Going online abroad: Tips for staying on the right side of the law
Travelling is a joy for so many reasons, and the mere experience of being in a new place is often a good enough reason to fish out your passport and spread your wings. The best experiences come when you immerse yourself in a new place and seek to see life in the way the locals do - when you fully embrace the experience, that’s when you really get the benefit.
Of course, going to a new place means being conscious of what you can and can’t do there. There are numerous examples of must-see tourist destinations where it is required that you stick to a prescribed dress code, for example. And if you have personal leisure time preferences, including casino gaming online with betting sites not on Gamstop at CNOG, it’s of fundamental importance that you know what you can and can’t do in your location. With particular reference to igaming, it’s worth knowing the rules before you step foot in another country.
Does your new destination allow online betting?
There are something in the region of 200 different countries in the world, depending on how you count them. That’s at least 200 different legal jurisdictions - in reality, a lot more, as many countries have differences in legal permissions from state to state and even in different cities. And no lawyer will tire of telling you that when it comes to legal enforcement, ignorance of local law is not accepted as a defence. So if you like to bet online, the first and most important question is whether it is allowed in the place you’re visiting.
Can you play at your preferred site from another country?
It’s at least theoretically possible for someone who is a domestic customer of a betting site to access it and play it while abroad. From the company’s point of view, it is generally your nation of permanent residence that matters. So a UK player playing on their phone in an overseas destination won’t bother the site. It may, however, be blocked in the country you’re in due to local laws. In many cases, you’ll be able to access it via VPN, but you should at least check the terms and conditions on the site to make sure you’re not in a country they list as being prohibited from playing on the site.
Could you face legal problems if you are found to be gambling abroad?
The legality of betting in different countries is a hugely complex matter. Some countries allow betting with local providers, others don’t permit domestic casino providers but don’t care if you bet with overseas operators. Some have a total blanket ban on betting, and even with a VPN it would be unwise to use your online betting accounts while there. In some jurisdictions, you may find that while your betting is allowed, any money won while there is subject to local taxation. In short, never assume that you’re privately betting and the authorities can’t know. The truth is, you can never be sure of that and it’s a mistake to rely on it.
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