Our Review of Bovada

There are very few fully servicing online gambling providers that cater to American players, but Bovada happens to be solely for residents of the US.

Rating: 4.0/5

Accepts U.S. Customers

Pros

  • Open to US players
  • 200+ online slots
  • One free cashout per month
  • Fastest check cashouts in the market
  • Mobile casino
  • Accepts Bitcoin
  • $2,500 deposit bonus

Cons

  • High credit card deposit fees
  • High rollover bonus requirements

Deposit with:

Play Now www.bovada.lv

Introduction

Initially labeled as Bodog and part of the Bodog family, the transition to Bovada occurred in 2011 during some corporate restructuring. Bodog had a five-year agreement with Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) in Kahnawake, Canada. It was a short-term sale of the Bodog website. So, in 2011, when the deal wrapped up, Bodog opted to pull its service out of the United States and MMGG wanted to continue, so they did so under the new name of Bovada.

If you put the Bovada and Bodog websites side by side, you’ll see that they’re nearly identical. All of the previous Bodog US players were moved over to Bovada and service continued without a hitch.

In the last few years, however, Bovada has experienced more changes in its overall operation. In 2015, official ownership was passed on from Morris Mohawk Gaming Group to Salmon River Technologies Limited. Then in September of 2016, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which previously licensed and regulated Bovada’s operations, cut ties with it and all US servicing betting providers.

The site continues to grow and expand despite any of the back-end transitions. In 2011, bovada.lv launched with a 100-slot game Casino that has now doubled in size and is accompanied by table games, video poker, and some specialty games options. Over one billion hands of blackjack have been dealt over a five-year period, so the casino is a highly trafficked option for anyone who enjoys slot or table game play.

Accreditations and Security

Bovada has a single certification listed on its homepage, and it’s a Random Number Generator Certificate from iTech Labs.

What this means is the iTech Labs, an independent agent that certifies casinos for fair gaming practices, evaluated their Random Number Generator and found that it does comply with industry standards and that card and number sequences are “unpredictable, non-repeatable, and uniformly distributed.”

Additionally, Bovada utilizes gaming software from Real Time Gaming (RTG), Betsoft, and Rival. All three are reputable providers that also undergo on-going certification for fair gaming.

Technical System Testing, or TST, is an international leader in software testing and provides approval for RTG games. Betsoft has additional Random Number Generator evaluations conducted by Quinel M Limited to be certified as a gaming software provider. Rival is Random Number Generation certified through CertainKey, Inc.

As far as website security, this is a bit of a gray area. They have Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) compliance. However, the web certificate is not compatible with all web browsers.

The Website

You can reach the casino directly by pulling casino.bovada.lv or by going to the main platform at bovada.lv and clicking on the Casino link.

Right off the bat, you should notice that it’s an eye-catching site. It’s not overwhelming with clutter, but it has enough to draw your attention. The site is gray with yellow accents and the graphics for the individual games pop right off the page.

Not only is it attractive, but it’s also easy to navigate. There’s no learning curve here. It’s a straightforward website with very few buttons to click to get the ball rolling.

Before we move on to the fun part, the games themselves, we want to provide a quick snapshot of the Bovada website:

Let’s enter the casino

Bovada’s casino lobby prominently posts not only the welcome bonus but the most popular games as selected by its players. Right under the popular games are the listings of Blackjack, also determined to be the favorite table game of the site’s regulars.

Moving around to the different areas of the casino couldn’t be easier as everything is accessed from the left side menu:

  • Blackjack Games
  • Table Games
  • Slots
  • Video Poker
  • Specialty Games
  • Recent Winners
  • Guide

The Recent Winners area is a good one to check out if you need inspiration. It will give you confidence that some big money is up for grabs and someone will claim it, so why not you?

They list 14 “big winners” in June of 2017 alone, all claiming a prize of $25,000 (USD) or higher and the games are all over the board.

  • Norm from Wisconsin – won $25,759 on Wild Wild Spin
  • Peter from Florida – won $40,325 on The New Blackjack
  • Morgan from California – won $100,440 on Let ‘em Ride
  • Quang from Oregon – won $37,332 on Aztec’s Treasure
  • Ryan from Illinois – won $27,040 on 7’s Bar

We don’t know about you, but we’d be quite happy with Morgan’s Let ‘em Ride take.

Slots

202 different slot games all with different themes and different enhancements that crank up the fun, that’s what Bovada offers in their very popular slot games area.

These are the banks that doubled in size within the last five years and innovations prompt Bovada to consistently add new games.

