If you’re trying to access your favorite betting website, it’s irritating to see the “Website is not available in your country” message. Regardless of whether you’ve accessed it before and are traveling, or it’s newly blocked, you’re left out in the cold by geo-blocks and censorship surrounding online betting sites. Of course, to circumvent this you just sign up for a bookie with lower odds, or hit up a land-based bookie – and have their commission eat its was through your profits.
So obviously neither of those is a great alternative. But, restrictive rules surrounding online gambling varying widely by region, countries rely on local ISPs to enforce their laws. Using a VPN, you can spoof your IP address – which ISPs use to identify you and block content – to look as though you’re sitting in a country that has access to the betting site you’re trying to use. In this guide, we’re going to show you how to choose a VPN that lets you do just that, give you our recommendations, and help you get setup. Then, we’ll detail some advantages VPNs can provide in your online betting endeavors, and answer the question “Is a VPN legal for betting?” Dive in – and get back to winning.
Choosing the right VPN for betting
Selecting the right VPN for any use-case can be difficult. There are many providers out there, some reputable, some less so. Many make the same claims, or use technical terms to try to dazzle you. Too many claim to the “fastest in the world” or “#1 trusted.” Obviously, they can’t all be, so how do tell which ones are?
These considerations become even more critical when high stakes are concerned, as is often the case in betting. You don’t want your security compromised just to access a few betting sites – you may wind up in a bad position with data stolen or sold. But we’re here for you. We’ve done the research and used the following criteria to rank our recommended VPNs for your use. These criteria have been developed through much trawling through and testing of VPNs. They’re the things to look for when choosing the right VPN for betting, or just about any use-case:
- Encryption – The encryption used by a VPN keeps your data (IP address, timestamps, traffic, etc.) hidden from prying eyes and secure from end-to-end. If there are holes in it, then you become vulnerable, so you need a VPN with powerful encryption, multiple protocols, and ways to test for leaks and instantly shut down if the connection drops.
- Logging policy – Going hand-in-hand with strong encryption is a zero-logging policy. ISPs monitor and record logs of your activity online. This can be used to trace back to you easily and incriminate you later. Since privacy is one of a VPN’s purposes, it should not keep logs on your data – that defeats the purpose. To truly maintain your privacy, your VPN can’t be keeping logs on your activity. A zero-logging policy is a must.
- Network size – A server network that is large and widespread is one of the hallmarks of an established VPN. Not the only one, of course, but an indicator. Having many VPNs to choose from gives you options when you’re trying to find a fast one to place your bets. Don’t like your current speeds and think the server is at fault? Just disconnect from it, find a new one, and reconnect.
A word of advice
As a side note, at Addictive Tips we don’t condone breaking the law, so always check your local laws to see if online betting is legal in your area. Different countries have different laws – for example, Afghanistan bans online betting completely. Lithuania requires these sites to be approved and licensed. Players can place offshore bets in Canada, but offshore operators may or may not be able to accept those bets. And in the U.S., it’s entirely legal to place bets (at the federal level), but not to accept them.
Further, while it may be legal to place and accept bets in a particular country, you may be breaking a betting site’s terms of agreement by using a VPN instead of physically being the country. So, if you’re going to use a VPN for online betting, always check your local laws and terms of agreement, and weigh the risks and rewards.
The top 5 best VPNs for online betting
That said, here our top 5 recommended VPNs for online betting:
#1 – ExpressVPN
ExpressVPN has proven itself time and again to be fast, secure, and reliable. As one of the fastest VPNs on the market, you’ll enjoy speedy connection times and won’t miss placing a bet due to a loading webpage. Plus, if you like to do other things online, ExpressVPN gives you unlimited bandwidth (perfect for downloading and video streaming), no speed caps, and no throttling. Based out of the British Virigin Islands, they’re outside U.K. jurisdiction, so they don’t have to turn over their records. And speaking of records, there wouldn’t be anything to connect back to you – ExpressVPN doesn’t log your traffic, DNS requests, IP addresses, or browsing history.
ExpressVPN offers strong 256-bit AES encryption – that’s the best available to date. And alongside the default UDP via OpenVPN, you can switch to an L2TP/IPSec or PPTP protocol if you’re looking for greater speed or security. A DNS leak test automatically checks for data dripping through any holes, and an automatic kill switch shuts down your internet if there’s an accidental drop. Finally, you get more than 2,000 servers to choose from across 94 countries.
