As an Australian, you’re used to being able to access online real money pokies any time you like from any place you want. To us, this kind of accessibility is a given. So if you’re an Australian traveling the world, as many of us tend to do, you might not even get the question – how to gamble online abroad as an Australian? Just find a place with an internet connection and WiFi and log in, right? Well, yes and no really.
Because while online gambling is indeed legal here in Australia, that’s not necessarily the case in every other country of the world. Yes, we know bummer indeed. Poor people who don’t get to enjoy what we do! But this is the nature of the world. And so you need a solution. How are you going to get your gambling thrills in as you travel around? And what are the differences in terms of your strategy depending on where you go?
Setting up your casino account and establishing your Australian residence
When you created your casino account, you undoubtedly filled out a short registration form. Within this form, you were asked a number of questions that are used by the online casino to validate your identity, and in some cases, ensure you are not breaking the law by gambling from a country that is forbidden.
As such, as you may recall, you provided information such as your country of residence, your snail mail address and your postal code, all of which is proof that you live in Australia. Plus, for good measure (and future communication purposes with the casino), you were required to provide your phone number as well. After receiving this information, the online casino has proof in hand as to where you live. This is not needed in order to pay you a house visit. Rather, in addition to the tracking of your IP address, it is used to enforce protocols in terms of providing gambling services to people living in places where online gambling is legal, such as Australia.
Accessing your account while you are abroad
Once you’ve created your account as an Australian, that’s it. You are able to access the online casino, more or less, wherever you have an internet connection, so long as it’s legal. The username, password, and currency you’d like to use for gambling remain the same wherever you go. That means, as an Australian abroad, your online gambling experience remains 100% the same as when sitting on your couch at home. If you are in Europe, you will continue to gamble in AUD, and if you’re in Mexico, again, still AUD. All of your banking and all of your promotions will remain the same.
So there’s not much to think about in a general sense when it comes to how to gamble online abroad as an Australian, at least in countries where online gambling is legal. It’s the exact same as you do from home.
• All you need to do is type in the URL of the online casino you want to visit if you’re using someone else’s computer or click on the bookmark you’ve placed on your laptop to access the website.
• Next, enter your username and password. If you’ve forgotten your password, just like at home, you can request assistance.
• Once you’ve logged in, it’s gambling as usual. Browse through the game catalog to find what game you’d like to play, and click to begin.
• Place your wagers, push the command controls, and hope for a win. Simple as that!
Creating another account while living abroad
Most online gambling sites are very strict about one account is allowed per user. This is obvious for a number of reasons, particularly preventing players from taking advantage of the generous no deposit bonus more than once.
That being said, if you already have an account that you set up in Australia, and are planning on being abroad for an extended period of time – say for the duration of your university degree or a job relocation – you may consider setting up a new account. That way you would be able to change your parameters for communications with the casino (which are essential for collecting your winnings amongst other things) such as your address and phone number. Another advantage of creating a new account is that you’d be able to switch to the local currency for gambling purposes. Both of these things make sense if you are essentially living somewhere (rather than vacationing). Then, once you go back to Australia, either for good or for a visit, you can switch back to using your former account. Just make sure it doesn’t go dormant in the meantime.
Banking while gambling in another country
If you want to make a deposit or a withdraw money while you are abroad, again, no problem. This is the world of the internet after all. And anything you can do online, you can do online from anywhere. That means you can make a deposit or a withdrawal exactly the same way you do at home, using the same banking methods you prefer. If you are using direct bank transfers to fund your account, however, you may expect to hear from your bank, confirming the transaction being commanded from abroad. So if possible, you may want to give your bank manager a heads up before you head out.
As for currency, you will also continue to gamble in your currency of choice, which we assume is generally Australian dollars.
Countries around the world where online gambling is legal
There are many countries around the world where online gambling is legal. It is up to you to check the local laws to determine the exact details, including potential restrictions and possible consequences. Also, keep in mind, since the world has only recently woken up to the realm of online gambling regulation, these laws are changing on a regular basis. So even though at the moment of writing it is legal to play online casino games in countries you visit including Canada, Macau, Gibraltar, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, and Panama (to name but a few), you need to invest a little time – with some online research at a bare minimum – to make sure you will be abiding by local laws when gambling as a visitor.