The slot game area is divided up into the types of machines provided:

  • Real series
  • Five-reel
  • Three-reel
  • I-Slots
  • Progressives

If you’re not familiar with the different types of slot games, here’s a quick guide:

Real Series

We mentioned that Bovada uses RTG (Real Time Gaming) for most of its gaming software and Real Series slots is an innovation by RTG.

The premise of these slots revolves around two random jackpots – one grand prize and one smaller prize. Random is the key word here. These prize awards aren’t tied to game play but, rather, can pop up right after a round is finished. So, you’re not looking for three 7’s or a row of cats to claim one of the jackpots. It has nothing to do with the game in play. A jackpot can be awarded at any time, and that’s the fun of it. It’s like two different ways of winning in one.

One of the benefits of the jackpot scenario on a Real Series machine is that the maximum bet is not required. As the top prizes aren’t tied into the actual game itself, betting one per line still puts a player in contention to receive a randomly issued prize.

Each major prize starts at $1,000 and then keeps going up until awarded.

I-Slots

Bovada’s I-Slots are provided through Rival software, the innovator of these unique games. I-slots take the latest in graphics and video and incorporate them into a themed game with a twist.

I-slot players will have the opportunity to play the occasional bonus round for extra cash. However, these bonus rounds are actually mini-games of skill and not chance. For example, one game may ask a player to click a certain number of buttons in a row. The more successful the player, the more money he or she will win in each bonus round.

Three-Reel Slots

These games would be considered to be more like the original slots with the three reels and the objective of getting three of the same fruit or three 7’s. But, today’s three-reel slots are much more advanced with fun graphics and bells and whistles to add to the fun.

Five-Reel Slots

The next level of three-reel slots is the five-reels with five main reels and multiple pay lines. These machines usually provide a multitude of free spins, wild symbols, scatter wins, bonus play, and other variations that provide excitement and increase the payout potential. These slots are more expensive to play, though. More pay lines equal more coins bet and maximum play is required to win some larger jackpots.

Progressives

These are various three, and five reel slots and the larger paying games are typically linked to other casinos that carry the same game. The increased player base allows for a larger prize pool.

Some Progressives with currently posted jackpots (that are consistently updated):

  • Cash Money Mermaids – $5,000
  • Food Fight – $630,000
  • Major Moolah – $8,000
  • Strike Gold – $6,000
  • Super Diamond Mine – $429,000

With most slot games starting out as little as just a penny per line, slot play accommodates just about everyone.

Video Poker

17 games of Video Poker may seem like a lot, but many of the variations repeat themselves over and over through different multi-hand options such as one hand Joker Poker and ten hands Joker Poker.

  • The full line-up:
  • Bonus Deuces Wild
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Deuces Wild
  • Double Bonus
  • Double Double Bonus
  • Double Double Jackpot
  • Double Jackpot
  • Jacks or Better
  • Jacks or Better 3 hands
  • Jacks or Better 10 hands
  • Jacks or Better 52 hands
  • Joker Poker
  • Joker Poker 3 hands
  • Joker Poker 10 hands
  • Joker Poker 52 hands
  • Loose Deuces

It would be nice to see some of the newer poker options in this section of Bovada’s Casino such as Spin Poker or Dream Card but, in any case, it does provide some fun multi-hand options that shake things up a bit.

Blackjack

Bovada proclaims Blackjack to be its players’ favorite so has dedicated a section of the casino specifically to the game of 21, even though there are still a few Blackjack games hosted in the Table Games area.

The Blackjack section is eight-tables deep, but each game is entirely unique.

  • Blackjack (basic)
  • Classic
  • Classic Single Deck
  • Double Deck
  • European
  • Perfect Pairs
  • Single Deck
  • Zappit

Table Games

You won’t find any live dealer table games on Bovada, but it does provide an 18-game table area that should appeal to pretty much anyone that loves this type of betting.

The graphics are quite entry level for table games, but we especially like the practice play option. If you want to learn a new game or are just rusty and haven’t played on a table in awhile, practice play makes it more comfortable and then you can convert to real money betting.