- Works with US Netflix, iPlayer, Hulu and other services
- Reliable and fast connections
- Secure encryption & VPN protocols
- Strict no-logs policy
- Live chat support available.
- Expensive month-to-month plan.
Check our full ExpressVPN review to learn more.
#2 – NordVPN
NordVPN gives you pure power. They’re big, with more than 5,200 servers in 62 countries and are always growing. That kind of infrastructure gives you serious options, settings, and even specialty servers. So if you’re worried about being traced online, you can utilize NordVPN’s anonymity servers, specially setup for Onion over VPN. Or, you can try their Double VPN servers, which run your data through two servers instead of just one. You can also tweak your DNS settings for different use-cases.
NordVPN has a great zero-logging policy. With no logs kept on traffic, IP address, timestamps, bandwidth, or browsing history, it’s one of the most complete in the entire industry. And based out of Panama, the provider is exempt from major surveillance agreements which force ISPs and other operators to keep and share data on users.
- Servers optimized for unblocking Netflix
- Mind-boggling number of servers
- 256-bit AES encryption with perfect forward secrecy
- Retains no metadata of your browsing
- 24/7 Customer Service.
- Not much
- They can take 30 days to process refunds.
Learn more in our full NordVPN review.
#3 – CyberGhost
CyberGhost is full access made simple. This provider aims to deliver a streamlined user experience without watering down any of its core functionality. Right off the bat, CyberGhost makes things easy with a quick, simple installation. Then, you get 6 simple profiles already setup for their respective use-cases. They’re all great, giving you the best settings for things like surfing or torrenting anonymously, unblocking basic websites and streaming services, and protecting your Wi-Fi connection – but CyberGhost’s “Choose my VPN server” is the one for you to unblock betting sites. By applying this profile, you can quickly search through and select the server in the country of your site.
But, as mentioned, CyberGhost doesn’t lose functionality in favor of simplicity – 256-bit AES encryption locks down your activity, an immaculate login policy ensures your privacy (they don’t even keep your email), and a network nearly 3,200 servers strong gives you more options than you’ll need.
- Unblocks US Netflix + BBC iPlayer
- Compatible with TOR
- Located in Romania (out of 14 eyes)
- No logs policy
- Live chat support (24/7).
- Sometimes experiencing average speeds.
Check our comprehensive CyberGhost review to find out more.
PrivateVPN is small but mighty – 80+ servers in 59 countries give you access to many geo-restricted sites and applications. PrivateVPN is sleek and lightweight, but offers top-of-the-line 256-bit AES encryption, plus an automatic kill switch and DNS leak protection – so you lose nothing in security. A location in privacy-friendly Sweden and sturdy zero-logging policy ensure that your information is never logged or shared.
PrivateVPN is compatible on desktops, browser extensions, smartphones, tablets, and even Fire TV. With no-frills, you an easily select a server in the country of your choice and start placing your bets within minutes.
Dig into our PrivateVPN review to find out more on this Swedish provider
#5 – PureVPN
PureVPN is another great provider. Their network far surpasses the industry standard, with 2,000+ servers across an amazing 140 countries, each employing 256-bit AES encryption to keep your data secure. With that kind of server spread, you’ll have no trouble bypassing geo-blocks of any kind. Of course, if you aren’t as concerned with security, but just want to use PureVPN as a proxy, you can drop the encryption entirely without issue.
But say that you’d like some security – PureVPN gives you more than most VPNs, with protection against DDoS, NAT firewall, anti-spam filtering, and even antivirus software. Normally, you’d need separate software for most of those features, but with PureVPN, you get it all in once place.
How to setup your VPN and unblock betting sites
If you have zero experience with VPNs, you may be wondering how hard it is to setup a VPN. Unless you’re manually configuring the connection, it’s actually pretty easy. VPNs have progressed a long way and offer apps for a wide variety of devices and operating systems, from desktop to mobile, and even routers, gaming systems, and smart TVs.
So to setup your VPN, just follow these steps:
- First, choose your VPN. We recommend ExpressVPN or any of the others on the list above. Next, visit their website using one of our exclusive links. This will ensure you get the discount reserved for AT readers. Then, just pick your plan and fill out the requested information. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to download and install the application.
- Once the application is installed on your chosen device, launch it. If you aren’t signed in automatically, login using your VPN credentials. The VPN will automatically connect you to the fastest available server; in most cases, you’ll have to select a different one to access a blocked betting site. To do so, just visit your VPN’s server list and select a server located in a region where the site is available. Connect to it and wait a few moments for it to resolve.