Countries where online gambling is illegal
Believe it or not, there are many countries around the world where online gambling is illegal. Shame, we know, missing out on all that casino joy. But what can you do?
So if you’re going abroad, and you intend to keep up your online gambling ways on the go, we recommend doing a quick Google search to find out the legal status of gambling in advance. You can also ask a local friend or the concierge at the hotel where you’ll be staying to help you out.
Other ways to find out are to check the Terms & Conditions of the online casino where you’re playing. The list of excluded countries should give you a good indication of where the local law stands. On one foot we can tell you online gambling is illegal in the United States, Russia, Brazil, Japan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to name but a few places. The list is far longer than this so you will need to do research on a case by case basis.
While online gambling is illegal in all of these places, enforcement is generally lacking. In fact, there are very few instances in which players, let alone the casinos themselves, have been charged for infringing on local laws. That being said, there is certainly some risk involved. If caught you will have to forfeit your casino account including all of your winnings. You may also be fined and could potentially be arrested. These are all potentially unpleasant consequences, and in our opinion, not the best bet to make nor generally worth the risk.
The grey zone
Also, keep in mind, there are many countries around the world that have what is called regulated gambling in place. In these countries, only online casinos that have official local government licensing are legal. This is especially true across Europe, in countries such as the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Poland. In these places, you can feel free to gamble on any site with proper licensing. Since there are enough options available with the official stamp of approval, it’s best to avoid any sites that are not locally licensed.
Are you, as an Australian, included in a local gambling ban?
In Australia, once you’ve set up your online casino account, you are free to gamble online, without fear of the law. However, what happens when you visit a country where online gambling is illegal. Are you allowed to play there?
This is an interesting and rather tricky question. In general, it’s best advised to follow the laws of whichever country you are visiting. This way you are always safe. On the other hand, even if online gambling is illegal where you’re visiting, it’s possible the law only applies to the local population, so you would be exempt. Since laws are so tricky, however, the details may not matter. As such, it’s better not to take chances and instead take a break from gambling while in a country that prohibits online gambling.
How to get around local gambling laws
Let’s be clear, we are not recommending you break the law in any way. But we are not enforcers of the law either. So if you’re visiting a country where online gambling is illegal, there are two options for gaining access to a gambling site.
One is that you will need to use a Virtual Private Network (or what is known as a VPN), to gain access to the website. These VPN services help you get around geo-blocking that has been implemented either by the local government or the online casino itself. Basically, what the VPN does is essentially block your IP address, so that the website you’re visiting thinks you are visiting from another country and lets you in.
VPN services are pretty easy to find online, and many are even free. Some of the more popular ones are VPN Gate, Freeland, TunnelBear, Windscribe, and WiFi Hotspot Free. But these types of services come and go, so you’ll need to find what’s right for you in real time. Also, keep in mind, online casinos that have put up a block to illegal traffic also have ways to get around these VPN services. And if you are caught, you may well be banned from the casino. In fact, if you read the details of your user agreement with the casino, you may well find there are some serious consequences involved in trying to trick the casino.
While blocking is a clear indicator of legality, there are countries where online gambling is illegal that do not limit access with a geo block. True, in a way this makes your life as a traveler easier, as in such cases you can simply continue to log in to your online casino of choice as you always do without the need for a clever workaround. But again, this type of access is ill-advised, and not really worth the risk, or the disrespect to your host country’s laws. So don’t take it as a form of advice on our part, even if it’s a possibility.
The bottom line on gambling online abroad as an Aussie
In the age of the internet, all websites are pretty much accessible to us from anywhere at any time, whether on a computer or our mobile phones. And as Australians, when it comes to online gambling, we’ve certainly gotten used to this incredible level of accessibility – placing online wagers as we see fit.
But the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily operate in the same way. As such, when traveling abroad, we need to be aware of local online gambling laws before we go ahead and place our bets. To this end, it’s best to check in real time, as local laws are constantly changing. And while there are dubious ways to get around these laws, the risk isn’t recommended. Instead, it’s best to respect the laws of the land, and only gamble online from countries where it is permitted. So if you plan on gambling while abroad, do your research in advance, and if it’s that important to you, only visit places where online gambling is explicitly allowed.