If you live in a country with a liberal approach towards gambling and sports betting you might be surprised that plenty of countries around the world have heavy restrictions in place to regulate or even ban sports betting. As a resident of a country with restrictive gambling laws you know what I am talking about: Either you cannot place any bets at all or you have to bet with a regulated or government controlled bookmaker, typically offering very low odds which makes it nearly impossible to earn any money. I am not talking about traveling abroad and having access issues to login to a bookmaker or betting exchange account. In this case you can simply use a VPN to access your account. I am looking at situations where people struggle to open a bookmaker or betting exchange account because of national gambling laws.
In this article I would like to discuss options that you have to participate in betting markets that are available for residents of countries where sports betting is restricted. The options are moving to a country where betting is allowed, buy verified sports betting accounts or setup a company in a country to gain access to a betting exchange or bookmaker as a corporate customer.
Buying and Using Verified Accounts
Since there is a need for verified betting accounts, it is also possible to buy fully verified bookmaker or betting exchange accounts online. After some research on Google you will find plenty of forum posts offering fully verified accounts for some money, maybe around 100 GBP/USD/EUR.
From a legal perspective I would really advise against buying or using someone else’s account for various reasons: First of all you might get scammed. You might end up paying money for the service but in the end you will never receive anything on return. Then, assuming that you really got a verified account, there is always the risk that another KYC process is required, for instance when you intend to withdraw money. You then depend somehow on the person that sold you the account to help you with passing the KYC again. Needless to say that buying verified accounts from someone else is most likely against the rules of the bookmaker which again could cause legal issues.
Similar if your friend is living in a country with liberal approach towards betting: You might think about asking your friend to open an account in his name to provide you with access to the betting market. The account would be in your friends name, your friend would pass the KYC checks and then give you the password or API token to place bets. Again, this is probably against the terms of service causing legal risks. You would also depend on your friend for further KYC checks and as we know, friendship can end at any time.
If you consider sports betting as a serious source of income I would really want to avoid such risks and personally I would not want to get engaged into such activities.
Move Country to Participate in Sports Betting Markets
I do understand that this option is not suitable for everyone. Especially with family, friends or a job situation it might be a challenge to move to another country just to participate in a betting market. However, if your situation is more flexible and you already dreamed of moving abroad, then this might be a good opportunity to move to a country where betting law is less restrictive, such as in the UK for instance. As a resident of such country you should be able to pass the KYC process of the bookmaker or betting exchange without major issues, independent of your nationality. Of course moving country is a bigger change in life and it will also cost some money but from a legal perspective it is much safer compared to buying accounts. Obviously, you would need to comply with immigration laws of the country you are moving to. Once you moved and got residence you should then be able to participate in betting markets without any legal issues or risks.
Setup a Company and Bet as a Corporate Customer
If you are less flexible and do not want to move country you might still be able to open a company in a country where betting laws are less restrictive. You can then use the company and try to get approved as a corporate customer of a bookmaker or betting exchange.
To give you an example: You might be able to setup a UK company from abroad, there are many providers available online that can help you with this process. Once the company is registered, you can then sign up as a corporate customer with a bookmaker or exchange provider. It seems that betfair for instance has a UK corporate KYC process.
Compared to moving abroad, setting up a company in another country is not really a life changing experience. There are many companies specified in services that allow you to setup a company abroad without much of a hassle. However, setting up the company and maintaining it requires some time and money. It only makes sense if your sports betting is earning some serious money to cover the additional costs for setting up and maintaining the company. You would also need to do some research to figure out in which country you should open the company (costs, regulations, taxes, etc) and to find out which bookmaker or betting exchange will accept you as a corporate customer and how the KYC process works.
I hope that this overview is somehow helpful for everyone who wants to participate in betting markets living in a restricted country. This article is not legal advise and the best solution always depends on the individual situation. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you know of any other possibility!