. Luckily, it should not be much of an issue to get access to the best UK betting sites, no matter where you are playing. In some cases, betting online abroad may require a VPN. This guide will discuss the best UK sites for international betting, the best VPNs and how the law in different countries affects access to betting sites.
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How to Bet Online Abroad
If you are wondering how to use betting sites abroad, you will find that it works the same way as betting in the UK. If you can access your account in the UK from the area you will be staying, you can usually use the same account. If you are staying abroad for a longer period, you could consider signing up to a more internationally oriented site or using a VPN.
Expats Versus Tourists
Which site you should choose when betting online abroad depends a lot on whether you are an expat or a tourist.
- As a Tourist:
As a tourist, you will likely not need to create a new account. Either you access the site directly from the location you are in, or you use a VPN if betting sites are blocked in your region. Since your registered address has not changed, you will not need to update your account or create a new one. We recommend using UK betting sites that cater to many regions, such as Betfair or bet365.
- As an Expat:
As an expat, you are better off choosing a site that accepts players from all over the world or a local betting site. A lot depends on the regulations of the country in which you are. One of the best is 1xBet for international bettors, though they do not accept players in the UK.
Tips for Betting Online Abroad
Before betting online abroad, it is best to go through these four steps:
1. Check which countries are accepted by the bookie.
Most bookies list which countries’ residents can play at their site. To find this, you may have to look at their terms and conditions. You should see a list of accepted/banned countries. If you have any doubt, it is best to send a message to the customer service through live chat. If you sign up from a banned region, the casino could forfeit your winnings and return your original deposit. Luckily, the major UK betting sites accept players from most countries in the world.
2. Check which regulations apply to the country you are in.
Regardless of whether a bookie will accept your bet, it is important to make sure you are not breaking any local laws.
3. Check which payment options are available.
While UK players have a wealth of payment options at their fingertips, many payment options are not available abroad. While you should have no problem using your UK bank account, getting gambling money into your local account may be more challenging. You could choose to use e-wallets like PayPal, Skrill or Neteller, which are available in most countries.
4. Use a VPN.
In many cases, we recommend using a VPN. These will keep your online activity private. Be careful, though, as some betting sites may block the use of a VPN.
The Rules for Betting Online Abroad
When it comes to betting, there are five types of jurisdictions. While each country has its own set of rules, they all fall into one of these categories.
1. Licensed Unrestricted
In a licensed unrestricted country, betting is legal. However, websites need to have a licence from the local government and adhere to local gambling laws and tax laws. Often, the largest betting sites try to obtain licences from as many jurisdictions as possible in order to get a wide customer base. That means you have a good chance of your betting site being legal, if you choose one of the larger betting sites like Ladbrokes or Betfair.
2. Licensed Restricted
Many countries license betting. That does not mean that they allow just any operator to offer bets in their jurisdiction. In fact, many countries try to channel betting into a limited number of legal sites, while banning all others. This could mean that while betting is legal, access to your favourite betting site may not be. Make sure you know if your betting site is restricted in a particular country.
Regulated countries have gambling laws, however they do not offer licensing. If your bookie chooses to operate there, they will have to follow the local laws. This can affect the types of bets or bonuses on offer for the local site. Check on your bookie’s page to see whether your country is accepted or not.
Unregulated markets are simply countries that do not license, regulate or prohibit betting. Essentially, betting is neither legal nor illegal, since it is not mentioned in the law. This gives betting sites freedom to offer any terms that they please, meaning you will sometimes find dodgy operators in these markets. This is another reason to choose one of the major international betting sites.
In some countries, betting is simply illegal. Many betting sites actively block players from these jurisdictions, and list in their terms of conditions that they will not accept players from there. On the other hand, many betting sites do not really care about local laws, and actively encourage players to use VPNs or set up mirror sites in case their site is blocked by the local internet service providers.
Some jurisdictions are very strict, while many do not really care what you are doing online, especially if it is a foreign site and you are using foreign money on a foreign bank account. VPNs can protect you, since they hide your internet activity from local internet service providers and authorities. In any case, we recommend you make sure you know the risks before placing an online bet.
Tax in Other Countries
Whether you owe tax on your winnings is another important question. In the UK, winnings from gambling are tax-free. Each country has its own tax regulations. Of course, simply being a tourist for a few weeks in a country will not make you a tax resident. In most cases, you become a tax resident of a country after you have spent a total of 183 days or more there.
As long as you are simply on holiday, you will not have to pay any local taxes. If you are a tax resident in a particular country, you should check if the local government places taxes on gambling wins.
Using a VPN
Your access to a betting site can be blocked in two ways. Either your internet service provider (ISP) will block betting sites (or certain betting sites), or betting sites will not accept players from your location. A VPN is often the easiest way to trick betting sites into thinking you are somewhere else. It will help you bypass blocks set up by your internet service provider and let you access betting sites that are geo-restricted.
Of course, it is best to make sure you are not breaking any laws to begin with, since certain countries are even taking steps to ban VPNs. Additionally, it is best to check whether your betting site allows you play with a VPN.
What is a VPN?
