Gambling Abroad: How Expats are Finding New Ways to Get Entertainment

In a report filed by financial consultancy company Finaccord, there’s a record number of expatriates around the world, and this growth is expected to continue in the next few years. In its ‘Global Expatriates: Size, Segmentation, and Forecast for the Worldwide Market (2018)’ report, it estimates that there will be 87.5 million expatriates by 2021. This is up from 66.2 million in 2017 based on the same press release. These numbers highlight an important global trend that’s overlooked- immigration. 

But more than immigration, other narratives flow out in many conversations including the skills they bring to their host countries, the jobs they fill, their impact on demographics, and how they adapt their lifestyles in a new working environment. Global mobility has increased significantly in recent years with a strong focus on its economic footprint. However, little is known about what they do during their downtime. So, how do expats perform work-life balance?

Expatriates- A new class of professionals

The idea of leaving home for work is nothing new. However, the rise of globalization and economic cooperation has led to the development of a more formal term- that of expatriates. According to the Oxford dictionary, an expatriate is a person who lives outside of their native country. There are several reasons why one becomes an expat. The most obvious reason is for a job relocation and his set of expertise and skills are in high demand in other countries. For others, they simply want to experience another culture. Living in a country is a completely different experience compared to simply traveling there or a short holiday.

In the same Finaccord survey, Saudi Arabia boasts the largest number of expats. Its expat population makes up 98.4 percent of the country’s total immigrant population. The kingdom is followed by the United Arab Emirates and the United States. Poland, Portugal, and Sweden, on the other hand, had the smallest expatriate population.

But it’s not about work. 

Expats are known for their choice of entertainment and recreation. Thanks to their access to a bigger than average disposable income, they have better options when it comes to fun, entertainment, and choice of relaxation. And when they enjoy, expats do it grandly, and in style. For example, many expats based in Shanghai frequent popular bars that serve craft beers in Yongkang Road, a vibrant street in Xuhui district.

In Singapore, expats have a wide range of options from visits to parks and museums to bars and resorts. Some expats according to AES International as published on Paragon spend their money on shopping and luxury items, especially for those stationed in emerging markets. This is due to the low-cost of living and improved salaries.

For those who want to stay home yet still want to have fun, the choice is to play at popular online casinos. With its promised flexibility, access to exciting games, and potential jackpots, expats are lured to sign up and play. There’s the promise of big bonuses including the popular welcome bonus offered to new players. And thanks to their bigger disposal income, signing up to play and win is never a problem. 

Although online gambling is an appealing option for entertainment and there’s a growing demand for it, it’s important to exercise due diligence before signing up. Remember, online gambling is regulated in many parts of the world, and what may be legal in one country may not be allowed in another.

A way to get entertained responsibly

Just like in visiting pubs and bars, online gambling should also be approached responsibly. It’s your hard-earned money and you don’t want to risk your expat status by breaking the law. If online gambling interests you, always compare and conduct your research by checking the casino’s Terms and Conditions page.

One of the first things you should consider is the legality of playing casino games in your host country. As mentioned, countries have different laws that govern online gambling. Casino operators are also restricted in offering gambling services to certain regions in compliance with license and regulatory requirements. To get insights if it’s allowed or not, make sure to check out the site’s Terms and Conditions and check it’s the section on ‘Restricted Countries’. For example, at Slothino Casino, players residing in Saudi Arabia and the US, two top destinations for expats, are not allowed to register an account. As such, expats may not be able to access some online casinos from these countries.

For the techies, there are creative ways on how to address this like the use of Virtual Private Network (VPN). A few words of advice: it’s not recommended as it’s a circumvention of the law and it may cause more problems. For example, PokerStars, a popular online poker room, seized the $700k winnings of the player for using a VPN to play poker. The player claimed that he’s playing from Canada (through VPN) even though he’s based in the US. 

Per its approved license, the site is not available to players residing in the US. Section 5.12 of its Terms and Conditions explicitly states that an attempt at circumvention (like manipulating location) will warrant such steps as we deem appropriate including, without limitation, seizing the funds in your Stars Account (italics ours for emphasis). This is not just true to PokerStars, it’s a standard policy among casinos that are licensed in premium jurisdictions like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

In the Philippines, another popular destination for expats, the laws are more relaxed. There are brick-and-mortar casinos that are regulated by the Philippines Games and Amusement Corporation (PAGCOR) and these are open to foreigners, expats included. Expats can play at physical casinos regulated by the government regulator and they can easily access offshore licensed casinos. Casino Filipino, the leading casino in the country, explicitly discourages locals but opens its doors to expats.

Entertainment and games- Always a personal responsibility

Expats, due to the stress and nature of work, understandably need to relax and have fun. The good news is that there are a variety of options available that can suit everyone’s tastes and preferences. And with access to a bigger disposable income, the list of options including gambling is almost limitless. However, recent regulations in many countries require expats to pause and re-assess. Some recreational activities may be exciting and lucrative but it may put them on the wrong side of the law when not properly researched.

For expats based in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, and Norway, the list of options is long. For example, if you’re a resident in any of these countries, you can open an account with Slothino.

As a fully licensed casino, an expat should satisfy few requirements including an address where you pay utility bills and a local bank account. Also, it’s important that there are no other accounts that are registered on the same address or make use from the same IP.

As a final reminder, if you travel to your home country or any other country, don’t use your account using VPN. Your winnings may be forfeited or worse, the casino may revoke your account. Furthermore, don’t create a second account with Slothino as this is against the Terms & Conditions. For other questions regarding its services, check out the casino’s Support Team. The site maintains a friendly support team and they’re more than happy to help. You can reach them by phone or chat between 10:00h to 00:00h CET Mondays to Fridays and  10:00h to 23:00h CET on weekends. Or you can send them an email to [email protected]

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