Betfair provides a wide range of betting and gambling options for users — as long as you’re in a country where online gambling is legal. You can access Betfair from anywhere in the world, although you will need to take a few, simple steps to do so.
Betfair will give you a notification if you’re in a restricted country. It may read, “You are not permitted to register with Betfair from the country you are in.” If you see that message or a similar one, the country you currently in has banned online gambling or Betfair specifically.
You can get past this geographic content blocking by using a VPN service like NordVPN. NordVPN allows you to spoof your IP address by connecting to a VPN server located in your home country (the UK, for example) where Betfair is legal.
Aside from simply assigning a new IP address, VPN services also provide an encrypted tunnel to users. This means that web-based activity is encrypted between your computer and the server you’re connecting to. Anyone trying to look in on your activity would have a very hard time doing so. This includes the ISP you’re utilizing while abroad. That encryption varies depending on the service you use, but most paid services use the highest level of encryption and privacy standards that include no log keeping and a kill switch for when the VPN connection drops.
Anyone looking to access Betfair with a VPN should ensure they only do so if they are a resident of a country where accessing Betfair is legal. Using a VPN to access Bet365 services should not be considered a workaround for the purposes of illegal online gambling.
How to use a VPN to access Betfair abroad
Below we explain how to set up a VPN connection so you can access your Betfair account online.
Here’s how to access Betfair from anywhere:
- Sign up with a VPN that unblocks Betfair. We recommend NordVPN.
- Download and install the VPN app or browser extension for your device.
- Check it’s legal to use Betfair in the country you are traveling in.
- Open the VPN app or browser extension and connect to a server in a country where Betfair is unblocked.
- Go to Betfair and login to your account.
- You should now be able to place bets! If you’re still encountering restrictions, try clearing your browser’s cookies.
It should be noted that using a VPN to connect to Betfair while living in a country or U.S. state where online gambling is not permitted is still an illegal act. We don’t condone the use of a VPN service to break the law for the purpose of gambling. That said, NordVPN and other VPN services like it are particularly popular among international travelers looking to access geographically-blocked content from their home countries.
Why do people use a VPN for sports betting abroad?
Betfair hosts over 4 million users, 1.1 million active users, and around $483 million (GBP $393 million) in revenue in 2014. This easily makes Betfair a major international gambling hub, particularly given the website is legal in many different countries. Customers are regularly logging in and placing bets from over 46 countries. This includes one U.S. state (New Jersey) and Australia.
As gambling has always been a bit of a hot topic, and more so for online gambling, many countries have banned Betfair outright and other websites like it. In some countries, such as Canada, gambling, and even online gambling may be legal, but gambling through offshore websites like Betfair is not. For Canadians in particular, this means an inability to connect to websites that offer online gambling but have no physical address within the country. This is one of several reasons why Betfair, which once operated in Canada, closed up shop back in 2014.
In most U.S. states, online gambling is illegal, and even where it is permitted, many potential online gamblers face roadblocks from credit card companies and banks. A law exists that prohibits banks from processing payments used for illegal online betting. So as to avoid getting in trouble, most banks reject such payments. In the case of New Jersey, where online gambling is legal, many customers find their payments are still not processed, although a majority do now go through for users in those locales.
In several cases, such as in Portugal, Betfair is not illegal due to an issue with online gambling bans, but on acquiring the proper licenses. These licenses can often be difficult to obtain, or more costly than what may be worth the expense to the company. Betfair must balance its cost-benefit for each individual country, and in some cases, the market for online gambling just isn’t there. As for Portugal, Betfair is currently in the process of applying for a license there. Find out where Betfair is legal and where it’s banned at the bottom of this article.
Nevertheless, Betfair remains vastly popular among many would-be gamblers across the world, including those who live in countries where using Betfair is either outright banned, or sitting within the legal gray area. Since Betfair only allows users to connect to their service after determining if the user’s IP address comes from a legally-accepted country, Betfair users, like many internet users, generally find a workaround. That workaround exists with VPNs.
Laws and regulations change so please check local legislation to ensure you stay on the right side of the law.
How to use Betfair in the US
While researching how to connect to Betfair through a VPN, we discovered a few tidbits for anyone connecting while in the U.S. (and conceivably in Canada):
- Even connecting to a New Jersey-based server may not let you into Betfair’s website. Alongside connecting to Betfair through NordVPN, we tried connecting to a New Jersey VPN server using IPVanish. While the server connection was just fine, we were still rejected by Betfair’s website. Betfair’s website will still reject U.S. and Canadian IP addresses, even when you’re connected to a VPN.
