International travel has become so common nowadays that it is part of many people’s routine. And with the internet being accessible via phones and laptops, it is normal to expect that you can place a bet anywhere. But since gambling laws and regulations differ from country to country, that is not always the case. So, if you are a British expat or tourist in Spain, which are the rules for betting online abroad and are there any loopholes if you find difficulties?
Our guide on how to bet abroad covers all the cases when you have to visit your bookie from a different country. Whether you are moving there temporarily or permanently, we layout how you can access your favourite sportsbook, even if it is not regulated in your region. Vital info like taxation, payment methods & differences in law are also evaluated in detail. Without further ado, you can find a list of the sportsbooks along with their respective bookmaker review.
Can expats and tourists bet online from abroad
There are two main categories when it comes to how to bet abroad. You visit the country short-term (as a tourist) or long-term (as an expat). Bookmakers treat each case differently, so you need to know what to do beforehand, plus workarounds if you find out you do not have access to your favourite site and daily betting offers.
Let’s say you come from the UK and visit the Greek islands, Italy or France for the summer holidays. You have your account in a British bookie and try to access it during your short stay. Since more and more countries follow a regulated model for online gambling, you might find the access is blocked. If you wonder how to bet online abroad as a tourist, your best guess is to use a VPN to bypass the restriction. Of course, accessing your bookie could be unlimited, so there is no need for anything extra.
But what happens if you get a new job that requires you to reside in a new country permanently? That could perplex things. You must create a new betting site account in a bookie that accepts players from your new region. You will likely get detected if you attempt to play to your old bookie via a proxy or another method.
Which are the rules for betting online abroad
Every market or country can have different laws and regulations regarding online betting. As a rule of thumb, we can sort them into five different types, which dictate how the bookmakers work and set the rules players must follow.
- Licensed Unrestricted: If you are in a country with an unrestricted licence market, then betting is legal. Still, sportsbooks have to get a license from the local government or authority and follow the tax and financial regulations of the jurisdiction. If your bookie has a license in the region you are about to visit, you can likely use it for betting online abroad.
- Licensed Restricted: In such a case, while betting is legal, the access to bookmakers can be minimal. That happens because authorities favour local sportsbooks and want to direct all activity there. In countries where betting is license restricted, your bookmaker is unlikely to allow you to play from abroad. Crypto bookies can help you circumvent such restrictions.
- Regulated: Markets that are regulated offer online betting and have gambling laws but not local licensing. That leaves your bookmaker with the option to operate there since there is no prohibition, but you should always check the local laws.
- Unregulated: Or as they are also called, grey markets do not allow or prohibit online betting. Whether you play or not is entirely up to you. Likewise, bookmakers can choose if they will be open to players from this jurisdiction. Since there are no official gambling laws, keep in mind that you might come across some shady sportsbooks.
- Illegal: As the word implies, in such countries betting is prohibited. That could be for religious, social or other reasons, and violators may face fines or even a prison sentence. However there are still ways to bypass that (like a VPN), but it could be risky. You could ask, why should I start to bet online when there are so many risks involved. Well, the fact is that most bettors that reside in such countries do so nevertheless, as they have really no other option.
Can I play on bookies restricted in my country when I’m abroad
The answer is yes, but it gets more tricky than that. Some workarounds can give you access to restricted bookies, but there is no guarantee that they will always work. Still, that can be an ace up your sleeve for betting online abroad.
The most popular choice of dodging any country's restrictions is to use VPN for sports betting, like Pure VPN or Hide My Ass. These apps will mask your IP address and show the outer world (i.e. the bookie you like) a different one. Your bookmaker will see an eligible IP address and will allow you to enter. However, there is an important shortfall in that method. Many sportsbooks (especially those with a good reputation) outright ban any use of a VPN. A violation of this could result in the closing of your account. Reputable bookmakers use advanced software that detects any VPN or proxy, so be careful.
Another path that bypasses traditional restrictions is via a secure DNS. It is not so popular as the VPN because it only works on blacklisted bookmakers but does not violate any rules (at least so bluntly) and is equally effective. If you use Google Chrome, go to Settings and then Privacy and Security.
Then click on Security, scroll down and activate Use Secure DNS.
On the With menu, pick Cloudflare 18.104.22.168.
Now you can ‘’fool’’ your bookmaker about your actual location. Again, if the sportsbook finds out you access it via a prohibited location, it will likely freeze your account. Many players have been through this process, as certain bookies offer a unique product, and so a geographical restriction can really hamper a specific playstyle. For example, trading strategies on Betfair can hardly be executed elsewhere.
Do bookmakers accept betting from abroad via mobile app
A while ago, a few punters discovered a gap that allowed them to play from abroad, at least up to a limit. They were successful when they tried to access a bookmaker from abroad via an app with mobile data. Moreover, they could place bets and go on with any other action they desired. As an unwritten rule, most sportsbooks will allow you to place some bets from overseas, especially if you are a long-term player. Curacao betting sites are a prime example of this. However, if this goes on for a long time without a proper reason, you could face closure of your account, as it will violate the Terms and Conditions.
Is taxation the same
Tax laws are different for every country and apply to online betting. In some jurisdictions, there are no taxes, while others can go up to 20-25%. Rule no.1 is that any tax will apply if you move to another country permanently. If you go as a tourist for a short time, you will be liable to no tax. To become a tax resident, you must spend at least 183 days in most countries, and local financial laws will dictate the tax amount.
How to bet online abroad: A final thought
New apps and methods have made the answer to how to bet online abroad appear very easy. A free VPN or some tweaks on Google Chrome can give unrestricted access to every bookmaker, regardless of where you are. But is it as simple as it looks? Regulated bookmakers (in the UK in particular) have developed several tools to catch any punters trying to bet from abroad.
Since the law is very harsh, they prefer to be safe than sorry. On your end, that means betting online abroad can be risky, especially if you only go overseas as a tourist. Newbies should be wary, as account bans due to placing bets from a restricted location is a common mistake, and it is essential to mention it in our betting for beginners guide. Bettors that get a new tax residency might be better with opening up an account to a bookie operating where they reside. Below, you can find a list of sportsbooks to place your bets abroad.
You can, if your bookmaker operates in the country you visit. If not, you can use a VPN or Secure DNS to encrypt your location and get access. Keep in mind, however, that bookies clamp down on such methods.
A tourist that will stay in a different country only for a few days or weeks can play on his local bookie as long as he has access. An expat who is also a tax resident in a new jurisdiction will have to create a new account for a bookie open to his new place of residence.
Bet365 is fully regulated and holds multiple licenses in many countries worldwide. If you go to a place where it operates legally, you can open an account and place your bets. However, if bet365 is prohibited in your area, even a VPN might not give you access. The Stoke-on-Trent-based sportsbook uses special software to detect such apps and bans members who use them.
If you go for a betting site that has a local license, then you will save yourself from the hassle of trying to bypass restrictions. Likewise, grey bookmakers do not require you to stay in a particular jurisdiction.