Bookmakers were in the news again this week for all the wrong reasons as The Times Newspaper ran two articles raising accusations of intrusive surveillance and the breaking of data protection legislation.
Whilst these stories wouldn’t have been news to many of you (after all, I have been banging on about these issues for some time via the Better Betting Campaign), it is encouraging to see the national media expose this issue for once.
The growing issue of bookmaker profiling also feeds into why so many punters are now using VPN’s (Virtual Private Networks) to help protect their identity, especially those suffering from account closures or stake restrictions.
After all, 20.1% of you admitted to specifically using VPN’s to avoid this very problem in our recent restrictions and closures survey (As outlined on page 16 of our Getting On Report – download the PDF from this page)
But what are VPN’s, how can they help your betting, how much do they cost and how can you go about getting started with them?
Well as luck would have it, the Smart Betting Club just published an updated VPN for Betting Guide, which helps to answer many of these questions and more.
Here is a quick rundown on some of the key VPN points to be aware of…
What is a VPN?
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an incredibly powerful but simple to use piece of software that can be installed on most computers and mobile phones.
The use of a VPN effectively allows you to use a different IP address to the one you have at home or via your mobile device. It is your ‘normal’ IP address that the bookmakers use to help build up their profile of you.
Think of an IP address as a sort of unique identifier to who you are and where you are located. By changing your IP address thorough using a VPN, you are that much harder to track and profile.
Why do you need a VPN when betting?
A VPN is an essential tool to help protect your location from bookmakers, especially if you are looking to use a new set of bookmaker accounts for betting purposes.
The classic example is whereby you have seen existing bookmaker accounts closed for winning too much money and you want to use a new or different account.
If you were to simply access that new account using the same IP address (effectively the same internet ‘address’ or connection) most bookmakers will quickly link the old and new account and it would be shut down very quickly indeed.
Therefore, one quick and easy way to work around such unfair restrictions and limitations is to always access this new account via a VPN, which ensures your IP address is completely different.
The logic here is that there is no IP address link between the new and old accounts.
Recent Smart Betting Club Publications (Click each image to read more!)
How easy is it to use a VPN and how much do they cost?
These days it is extremely simple to install and use a VPN. So simple in fact, that you could be using one within a few minutes of reading this article.
The cost of VPN’s has also dropped significantly in line with their increasing usage. For example, the VPN I currently recommend to SBC members costs just $6.95 per month or $39.95 per year.
But is a VPN enough to ‘cover your tracks’? Surely, given the depths of bookmaker profiling you need to do more?
Although a VPN is an important weapon in your betting armoury, given the depth of profiling currently undertaken by bookmakers, there are a few other things to be aware of.
Bookmakers track a lot more than just IP addresses nowadays and whilst its vitally important to use a VPN, it is not all you need to do.
If wishing to use ‘new accounts’, you also need to make sure there are no other links or clues to previously held bookmaker accounts. This might mean using a new computer/phone or through a simple re-installation of your PC.
One simple technique many punters employ is to use their phone for one set of accounts and computer or tablet for a second set.
There is also plenty more in detail explanation on other tactics you need to employ in our VPN Betting Guide (details about next).
You may also wish to follow the instructions provided by Justice 4 Punters in our free ‘Getting On’ Report on how to remove some of the current ‘hidden’ bookmaker tracking software being used these days.
More Help With VPN’s
Hopefully this article has helped to explain a little bit more on VPN’s and why so many punters are opting to use them when betting.
If interested in understanding this issue in more depth, make sure you pick up a copy of the Smart Betting Club’s ‘VPN for Betting Guide’, which was re-released last month.
Inside this guide, you can read more on VPN’s from our resident betting tech expert, including a comparison of the best VPN’s for you to use from a punting perspective and my own personal recommendation.
It’s available to download the instant you join the Smart Betting Club.