The tables are set up as follows:

  • American Roulette
  • Bacarrat
  • Blackjack
  • Caribbean Hold ‘em (currently posted jackpot of $101,000)
  • Caribbean Stud Poker (currently posted jackpot of $101,000)
  • Classic American Roulette
  • Classic Blackjack
  • Classic Craps
  • Classic European Roulette
  • Classic Single Deck Blackjack
  • Craps
  • European Roulette
  • Let ‘em Ride (currently posted jackpot of $17,000)
  • Let ‘em Ride Classic (currently posted jackpot of $17,000)
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Tri Card Poker
  • Vegas Three Card Rummy
  • Zappit Blackjack

Specialty Games

This area could more aptly be named Bingo, Scratchcards, and Keno. 21 games comprise this section, and the majority are variations on bingo, but scratch cards and a few others provide some good options especially for beginning gamblers who want to try a few things out but may have to overcome the intimidation factor

  • 30-Ball Bingo
  • 80-Ball Bingo
  • Amazonia Bingo
  • American Bingo
  • Beach Bums
  • Bingo Cataratas
  • Bingo Goal
  • Bingo Ribeirinhos
  • Cast for Cash
  • Cavalier Cash
  • European Bingo
  • Go-Go Bingo
  • Gunslinger’s Gold
  • Itchin’ 2 Win
  • Keno
  • Penguin Payday
  • Pesca Bingo
  • Pirates Pillage
  • Sudoku Box Game
  • Tiki Treasure
  • Tribo Bingo

Mobile Casino

It’s an on the go world, and everyone wants access to everything at any time. Bovada appears to have made their mobile casino a priority as it’s an excellent mini representation of their main website. The colors and design elements translate well to the smaller screen.

Bovada does have a more simplistic design for their tables and machines, and the uncluttered look of each allows for the game itself to take up as much of the screen as possible.

Game selection is going to be whittled down but not significant enough to make a huge difference. Slot players may not find their absolute favorite, as 75 games don’t appear, at least not on Android devices, but that still leaves well over 100 options of slot games alone.

Blackjack options are cut in half which is a bit surprising as Bovada has deemed this game to be their player’s favorites, but Basic Blackjack, Classic, Single Deck, and Zappit is a good, well-rounded lineup for a bit of diversity on the game of 21.

Eight out of 17 Video Poker games eliminate the larger multi-hand variations like the 52 play that, for obvious reasons, would not make for a good mobile play experience. But, Bonus Deuces Wild, Double Double Bonus, Jacks or Better one, three, and ten hands, and Joker Poker one, three, and ten hands still allow for Video Poker players to also play in their Doctor’s office or at the coffee shop.

The Table Game section is fairly substantial with 11 different tables and this type of game, especially, ideally transitions from the big screen to the small without hampering the betting procedure. Caribbean Hold ‘em and Let ‘em Ride, two large progressive games, are also included in the menu of 11, so the bigger money opportunities are there regardless of location or device used.

Bingo and Scratch Card players are also set up with 13 different games hosted in the mobile Specialty area. Just remember where you are before you shout out Bingo. It may be frowned upon in the middle of your big company meeting.

Everything else is readily available whether playing on tablet or smartphone. Deposits can be made, cash outs requested, and bonus programs reviewed.

Don’t forget the one-time Mobile Casino $10 bonus that you also could claim as well.

Money In – Money Out

Since Bovada accepts players exclusively from the US — where banks and payment processors are prohibited from transferring most online gambling transactions — you have two deposit options: credit cards and Bitcoin.

The two options are total opposites: credit card is easy to use but includes a 4.9-6.9% fee (depending on the card you use) while Bitcoin is more challenging to get started with but essentially free.

Deposit Options

Visa – credit, debit, or gift card
Minimum deposit – $20
Maximum deposit – $1,000
Turnaround time – within a few minutes
Fees – first deposit is free, then 4.9% after that
Notes – gift cards are allowed if designated for international or online use; deposits initiated by phone have a $50 minimum attached

Mastercard – credit or debit
Minimum deposit – $20
Maximum deposit – $1,000
Turnaround time – within a few minutes
Fees – first deposit is free, then 6.9% after that
Notes – deposits initiated by phone have a $50 minimum attached; some banks may process as cash advance

Bitcoin
Minimum deposit – $20
Maximum deposit – $5,000
Turnaround time – usually within 20 minutes; it could take longer depending on wallet provider and overall Bitcoin use at the time
Fees – zero

Withdrawal Options

Credit and debit cards aren’t accepted for payouts, so checks become the default withdrawal method. Bitcoin users can withdraw back into their Bitcoin wallet as easy as they deposited.