- Now that you’re connected, run a quick test to ensure it’s secure by visiting ipleak.net. This web page will automatically run an IP address lookup, so you’ll be able to double-check that your true IP address isn’t leaking through. You should see a “country of origin” that matches the IP address you chose in your VPN’s app. If the country of origin does not match, return to your app and try again. If your true IP address continues to leak through, as shown by ipleak, then you’re connection is not secure and you may not be able to access betting sites that are blocked in your location. Contact your VPN’s support team for additional troubleshooting steps.
Why a VPN gives you an edge online betting
Aside from helping you access betting sites that are censored or geo-blocked, a VPN can provide several other advantages when you’re betting online. Here are just a few:
Hide your betting
Whether you’re engaging in betting at work, your significant other disapproves, or its legality is dubious, you may not want your betting activities to be traceable. Use a VPN from your chosen device before connecting to a betting site, and you go incognito.
Bet with multiple accounts
In can be helpful to have multiple accounts, each appearing to come from a different part of the world, increasing your odds and granting you special privileges that otherwise wouldn’t be available to you. Connecting through different VPNs can help you hold multiple accounts and benefit from their diverse locations.
Protect your identity
Going hand-in-hand with the last advantage, using a VPN can help you protect your identity when betting. Bookmakers may sometimes work together to identify and ban unwanted players. If a bookmaker identifies you as an expert, others might limit you if they can match your identity to that bookmaker’s description. But use a VPN, and you can stay in play for much longer.
Finally, one of a VPN’s primary purposes is to enhance your security online. There are many threats on the internet, not least of which is detection and tracing of your online betting by authorities, particularly if it’s illegal in your location. Again, we don’t advocate breaking laws and a VPN does not make automatically make illegal things legal. But, a VPN provides a layer of secure encryption from prying eyes, hackers, and identity thieves, no matter where you go or what you do online.
Is it legal to use a VPN to access online betting sites?
VPN usage is safe, and in most countries around the world, completely legal. However, there are notable exceptions. VPNs provide access to sites and apps that are sometimes blocked due to various regions – like Facebook, Twitter, Viber, and more –, so in more oppressive countries, even VPNs can be banned. If you’d like to learn more, check out our review of the most oppressive countries for internet in the world.
Locations where it’s illegal to bet online
Laws concerning betting online vary widely, but they’re typically more “set in stone” than those related to VPN use. So, that being said, here are several countries where online gambling is illegal or severely restricted. Keep in mind this list is not all-inclusive, so check your local laws:
- China – Any betting that uses real currency is illegal. This includes online poker and casinos, sports betting, and betting games. If it uses real money, than it’s illegal.
- France – Online betting is illegal. Other types of online gambling, however, are legal if the operator possesses a license.
- Germany – Online gambling is illegal in most cases, with exceptions. Horse race wagering is legal, and some states have granted licensed outlets legal status for some online betting. The prevalence may increase in the future.
- Singapore – All online betting, including gambling, casino, poker, and betting games, are illegal.
- Russia – Both betting and gambling online are strictly illegal.
- India – Certain states have outlawed online betting and card games.
- U.K. – Businesses must be granted a license. Otherwise, betting online is illegal.
- U.S.A. – Placing bets is legal; but accepting them (i.e. running an operation) is not. But, some states prohibit online and offline gambling, unless done by Native American associations.
These are some examples, but even within what appear to be black-and-white cases, there are subtleties in legality, including in the type of betting. For example, while there’s no Federal law against online gambling in the U.S., there is one against placing online sports bets. The bottom line is: Always check your local laws. VPNs do not remove the illegality of an activity, just because it hides it.
Getting that irritating message that a betting site isn’t available in your country doesn’t have to be the end of your online betting exploits. Employing a VPN in the right capacity can help you bypass this message and get back to winning. Using this guide, you can sort through the pages of VPN providers and select a reliable, trustworthy, and secure VPN to help you get back to betting.
Have you ever faced the “Website Is Not Available In Your Country” message? Did you find a way around it? Tell us your experiences with geo-blocked betting sites – and other content – in the comments below.
If you need a VPN for a short while when traveling for example, you can get our top ranked VPN free of charge. ExpressVPN includes a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will need to pay for the subscription, that’s a fact, but it allows full access for 30 days and then you cancel for a full refund. Their no-questions-asked cancellation policy lives up to its name.