VPN stand for Virtual Private Network. VPNs mask your IP address (internet protocol address), making your online actions harder to trace. Instead of surfing the web directly from your location, you make a connection through a local server in the country from which you wish to browse. This gives you added security, while letting you chose your virtual location.
Best VPNs for Betting Online Abroad
While there are various VPNs on the market, we recommend choosing a high quality VPN. Many free VPNs will only offer very limited data, while some are incredibly slow, which would make live betting impossible. Certain ISPs and betting sites keep track of known VNP IPs. Top-notch VPNs regularly update their service with new IPs, making it harder for governments to keep track of them.
NordVPN is the most solid choice on the market. The VPN does not keep any logs, so your online gambling activity will be completely untraceable. It comes with include 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy, and DNS leak protection. The Android version has automatic Wi-Fi protection.
It has over 3,300 servers in over 60 countries. It will let you unblock virtually any betting site, and help you access content from Netflix, Hulu, HBO, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime at high streaming speeds.
The basic plan lets you connect up to six devices, which should cover all devices in your household. It has apps for Windows, Mac OS, iOS and Android.
- The highest encryption standards with DNS leak protection
- Automatic Wi-Fi protection for Android
- Fast enough for online poker, live betting and HD streaming
- 24/7 live chat support
- Desktop app has a complicated interface
ExpressVPN offers first-class security. The company is based in the British Virgin Islands, which protects it from the tentacles of American and European governments. The service comes 256-bit AES encryption ensuring perfect forward secrecy. Just like NordVPN, it comes with an internet kill switch and DNS protection. These will ensure nobody knows your true IP. You sign up without using any Personally Identifiable Information (PII), meaning nobody can ever know you made a purchase.
ExpressVPN has a strong and reliable network, with over 1,500 servers in 94 countries. This gives you plenty of choice. You can count on fast speeds and an uninterrupted connection, perfect for streaming, live betting or poker. Besides betting, it gives you access to streaming sites like Netflix and Hulu. It has apps for Windows, Mac OS, iOS, Android, Linux, and certain Wi-Fi routers.
- Top of the line internet traffic encryption
- Total online privacy
- Access geo-restricted sites from anywhere
- Fast servers, ideal for surfing, streaming, and downloads
- Live chat customer support
- 24/7 live chat support
- Pricier option
Just like NordVPN and ExpressVPN, Surfshark uses ensures your security with 256-bit encryption. It comes with a kill switch and protects against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks. This keeps your traffic safe from prying eyes. The service has no traffic logs, so once you are connected, nobody will know your activities.
Surfshark has 1700 servers in over 60 countries. For most, you can count on very fast and stable speeds. It will help you play locally blocked content from Netflix, BBC iPlayer, and Amazon Prime. It will also unblock any gambling sites abroad.
Surfshark offers apps for Android, Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Linux.
- Fast streaming
- Unblocks most services
- Protects against DNS, IPv6, and WebRTC leaks
- Keeps no logs
- 24/7 live chat
- Servers for smaller countries can be slower
How to Use a VPN for Betting Online Abroad
Using a VPN is simple enough – you simply download it, install it and run it. However, you should pay attention to a few details to remain 100% anonymous. Here is how to use a VPN for betting online.
- Choose a VPN from the list above. We recommend NordVPN.
- Clear your cookies.
- Open your VPN app.
- Select a VPN server from the country where you wish to play (for example, the UK).
- Log in to the site and play as usual.
If you have any issues, changing the VPN protocol or settings will often solve the problem. If not, you can always contact the VPN's customer support.
Betting Online Abroad FAQs
If your betting site is blocked by a local internet service provider, a VPN can help you to bypass local restrictions.
Many sites allow betting with a VPN. Check your betting site’s restricted countries and whether they allow VPN betting.
To bet online in Spain legally, you need to bet with an internet bookmaker that is licensed in Spain. We recommend bet365, as it is licensed in both the UK and Spain.
Which currency you can use depends on which currency your betting account is in. Most betting sites let you choose between euros, dollars and pounds when you create an account.
This is not recommended for tourists. In order to withdraw cash, you will usually need to provide a proof of address. This is usually a utility bill or bank statement. It's better to choose a UK operator like bet365 that also caters to international customers.
There is no reason why not. Of course, to take advantage of live betting or the latest odds, you may have to place a bet before leaving on holiday.
Usually not, however certain jurisdictions have different a legal status for each product. Best to check the local laws, or use a VPN to keep your activity secret.
bet365 accepts players from most countries. Visit the site to see if your destination is on the restricted list.
Yes, if you can access your account in the UK from the area you will be staying, you can usually use the same account.
ThePuntersPage Final Say
Betting online abroad is generally not that hard. If you already have a UK account, you can usually access it through a VPN. A paid VPN is definitely a better choice, since it will regularly update its IPs. If you do not want to use a VPN, you can opt for a large UK operator (such as Betfair or bet365) that also targets international players. If these are not available, you can choose an international betting site that accepts players from your location.
Remember that although a VPN will hide your online activity from local governments, at the end of the day it is your responsibility to abide by local laws on gambling, as well as your bookie's own terms of service.
Looking to bet somewhere new? Check out our detailed regulations guide to betting in different countries.