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The Legality of Gambling Online While Abroad

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Everyone deserves a holiday, it’s a great way to relax, unwind, have fun and, if you’re a gamer, spend some time playing slots or casino games at your favourite online casino. However, one questions many gamers ask themselves is whether or not they can legally gamble online when on holiday.

Smartphone Casinos, a website that specialises in reviewing online casinos and explaining how payouts and game mechanics work, has offered to explain how holidaying in other countries can affect your gambling experience.

Gambling Legalities

There are still several types of gambling markets around the world which affect how you are protected and how you can play. These include licensed markets, unlicensed markets, and illegal markets. Licensed casinos tend to follow strict rules which are imposed to protect players while unlicensed casinos do not feature these protections. This means that playing at an unlicensed can be a risk as you may not receive winnings or find yourself losing money on unfair games.

In other countries, however, online gambling is illegal. So, although you may be registered at an online casino with a UK gambling license, the country you’re currently visiting will completely block all access to online casino sites. This means you will not be able to use your casino gambling app and cannot load up your online casino website.

While gamers can use VPNs to bypass this block, it is incredibly risky to do so. If you are caught, you will forfeit your winnings, may face a fine and potentially legal action from the country you’re currently visiting. We advise you to not do this and instead check which UK-licensed online casinos operate in the country you’re visiting and register with them. If online gambling is illegal at your holiday destination, we’re sorry as there’s nothing you can do about it.

Winnings and Withdrawals

Another important point to make is that playing in other countries can be somewhat risky when it comes to landing winnings. For example, some online casinos may refuse to pay you your winnings because you were playing in another country, particularly if the country does not have any online gambling regulations. In these cases, the online casino may forfeit your winnings.

It’s also important to consider withdrawals. If you are in a country where online gambling is legal and land a big win, you may have to withdraw your winnings in a different currency. What makes this frustrating is that some payment methods such as e-Wallets (Skrill, Neteller or PayPal) may use their own adjusted exchange rate rather than an official exchange rate.

When this is used, the payment provider will generally use the rate which best works for them. This means you can be left out of pocket while the payment provider takes some of your hard-earned winnings themselves. So, before you request a withdrawal, we suggest you try to discover what exchange rate your payment provider is following so you know exactly what you will be receiving.

Registering At Foreign Sites

If you end up in a country where online gambling is allowed but your favourite casino sites do not yet operate in the jurisdiction, it may be tempting to sign up at a foreign online betting site or casino in the country to play a little. However, we advise you from doing so in unregulated markets as the website or company will not protect you.

This means there’s a risk that the site will refuse to pay winnings and keep them. What’s more, there are risks of losing your money on unfair games as mentioned above, and even having your payment details stolen.

So we suggest you avoid registering at a foreign site, both in regulated and unregulated jurisdictions. As mentioned above, try to find a safe UK-licensed online casino that operates in your holiday destination if you really want to gamble online while away. However, make sure to check what the casino’s policy is on winnings made in other countries before you play.

If you follow our above tips, you’ll have no problem keeping safe while gambling in other countries. Remember: if it’s illegal or unregulated, avoid it all costs.