Once upon a time, there was a gambling site known as Bodog. Then the United States passed the UIGEA and declared war on any company offering sportsbetting or casino games to their residents. The face of the company, Calvin Ayre, was labeled a criminal, and the Bodog.com domain name was seized.
Enter Bovada. Launched in 2007, it provides all the services of its sister site, Bodog. And thanks to numerous sportsbooks abandoning the U.S. market because of legal difficulties, they’ve actually managed to grow into the leading online sports betting website for US customers.
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Payment Methods and Payout Times
The most current payout methods include the following:
Rapid Transfer – Also known as P2P payouts, they take 48 hours to process. Customers receive one free payout of this type every month, and then a fee is charged ($20 for a withdrawal from $100 to $200).
Check by Courier – Expect to receive your payout within five to ten days with no additional charge.
Bovada is geared specifically towards players from the United States, although residents from New York, Utah, Maryland, and Washington will need to look elsewhere due to local restrictions. For bettors living outside the U.S., the Bodog brand is still an option.
Quality of Customer Support
If you need to contact Bovada with a question or concern, there are two primary ways to reach them. The first is a toll-free phone number, and there’s someone there to answer 24/7. The second option is a contact form, and you can usually expect a response within four hours.
I’ve never been a fan of the contact form, as it seems so impersonal. However, I’ve also never had a complaint about the time required for a response from their customer service department.
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The welcome bonuses for Bovada rank in the middle of the pack, with a 50% free play bonus and 3X rollover requirement. The true bonus amounts to 8.3%, and the maximum bonus cap is set at $500. While not paltry, it’s far from an industry leader.
Quality of Odds
Since Bovada specializes in casual bettors, they offer a lot of tempting underdog wagers. The only downside is that rookie customers may flock to the dog and prevent the rest of us from getting the best odds.
It should also be noted that the site has been known to limit players who consistently beat them, although this is common throughout the industry. Of course, most of us would love to have that problem.
All of the major sports are covered by Bovada, including football, soccer, basketball, baseball, and auto racing. There are plenty more, of course, and lesser-known events such as wrestling and the Gaelic Games are also covered (although sports with limited popularity in America may have fewer options).
For those who like prop bets unrelated to sports, the site includes options for political elections, Hollywood award shows, and even a section labeled “weird wagers.” There’s also in-play betting, which allows customers to wager on sporting events while they’re taking place.
Strengths of Bovada Sportsbook
If you’re thinking about recommending Bovada to a friend or colleague, I suggest emphasizing the company’s following strengths:
- They Accept U.S. Customers – While this fact alone doesn’t assure a quality business, it does immediately make them worthy of a mention to American gambling enthusiasts. The fact that they also deliver the goods is icing on the cake.
- Online Casino & Poker – In addition to supporting wagers on sports and horse racing, Bovada includes a virtual casino with everything from poker to the most popular slot machines. If you know someone who loves gambling in all its many forms, urge them to check out this site.
- Specializes in Casual Bettors – The site draws much of its business from recreational gamblers, and they offer solid underdog odds to constantly replenish their customer base. Their list of betting markets is comparable with the competition, and those with a fondness for teasers should also find above-average odds.
- Supports Mobile Betting – You can sign up with your mobile device and gamble anywhere you please for no additional charge. Deposits can be made with your tablet or smart phone, although you’ll need to visit their regular website or make a phone call to request a withdrawal.
If you’re searching for a sportsbook with a solid reputation, you could do a lot worse than Bovada. Despite their name change, they’ve been around for a long time and managed to build a loyal customer base. In addition to positive mentions in major American publication, they’ve also drawn rave reviews from various industry experts and reviewers. The next time you’re in the market for a new place to gamble on sports, this service should be on your short list.