Online sports betting is quickly becoming more and more popular as states allow residents to place bets via online sportsbooks like DraftKings, BetMGM, Bovada, and more. But for those who live in states that don’t allow online sports betting, is there any way to bet on sports online?
Virtual private networks (VPNs) make it easy for individuals to mask their location and trick websites into thinking they are in another state or country. While you can use VPNs to bet on sports, you still need to follow your local gambling laws to avoid any consequences.
Here’s what you need to know about whether or not you can use a VPN to bet on sports.
What Is a VPN?
A VPN creates a private network from a public internet connection to give you privacy and anonymity when browsing the web. When you use a VPN, it masks your IP address so your internet activity is more difficult to trace, and you can trick websites into thinking you are located in a different state or country.
While many people use VPNs to improve their privacy when using the internet, some use them to spoof their location to use services that are restricted in certain areas. For example, many people use VPNs to watch content that isn’t available in their region on certain streaming services.
Why Use a VPN?
Using the internet on an unsecured Wi-Fi network means others may be able to see your browsing activity and private information.
For example, if you log into your bank account while in a public area without using a VPN, cybercriminals may be able to view and steal your personal information.
For bettors, this means if you log into your sportsbook account while on a public connection, others may be able to steal your login information and compromise your account.
VPNs help you avoid this problem by encrypting your data while online. This keeps your browsing activity and personal information private so cybercriminals can’t read it. Using a VPN allows you to browse the internet with more privacy and security so you don’t have to worry about your sensitive data being exposed.
Is It Legal to Use a VPN?
The legality of VPNs depends on your specific location. In the United States, VPNs are legal to use, though it’s important to keep in mind that using a VPN can still cause a breach of service depending on the services you access while using the VPN.
Some websites and apps may prohibit VPN use, and if they detect that you are using a VPN, you may be banned from using the platform or service in the future.
Some countries do prohibit residents from using VPNs. This includes countries like:
- North Korea
Depending on where you live, you may or may not be able to use a VPN to bet on sports. Be sure to review your local laws and regulations to determine whether or not VPN usage is restricted in your area.
Do VPNs Work on Mobile?
Yes, there are several VPN services available for mobile devices. Mobile VPNs work the same as they do on desktop and allow you to browse the web and use apps with more privacy and security.
Mobile VPNs can be a great option for bettors who use mobile online sportsbooks to place and manage their bets. When using your mobile device in a public location to place bets or make deposits and withdrawals, a VPN can help protect your private information so it can’t be stolen by cybercriminals.
Can I Use a VPN to Bet on Sports?
Yes, you can use a VPN to bet on sports online. However, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to reside in a state that allows online sports betting. If you live in a state that prohibits online gambling, use a VPN to spoof your location and then use an online sportsbook, you may face consequences for gambling illegally. As a result, it is not recommended to use a VPN to bet on sports while living in a state or country that doesn’t allow legal online sports betting.
Moreover, many online sportsbooks are able to detect when users are using a VPN and will prevent you from placing any bets while the VPN is active. If you live in a state that supports legal sports betting but are running into problems placing bets while using a VPN, you may need to disable your VPN to proceed.
However, using a VPN to encrypt your private information while betting on sports legally can be a great way to protect yourself against scammers and cybercriminals.
Where Is Sports Betting Legal?
In the United States, several states have legalized online sports betting. Residents in these states can bet on sports using online and mobile sportsbooks, though some states only allow residents to use certain sportsbooks.
States with legal online sports betting include:
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New York
- Rhode Island
- Washington, D.C.
- West Virginia
Make sure to review your state’s laws and regulations to determine whether you’re able to legally bet on sports online. If you don’t live in one of these states, you will not be able to legally bet on sports online, even when using a VPN.
How to Choose a VPN for Sports Betting
There are countless VPN services available online, many of them promising to offer the same privacy and protection.
When searching for a VPN to use for sports betting, it’s important to know what features to look for to ensure your private information will be safe.
Before choosing a VPN for sports betting, make sure it:
- Has a no-log policy, meaning it doesn’t keep records of your browsing activity.
- Offers generous data limits. Some VPNs have restrictive data limits, which may not work for users who spend a significant amount of time online.
- Offers server locations in your area or the area that you plan to bet in.
- Supports multiple devices so you can bet on desktop or mobile.
- Fits your budget. Some VPNs are completely free to use, though many of the higher-rated and more reputable VPN services require a subscription.
- Is open-source, meaning its security and encryption protocols are able to be reviewed and vetted by independent third parties.
- Has a “kill switch” that cuts your internet connection when disconnected from the VPN.
- Offers high-speed connectivity so you can place and manage your bets without delays.
Some of the most popular and trusted VPNs include ExpressVPN, ProtonVPN, NordVPN, SurfShark, and CyberGhost VPN.
How to Set up a VPN for Online Sports Betting
Setting up and using VPNs is incredibly easy.
After choosing a VPN, follow these steps to get started:
- Download and install the VPN on your computer or mobile device.
- Open the VPN and log in to your account.
- Choose your server location. For sports betting, you should use a server in the state that you reside in, as spoofing your location to bet in another state is not legal.
- Connect to the server.
- Once the connection is established, you can browse the web and place bets using your online sportsbook.
As mentioned, many sportsbooks prohibit users from placing bets while using VPNs. This is to prevent residents in other states from spoofing their locations to place bets in other states illegally.
Even if you are using your VPN to place bets while in a legal betting state, you may be prevented from placing any bets until you disable your VPN, depending on the specific app or website you are using.