Can You Place Sports Bets Overseas?

As sports betting continues its nationwide push towards legalization, more and more Americans are joining the gambling fray. More than $127 billion has been wagered in the country since 2018.

But what about all the people who want to participate that aren’t in the country? If you’re a traveler or an ex-pat living in a different country, you’ve probably noticed it’s harder to place wagers on your favorite sports.

However, there are ways to place sports bets all around the world. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about international betting/

Keep reading to learn more. 

Can You Bet Online Abroad?

With the rapid advancement of technology, it’s become easier to place bets from anywhere you happen to be with the click of a button on your phone. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always mean you can place bets anywhere in the world.

Depending on the country you’re in, gambling laws can vary widely, making it much harder to place bets — even if the platform you’re placing bets on is in a country where sports betting is legal.

However, certain bookmakers make it possible to place these bets. 

To operate in different territories, betting sites and casinos have to apply for a license before they can operate in that country. They must prove that they can meet all of the gambling laws for the particular place.

The best way to participate in overseas sports betting is to see if the operator you are using is available in the territory you are in or want to visit. 

What Are the Rules For Betting Internationally?

If you’ve tried to place a sports bet internationally, you’ve likely researched and run into contradicting information on the web. The reason why it is confusing is that gambling laws across the world vary widely. 

Getting a definitive answer to the question “how can I gamble abroad?” can be tough. But we’ll explain the five different major market types that can be bet in when abroad.

Licensed Unrestricted

This type of market is the one we mentioned earlier in the article. A betting site or sportsbook has to acquire a license to operate in a specific country. They must prove that they will follow all of the gambling and tax laws in the territory.

If your favorite gambling website is licensed in the place that you’re going, you should be able to use your bookmaker when you travel. However, you should always check first.

Licensed Restricted

Although some bookmakers might be licensed in a certain country, they might not be able to adhere to all procedures and tax laws. This could mean that you’ll get limited access to markets or sections on the website. 

In other words, you can only access certain sports bets that are allowed by the country.


Regulated markets are considered a gray area. While the country might have gambling laws, it might not license online operators directly. This means that whatever bookmaker you use might or might not choose to operate in that territory. 

But be careful — it’s up to the customer to make sure that you check the gambling laws where you are.


Although the name of this market type might not sound appealing, it isn’t as bad as it sounds. Unregulated markets cover a wide range of countries that don’t have specific licensing or laws that have to do with online gambling. 

Like regulated markets, it’s up to your betting platform if they allow you to place bets from these countries. But you need to check your local laws and make sure you are protected when making bets.


These markets mean that the country you’re in makes gambling illegal or heavily restricted. Most betting sites block customers from betting in illegal territories. However, there are ways around this (like using a VPN). 

Be aware that taking the risk of placing bets where gambling is illegal can be very costly if you are caught doing it. You might even need to forfeit any winnings and have your account banned. At worst, you could face a fine and be punished by the laws of the country you’re in. 

The safest option here is to avoid betting in illegal territories.

Using Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)

A VPN, or virtual private network, is a service that helps protect your online privacy and your internet connection. It does this by creating an encrypted tunnel for your data. This allows you to protect your online identity by hiding your IP address, even when using public Wi-Fi hotspots.

In other words, you can make it look like you’re betting from somewhere else — not the country that you’re in. However, this can be risky when gambling on a sport in a country that doesn’t allow it.

Although it might work in fooling your online bookmaker, you will be breaking the terms and conditions that you’ve agreed to with your gambling platform. If they discover that you’re using a VPN to bypass their rules, they can terminate your account and even reclaim any winnings that you made. 

Nowadays, many of the top gambling platforms use high-tech software to find people logging in with VPNs. Instead of taking the risk of violating your bookmaker’s trust, the best option is to find a platform that is licensed in the country that you want to bet from.

Taxes in Other Countries

Another reason why betting in other countries is quite complicated is because of various tax laws around the world. When placing bets in a country that allows gambling, tax laws are applied to all of the bookmakers and they pay the tax on your behalf. 

However, when betting in other countries, different tax laws apply. For example, Germany applied a 5% deduction to both your stake and your winnings in tax. Although they may allow you to place bets, you might get a much lower payout than you thought you’d get. 

This is another important factor to keep in mind when gambling internationally.

Steps to Betting Online While Abroad

Now that you have a sense of the laws and regulations that come with betting while traveling internationally, let’s look at the steps that you should take before placing bets abroad. Note that what happens will depend on the country you are betting from. 

1. Check Local Laws and Regulations

Every country has different laws when it comes to sports gambling. Before you place a bet on your favorite football match, make sure there’s nothing that prohibits or criminalizes online gambling.

Make sure you also check if your bookmaker is licensed to place bets in the country that you’re in. If you join a new betting site, make sure you research the best offshore sportsbooks that have the best sports betting odds first.

2. Determine Any Changes to Your Login Process

Depending on the platform you are trying to log in to, there might be some differences depending on where you’re betting from. 

Do they require you to be physically present in the country to access the app or website? Will a VPN work?

3. Log Into Your Account

If you’re able to log in, enter your normal username and password and log into your account. If you want to, you can try to use a VPN to access the website. But beware of the consequences of using a VPN before doing it.

4. Place Your Bets!

Once you log in, go ahead and place your bets like you normally do. But be aware of any differing tax laws that might apply to your wagers. You might get stuck with fees that can bite into your earnings.

What Countries Allow Legal Sports Bets?

As we mentioned earlier, sports betting laws can be quite complex depending on where you are gambling from. However, here is a list of countries that allows sports gambling in at least some form. 

European countries that allow sports gambling:

  • France
  • Spain
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Italy
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Malta
  • Russia
  • Netherlands
  • Malta
  • Portugal
  • Denmark
  • Norway

Asian countries that allow sports gambling:

  • Japan
  • Philippines
  • Kazakhstan

Other countries like China, Singapore, Thailand, and Macao partly allow sports gambling in some form. In India, online gambling is banned except in two states. 

Most African countries ban online gambling, except for South Africa, Kenya, and Mauritius. 

Find a Platform to Place Wagers Internationally

That’s everything you need to know about placing sports bets internationally. There is no quick and short answer to whether you’ll be able to find an online platform that works in the country you’re going to. You’ll need to do some research to find something that works.

So go find a platform that works for your gambling needs so that you can place wagers from wherever you’re going in the world. Good luck!


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