Online casinos are legal in the majority of cases, holding licenses and certifications and other stuff, but in some countries, access to online casinos is limited or completely restricted. However, that does not stop passionate gamblers from searching access to foreign online parlours, sites run from offshore, etc.
Many online casino reviewing platforms recommend a seemingly simple and very logical solution to this problem - using a VPN.
VPN is Virtual Private Network; this is a type of software that allows the user to first connect to a remote server, in their country or in a different country, and only after that connect to the website they want. This way, people can access content restricted in their countries, or intended specifically for other countries.
VPNs are legal, since they do not offer any illegal action; many people always use VPNs for regular Internet browsing for the sake of safety, because this software conceals the user’s real location, making them look like reaching out from a different place.
This is why online casino reviewing sites often recommend using VPN as a simple, reliable, and legitimate way to access casino sites (or particular services at casino sites) available only to users from particular countries.
However, the problem is that the overwhelming majority of online casino sites will quickly find out that their new customer uses VPN, and will immediately block their account.
Why Do Casinos Care?
Some gamblers may ask, why would online casinos even care if I access their sites with the use of VPN? I deposit real money and make my bets, they even have all my real personal information and documents, why would they care what location I am reaching out from?
Well, online casinos accept players only from particular locations for a list of reasons.
Firstly, many parlours hold licenses that only allow them to offer gambling services in certain jurisdictions.
Secondly, depending on the country from which the site is operated, online parlours can only use certain banking methods, and as a result, they cannot offer service to players who cannot use these banking methods.
Thirdly, online parlours do not make their own games (very few do), and they buy access to online casino games from software providers. Software providers, in their turn, also hold specific licenses that allow them to offer games only to players from particular countries.
And eventually, in many countries, online casino gambling is not directly prohibited, or is a completely grey market, and casino sites from other countries are free to offer their services to grey zone markets without serious consequences both for the operator/site and for the customers. However, some governments legally prohibit online gambling for their citizens, and they are serious about violation of the law. As a result, sane online casino operators avoid messing with these markets, and restrict access to their sites for customers from these regions.
Legitimacy of Access
Soome countries, such as Iraq, Iran, UAE, China, etc., do not only prohibit online gambling, but they also take any violations seriously. So seriously that citizens in these countries are often unable to even download any VPN software whatsoever, because even VPNs are illegal to use.
Moreover, Internet providers and mobile communication providers in these countries are obliged by the government to track the users’ searches and report to the government if access to prohibited websites (gambling, YouTube, etc.) is tracked. Not doing so also leads to huge fines and other problems for the service providers.
As a result, people cannot access the casino sites, and cannot use VPNs.
And eventually, it is the people. Some countries where gambling is strictly prohibited by the law apply strict (even cruel) punishments to those violating the law. The punishment usually includes fines, imprisonment, and also physical punishment. As a result, no wonder the top casino sites tend to avoid any connection to such cases, and prefer to restrict access to their services for residents of such countries, for those residents’ own sake.
Even if citizens from such restrictive countries get access to VPN software and manage to register an account with an online casino to play for real money, their account will quickly be blocked.
Even if the country does not prohibit online gambling so strictly, and the customer wants to conceal their real location for other reasons, using VPN for online casinos also makes little sense. It is forbidden to change the player’s location even within one country, because online parlours take effort to avoid any type of fraud as much as gamblers try to avoid fraudulent casino sites.
Even if the player uses VPN within their jurisdiction, and the casino operator finds that out, this still looks suspicious to the operator, and they will block the account immediately.
Another reason why online casino gamblers may seek options with VPN is because they want to grab casino bonuses they are not eligible for according to the online casino rules.
Online casinos give access to customers from certain countries for a reason, and most often this is local legislation. For example, Canadians are usually eligible for all casino welcome bonuses, while players from Sweden are never eligible for bonuses. Online gambling legislation is complicated, there are tons of nuances in every particular jurisdiction, so online parlours want to protect themselves from lawsuits and customers’ complaints.
However, many players are not happy with such a state of things, and believe that using VPN will help them grab the bonus they want, like a No Deposit bonus, Free Spins bonuses, etc. Yet, again, as soon as the casino operator finds out that the player claimed the bonus they were not qualifying for, in the best case scenario, the bonus and all associated winnings will be forfeited by the operator. In the worst case scenario, both the bonus and the winnings will be forfeited and the player’s account will also be blocked.
Access to Certain Games
As it was already said, certain software providers are only allowed by their licenses to offer games to certain jurisdictions. The size of the provider company or its popularity do not matter.
The limitation lists of countries and games not available to those countries are usually contained in the T&C documents, so the potential customers can find that out before they even register. Many customers are not happy with these limitations and try to use VPNs, but end up with their accounts blocked by the casino operator.
The last but not the least reason why online parlours care about the locations and VPNs is because they have to deal with problem gamblers who cannot control their gambling habits and behaviors. Problem gamblers may ask the casino sites to close their accounts forever in attempts to manage their addiction, and the parlours have no right to allow this person to make real money bets on their platforms anymore, according to the Responsible Gambling practices.
But then, problem gamblers try to register again, using VPNs and other methods to fake their identities. This is why casino sites immediately suspend and eventually block everyone using VPN for access to real money betting.
How Do Online Casinos Find Out About VPNs?
Casino sites use both automatic and manual ways of checking the players’ identities, location, and fair approach to real money gambling.
Automatic checks may include tracking the patterns of gambling and access; the casino’s software may track discrepancies between the player’s stated and real location, checking the time zones, and comparing the pattern of activities with other players from the same locations, etc.
Manual checking may include not only checks of uploaded personal documents, but also Skype calls or a phone call, to talk to the person in real time and double-check their data, including location.
Other Preventative Measures
As a rule, such identity checks described above are not conducted immediately upon the player’s account registration. They are conducted after some time, and also take some time to process the data.
Some inexperienced online casino gamblers believe they will be able to access the casino site via the VPN, register an account, deposit some money, make real money bets, and withdraw whatever they win, quickly, before the casino Customer Support checks them.
However, there are several other preventative measures applied by the casino sites. Firstly, if the players do not claim any bonuses and only make bets with the money they deposit, the withdrawal function will not be unlocked for any new player before their accounts are verified.
If the player grabs a No Deposit bonus, wagers it, and wins some cash, again they will not be able to withdraw. Firstly, even No Deposit bonuses have wagering requirements to meet; without wagering requirements met, withdrawal will not be possible. Secondly, many casino sites that offer No Deposit bonuses require that at least a minimum deposit is made after wagering through the bonus, before any winnings are cashed out. And eventually, again no withdrawal function without account verification. The same rules apply to deposit-based bonuses.
As a result, even if the player manages to register and play casino games with a VPN activated, they will not be able to grab their winnings. They will either be checked by the Customer Support, fail account verification, and get their account blocked, or just won’t be able to use the banking methods provided.
Eventually, using VPN for online gambling for real money makes no sense at all - unless you just want to play casino games in the Demo mode.
As it becomes obvious from this guide, using VPN for real money betting at online casinos will lead to the user's account blocked, bonuses and winnings forfeited, and perhaps only their initial deposit returned to them. This is the real consequences of using VPNs, in contrast to what many other casino reviewing platforms recommend.
In case you have no options for any online casino gambling but with VPN, better avoid online gambling at all.
There are alternatives to that - offline casinos or sports betting facilities, races, national lotteries, etc. If even offline options are prohibited in your jurisdiction, perhaps the best decision is to wait for vacation and enjoy casino games when you travel to a different country. Gambling is fun, but it should not bring additional problems and risks to the players. Read more about responsible gambling in this guide.