- We discovered that this is because Betfair has a separate website for its U.S. operations, Betfair CASINO. This website will work even without a U.S. IP address, although it may not be what you’re looking for. Betfair CASINO not only requires an account separate from the regular Betfair website, but it also does not offer the same betting options.
- If you’re a U.S. citizen and desire to use Betfair in the U.S., you must be a New Jersey resident or be in New Jersey at the time you are using Betfair. Betfair CASINO will require you to install a location detector onto your browser to verify you are in New Jersey. Despite being legal to access Betfair while physically located in New Jersey, it is still illegal to do so while outside of New Jersey.
How to download the Betfair App from abroad
Much like the website, if you’re trying to access Betfair from abroad through the mobile app, you’ll likely get blocked in the process. Betfair is only available in a handful of countries. Where it’s not available, the service implements geographic content blocking methods, including blocking access to its mobile app from anyone outside the approved region.
You have two options if you want to download and access the Betfair app from abroad:
1. Install the app in your home country before traveling, then use a VPN
Plan to travel outside of your home country where Betfair is available, to one where it’s unavailable? Make sure to install the Betfair app on your devices before you leave. Once you’ve reached your destination, use a VPN like NordVPN to still ensure you can still access your Betfair account.
You can even test to make sure that a VPN works with your Betfair app before you leave. If in the UK, for example, just connect to a NordVPN server in the UK on your device. Then, load your Betfair app. If you can still log in to your account and interact with Betfair’s services, you’re good to go.
2. Sideload the APK file (Android only)
Betfair appears to have recognized this need and made this process pretty simple for Android users. You don’t even need to change your location in Google Play.
- Just download the Betfair app APK file from Betfair’s website. Make sure to download the file from your Android device, otherwise, just email it to yourself or transfer the file to your Android from your PC.
- From your Android device settings, go to App and then select the top-right menu icon (three vertical dots). From there, tap Special access
- Next, select Install unknown apps
- Find the Betfair APK, then tap it and select Allow from this source
You’re set! Note that you’ll still need an active Betfair account and a VPN to access Betfair’s services if you’re in a country where Betfair is not currently available.
3. Change your device location to a country where the Betfair app is available
If you didn’t install the Betfair app before you left your home country and want to install it from the app store, you can still access the app by changing your location in your device settings.
For Android users, follow the steps we’ve provided in our guide on how to use a VPN to change your country in the Google Play Store.
Apple provides information on how to do this if you’re an iOS user, however, you’ll still need a VPN if you’re trying to spoof your location. And similarly to Android, you’ll need a payment method associated with the country you’re trying to change your location to.
Where is Betfair legal?
Online gambling laws are perhaps some of the most overly complicated laws you will find. Each country has its own legal situation, and even places where online gambling is legal, the situation may be less than black and white. Laws are always changing as well, making it sometimes difficult to keep up with the legal situation on this topic.
For the sake of accuracy, we reached out to Betfair directly regarding which countries still ban their service. Below you’ll find a list of where Betfair is legal, and where it’s still blocked. Not included on either list are “gray area” countries where no law exists permitting or denying the right to use Betfair or other online gambling sites.
Countries in which Betfair is legal:
- Czech Republic
- New Jersey
Countries in which Betfair is blocked:
- American Samoa
- Brunei Darussalam
- France (including French Territories)
- Hong Kong
- Islamic Republic of Iran
- Lao People’s Democratic Republic
- Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
- Northern Mariana Islands
- Papua New Guinea
- Puerto Rico
- South Africa
- The Syrian Arab Republic
- USA (excluding New Jersey)
- Virgin Islands (USA)
*Note on illegal/legal countries: As mentioned, gambling laws change regularly, as well as Betfair’s own licensing agreements in different countries. This list is subject to change at any time. Please be sure to check the rules in your own country on a regular basis to ensure you’re compliant with local laws. If you do find any discrepancies in our list, please let us know!
Is using a VPN against Betfair’s terms and conditions?
Betfair’s Terms and Conditions state that it deems suspicious betting to include “where we reasonably believe that bets have been placed from a location or device other than the location or device which you claim to have used to place a bet”. This would suggest that it is against Betfair’s terms and conditions to place bets while connected to a VPN server in a location that does not match your physical location.
The above does not guarantee that Betfair will act upon this but it does reserve the right to do so as a result. It’s also unlikely to be an issue if you’re connected to a VPN server if that server matches your current location.
See also: The best VPN for Bet365