Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) have emerged as the go-to solution to many problems across several industries. One of the more recent use cases has been by online players trying to access their favorite gaming titles on their choice casinos. But is there a need, or is this another one of those things people find themselves mindlessly doing?
Access geo-restricted content
Before choosing an online casino, you must take ample time to research its service offerings and the ease of deposits and withdrawals, among other things. With a lot of options to sift through, it can easily become an arduous process. It can be heartbreaking when you finally find one that ticks all your boxes, only to be unavailable for use in your location.
You are then presented with two options: start your search again or use a VPN service to access the geo-restricted content.
A VPN works because it allows users to swap out their IP address for another in a location the online casino operator services. This allows such gamers access to the content, increasing the gaming opportunities available.
Bypass government censorship
For gamers living in places where the government has sanctioned online gambling in any way or form, they can choose to access offshore casinos to satisfy their gaming needs. VPNs come in handy in locations where the laws on gambling may be in the gray area or hostile. This way, players can circumvent this imposed gaming censorship and still enjoy a number of gaming options available to them the world over.
Curb internet throttling
Sometimes, the reason you cannot enjoy your online gaming experience has nothing to do with the placement of your router antenna. More often than not, it can be your internet service provider capping your data bandwidth.
Also known as data throttling or bandwidth throttling, it occurs when your ISP tries to navigate traffic congestion by reducing the user’s internet speeds. While this is good for the network, it is bad for any online gamer, as it can contribute significantly to latency and lag.
Sometimes, you can reach out to your ISP and confirm what conditions you need to satisfy to remove the throttling. You will likely be asked to pay for a premium service that can eat into your gaming budget. The alternative is to use a VPN service that can reduce or eliminate internet throttling entirely.
Privacy and security
Some would argue this is the most important advantage a VPN service confers. One major reason online casinos are as popular as they currently are is the ease with which they can be accessed on the go. The data breach risk becomes more apparent with people using their mobile phones or computers.
With Wi-Fi networks far from secure, gamers need an extra layer of security outside of what their online casino operator has in place. And this security layer comes in the name of the VPN. It creates a tunnel that encrypts the data shared with the casino operator, keeping the player’s personal and financial information safe.
Are there downsides?
It looks like it is all upside, but it is not true. While the following factors can be mitigated, it is important that you are familiar with them so you know exactly where you stand with VPN use as far as online casino gaming is concerned.
Forfeiture of winnings
Perhaps the biggest drawback is that all the money you worked for can quickly go back where it came from — the casino. This is because some online casino operators frown upon the use of VPNs. Typically, casinos are licensed for use in some locations, and knowingly offering their services to gamers outside of where it is allowed can break their licensing agreement and lead to forfeiture of their gaming license.
Basically, it comes down to you or them taking the fall for it, and the house always wins.
You may open yourself to legal troubles if you use VPN services to access an online casino in some parts of the world. If the law absolutely frowns at online gambling and it is heavily regulated, you might find yourself facing heavy fines and other sanctions. In other nations, it’s the VPN itself that’s the problem: they are banned in Turkmenistan, Russia, and Belarus, to name but a few.
Performance and connectivity problems
The wrong choice of VPN may cause you more harm than good. Since VPNs route your traffic data through their secure servers, it might significantly increase the server wait and response times and slow down your internet service. This might make some online games nearly unplayable, especially ones where you need to think fast and interact with other players online in real-time.
Getting the most out of your VPN
There’s the good to using VPN and the not-so-good. How can we amplify the good while keeping the not-so-good to a minimum? Here is how:
Use a reputable service
The same way you would prepare for your next trip by packing the essentials is the same way your choice of VPN should pack the essentials. You want your eventual choice to tick as many of the following boxes:
- Must be secure and reliable
- Must offer you servers from multiple locations
- Advised that it is a known and popular brand
- Must feature strong encryption
- Must feature multiple VPN protocols
- Must allow simultaneous connections
- Lastly, easy to set up.
Get familiar with local gambling laws
You always want to stand on the right side of the law. With ignorance of the law not being an excuse, you need to know exactly what you can and can’t do. Once you know where the lines are, you will be better equipped to use your newfound VPN best friend just right. You can do quick Google searches for gambling laws in your locale or ask friends and family.
Read the online casino’s terms of service
Not much can be done if the online casino says using a VPN is a no-no. It is safer for your finances to find another operator that does not mind its use. You would need to skim their terms of service or read reviews online to know which ones are okay with VPN use.
Monitor the VPN’s performance
Choosing a VPN does not stop when you have selected a service. You still need to put it under rigorous testing till you are confident it would adequately serve its purpose. You want to confirm how it would affect your internet and the stability. If it works just fine, congratulations; if not, your search continues.
There are several reasons to use VPNs to access your favorite online casinos, but doing so has drawbacks. Choosing the right service would, however, solve most of the problems you might face as long as you are on the right side of the law as your location dictates. Happy gaming!