Check by Courier
Minimum withdrawal – $50
Maximum withdrawal – $3,000
Turnaround time – two days for approval and processing and anywhere from 10 to 15 business days for receipt of check
Fees – the first payout of the month is free, and then $50 is assessed for each additional check

Bitcoin
Minimum withdrawal – $20
Maximum withdrawal – $9,500
Turnaround time – typically within 24 hours after Bovada’s approval
Fees – Bovada posts that the first payout of the month is free but “there may be some additional fees for some premium withdrawal methods.” It’s unclear what a premium withdrawal method would be as there are only two options presented on their website.

Bonuses and Special Offers

You get a bonus for your first deposit at the casino — however, the wagering requirements that come with the bonus offer (also known as “rollover” or “playthrough” requirements) are excessive.

Accepting the bonus offer means you need to wager the bonus and deposit amounts X times over in order to withdraw your money. Not interested in completing the requirements? You’re better off refusing the bonus offer.

Let’s use an example of a 100% match bonus with a 20 times rollover and a $100 deposit. The deposit will be matched entirely leaving a total of $200 in play cash. That combined amount played through 20 times equals $4,000 in bets wagered.

Now that you’re informed let’s talk about those bonuses.

Casino Welcome Bonus
Award amount = up to $3,000
Deposit match = 100%
Rollover requirement = 25 times

This welcome bonus is split into three deposits and three different awards. Each deposit will be doubled at any amount up to $1,000.

Bitcoin Welcome Bonus
Award amount = up to $5,000 ($4,500 casino; $500 sportsbook)
Deposit match – 150% casino; $50% sportsbook
Rollover requirement = 30 times casino; five-times sportsbook

For this special bonus, a Bitcoin deposit is required, and the bonus is divided between the casino and the sportsbook with a $4,500 maximum eligibility in Bovada’s casino. It’s the same structure as the overall casino welcome bonus as it’s divided into three parts with a maximum match of $1,500 toward each deposit. The match percentage is higher at 150% as opposed to 100% but the rollover is also more substantial with an increase from 25 times to a massive 30-time play through.

The Blackjack Weekend Promotion
Award amount = up to $100
Rollover requirement = 20 times

Every weekend, Friday through Sunday, Blackjack players have the opportunity to come into some extra play cash. Playing at any of the eight designated Blackjack tables count toward accumulating casino points (see detailed info on casino points below). Every 200 casino points earned by playing Blackjack will convert to a $10 bonus and $100 in total awards can be claimed each weekend.

Table Mania Tuesdays
Award amount = $10
Rollover requirement = 20 times

This weekly promotion replicates the Blackjack Weekend Promotion but expands it to involve any table game play. If a player wagers at least $250, he or she will receive a $10 gift that is subject to rollover upon redemption.

Mobile Casino Bonus
Award amount = $10
Rollover requirement = 20 times

This Mobile-only offer is a one-time only bonus given to players who hop on their smartphones or tablets to play some slots or side up to a table on the go. It’s a straightforward award. Mobile players have a limited amount of time (within the week) to bet at least $250. The player then submits the bonus code to customer service for redemption and is issued a $10 bonus award with 20 times play through mandate.

Refer a Friend
Award amount = up to $100
Rollover requirement = 30 times

By sending a friend, or any random person who follows you on the Internet, a referral link, the current player will receive a 200% bonus based on their referral’s first deposit for a maximum of $100. The Refer a Friend offer applies to sportsbook and racebook users as well.

The Rewards Program

We’ve already touched on the rewards points regarding the Blackjack Weekend Promotion and here’s how they are accumulated:

Actual real money play (not bonus play) is subject to a point system depending on the game selected. The points are awarded regardless of win or loss as they are solely based on betting.

Point Accumulation:
Slot games – every $10 bet = 3 points
Table games – every $10 bet = 2 points
Blackjack – every $10 bet = one point
Video Poker – every $10 bet = one point

Note: The $10 bet is accumulative. It can be ten $1 bets or any combination as long as it adds up to ten.

Point Redemption:
100 points = $1.00
500 points = minimum number needed for redemption

More good news about casino points… they are converted to cash. Real money. Not bonus play. There is no rollover requirement mandate, so there’s no need for our PSA here!

The Red Room

In similar fashion to brick and mortar casinos that offer multi-tiered Player Rewards Clubs, Bovada has the Red Room.

Described in general terms, it’s the VIP Club that provides players with prizes and special treatment the more that they bet with this site. Cash rewards, weekly deposit bonuses, free expedited payments, and more deposit options are benefits that are spelled out on the Red Room page. That’s about it, though.

There’s no mention as to how to join or if casino points are the sole determination of Red Room status. Bovada doesn’t post any point levels needed to achieve different levels of rewards. It’s a very vague program.

