Can I Use a VPN to Gamble in States with Regulated Online Gambling?
By Space Coast Daily // February 27, 2019
In the United States, there are only a few states in which online gambling has been fully regulated. You might think players living outside of these states simply don’t have access to online casino games, but this isn’t the case. Even if you live in an unregulated state, you can still enjoy playing casino games online.
There are a number of ways for you to do so.
Regulated vs Unregulated Online Gambling
First things first – it’s important for you to know the difference between regulated and unregulated markets in the gambling world. In a regulated market, the local gambling commission licenses gaming operators allowing them to legally offer their services to players.
In an unregulated market, the commission has not yet taken on this responsibility. So, the online gambling sites that you have access to have licenses in offshore locations rather than from the state or country’s own regulator.
The United States is largely an unregulated online gambling market. Currently, there are only four states that offer regulated online casino games and poker:
- New Jersey
There are a number of other states that are currently in the process of reviewing their online gambling laws. California, New York and Connecticut are likely to be the next states that will offer regulated online gambling to their residents.
Using a VPN to Access Online Gambling in a Regulated Market
If you live in a state where online gambling is not yet regulated, then you have the option of using a VPN. This tool will change your IP address to make it seem like you’re in a different state.
It’s important that your VPN has the ability to dupe the IP addresses of different states. Most VPNs will only work on a country by country basis, so this is an important consideration to make when deciding which VPN to use.
There are plenty of options out there, and they all charge different amounts. You can either pay on a monthly basis or a yearly basis – with a discount for paying the annual lump sum at once.
Free VPNs are also available, but they usually have limited usage and will stop working after you’ve been through 1GB or 2GB of bandwidth.
The Downsides of Using a VPN to Play Casino Games Online
A VPN will get you online to play casino games in a regulated state, but you’re likely to experience some difficulty when it comes to withdrawing your money. You can sign up to a site and deposit cash, but you’ll have to submit identifying documents before you can make your first withdrawal.
The operator will request that you submit a piece of photo ID and a document that proves your location, such as a bank statement or utility bill. If you can’t produce either of these documents, then you won’t be able to withdraw your money.
So, while you can essentially play at regulated sites using a VPN, you won’t be able to withdraw cash you win, making this a rather pointless exercise. If all you’re after is free-play games, then a VPN is a potential option for you. However, you’re probably be better off playing at an offshore site.
Playing at Offshore Online Casinos
When you’re playing at an offshore online casino website, it’s natural to feel somewhat wary about whether or not the operator is reputable. However, just because the site isn’t licensed by a local regulator doesn’t mean that it isn’t trustworthy.
The first step to figuring out whether an offshore site is reliable and safe is taking a look at the license. In the bottom navigation bar, you should see a seal that shows where the operator is licensed. Look for locations like:
- Costa Rica
A license from any of the above locations shows that the operator has done the hard work necessary to provide a safe and secure gaming experience for players.
They are held to account by the respective licensing jurisdiction and must adhere to specified player protection measures. You should be able to choose to play online slots for free or real money at many safe gaming sites.
You should also take a look at the site’s banking options. Never trust a site that deals only in cash-based deposits, such as Western Union. This is always a red flag, and a sure-fire sign that the site is not worth trusting.
It’s also important for you to browse player reviews. You can browse forums online to find out what other players think about any site that you’re considering joining.
Always keep an eye out for common complaints about specific aspects of the site and ensure that customer service and banking are highly reviewed.
Is It Legal to Play at Offshore Gambling Sites?
Even though “unregulated” means that no official law has been passed to legalize online gambling in a certain state, it’s not illegal for you to play at an offshore site.
There is no legal recourse against players who enjoy games from unregulated markets so, as long as you’re playing with a trustworthy and secure operator, you can rest assured that you’re safe to play your favorite casino games online.
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