If you’re a high roller looking for exclusive benefits that accompany your play, then this is probably the program for you, but we suggest you contact the site’s customer service to get a full list of offers that coincide with your personal level of wagering.

Customer Service

Right off the bat, we want to say that Bovada has a good customer service department. It may not offer the 24/7 live chat, like most other casinos, but the response time is quick, the answers are thorough, and the agents are polite and helpful.

We received a response within two hours via email, and it was thorough and well written.

Contact Information:
Email – service@bovada.lv
Phone – 888-263-0000
Live chat – unavailable

The Benefits

  • Open to US players
  • Great mobile play platform for tablets or smartphones
  • Quality customer service department
  • More than 200 games hosted in the slot area
  • Progressive slots and table games available
  • Bitcoin option for deposits and withdrawals
  • First withdrawal of the month is free
  • A combination of Real Time Gaming (RTG), Betsoft, and Rival Games software is used to provide more variety
  • Practice play is available with no login required
  • Slots start out as low as $0.01 per line
  • Casino points equate to cash with no rollover requirement
  • Two options for a welcome bonus and an additional Mobile Casino offer

What Could They Do Better?

Since September of 2016 when Kahnawake Gaming Commission severed ties with American operators and revoked licensing and regulation, Bovada has not been licensed under another authority.

Bovada is currently looking at other options and, let’s be honest, some of the so-called “regulators” really have no authority and stay out of the picture entirely, so there are many casinos and sportsbooks out there with licensing that doesn’t mean much. However, players like the idea of having an outside agency to oversee activities should any issues arise.

Now, with a site like Bovada that’s been in business for more than five years and has been a part of the Bodog family that has an additional decade of experience, numerous issues, if they were there, would be publicly posted, and business would be impacted. Aside from the occasional issue with payouts, which are primarily attributed to confusion with play through requirements or other one-off problems, Bovada has continued to provide reputable service.

Our other two subjects that we’ll label as “could do better” are:

4.9% Visa and 6.9% Mastercard deposit fees
High rollover requirements on bonuses

We’ve already gone into detail on both issues so that we won’t rehash everything, but those are the two areas that they could improve on to make its overall service that much better for its loyal as well as its brand new players.

This is a good casino for both new and experienced bettors. It has a wide game selection, and the website itself is easy to interact with, and newbies should immediately establish a comfort level with the platform.

The sportsbook and racebook provide decent, albeit basic, overall services. Bovada is an operator that caters to the United States and is well versed in the banking restrictions and requirements that need to be met to cater to American customers. It doesn’t go above and beyond in any particular area but offers a good middle of the road, decent product for casino players, sports punters, or track bettors.

Questions and Answers

What is the minimum age requirement to use this site’s services?
They accept players 18 and older as long as it’s legally allowed in their area of residence.
I don’t live in the US. Can I still register with this site?
No. Bovada.lv is for residents of the United States except for anyone residing in Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York. You may be eligible to use similar services located at Bodog.eu or bodog88.com.
I’ve never played any casino game online? How will I know what to do?
Bovada does make it easy for beginners to jump in and get rolling. First of all, there are written instructions that accompany the games. Secondly, the Practice Play option allows for money-free wagering so that new players, or anyone that just likes to play without the wagering requirement, can learn a new game or freshen up their skills.
How do I get started?
New players need to fill out a basic registration form that includes name, date of birth, email address, and phone number. The form can be accessed by clicking “Join Now” either on the full site or mobile devices. A username is password is established, and the account is good to go.

The next step is to fund the account for real money action if desired. Credit cards, Visa Gift Card, or Bitcoin are the choices available. At any time, if a new player needs help, he or she can email customer service or call them directly to talk through any questions or issues. Bovada typically responds to email within just a few hours.

Is Bovada safe and secure?
They have have an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) in place. The SSL ensures that the data passed between the web server and the browser is private. It establishes an encrypted link and is particularly important to have in place for sites that conduct financial transactions. As far as security during game play, not only is Bovada certified by iTech Labs, but its software providers are additionally reviewed and licensed.

Basic Information

Website
www.bovada.lv

Founded
2011

License
N/A

E-mail
service@bovada.lv

Phone
888-263-0000

Live Chat
No

Game Selection

Casino
Yes

Live Dealer
Yes

Sportsbook
Yes

Racebook
Yes

Poker
No

Bingo
No

Specialty
Yes

Rating:
4.5/5
Rating:
4.0/5
Rating:
4.0/5
Rating:
4.0/5