Major USA Sports
Bovada Sportsbook Review
Bovada accepts US players only.
Recommended for Sports, Casino, Poker.
Bovada hit the ground running when it launched at the end of 2011. In fact it was born from a reorganization of the admirable Bodog brands. So it already existed and was doing a fine job serving American bettors, but it had been called Bodog USA. As a result, Bodog still exists to accommodate non-US nationals, such as Canadians and Europeans, while Bovada solely accepts American players.
As you would expect, it has a lot in common with the old US-serving Bodog. It even has the same database so if you had a betting account with Bodog, then the same login info will get you into Bovada's website and your balance will be sitting there waiting for you.
What the birth of Bovada did see was a lovely new design for the website. We think it is the best designed of all the American 'offshore' sportsbooks. It is so easy to surf and aesthetically it certainly hits the mark.
We all know design is nice, but content is far more important. Our review shows that on that level this website does not let you down at all:
Sportsbook: Bovada's sports offerings are tremendous, with every type of betting line on all global events. US sports predominate. So anyone looking for NHL, NFL, NASCAR, MLB baseball or college games for instance will not find a bigger range of odds available anywhere else. There are all the global soccer odds and tennis is comprehensively catered for. There are all lines on politics and entertainment futures also exist. For instance at the time we wrote this review there were odds available on American Idol and X Factor USA.
Racebook: If you are looking for big-race futures, such as odds for the Kentucky Derby, then you will find them in the sportsbook section under 'Horse Racing'. If you want to wager on the daily racing then head to the racebook section which can be accessed via the tab at the top of the page named 'Horses'. Not only will you find the location for betting on 'Today's Tracks', but there are also articles and results and more. It is a very well created section, so if you like a bet on the thoroughbreds, it could be up your street.
Casino: If you are into your progressive jackpots then you might enjoy this spot. When we visited for this review there were numerous of them up for grabs, one of which was at $1.6million. A big win here could prove a life-changer. The reason that they can offer such great headline figures is because their casino is part of a much larger network and that means players from many other sites are contributing to the pools that can build up. It is good for you because it means you know there will always be big pots on offer. The network is Real Time Gaming. RTG is the casino software and it supplies many different online casinos. The reason for its popularity is simply because it is so good and trusted. Obviously it is independently reviewed to ensure total randomness in the generation of its numbers.
The online casino has a couple of handy options. There is an instant play option as well as a more complete download option. You may find the former quite handy for certain games. The instant play games include some of the most popular such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps. The differing slot machines and slots games are so numerous that it is almost bewildering, but in a good way. We kind of felt like the proverbial kids in that hypothetical candy store.
Poker: Now the poker room is pretty interesting and the reason for this is that Americans can not join this network from any other site. Bovada only shares its poker set-up with Bodog's players. The benefit of this is that it provides a completely different poker environment to one that you would find anywhere else, and that might just suit you. It certainly pays to have options when you play poker regularly and this is a unique location.
There is an argument that the players at this location are weaker than at most specialist networks. The theory goes that the Bovada and Bodog rooms are filled with players who primarily came for the sportsbook action and are more interested in gambling at the poker tables rather than playing tight. In all honesty we can not categorically verify that this is true, but the logic does not seem flawed. The 'promotions' page lists endless offerings, such as freerolls, bad beat bonuses, 'King of The Felt' competitions and extra prizes. They work hard to keep it fresh and keep it coming.
Payouts, customer service and trust: Withdrawals are often slow at USA-focused sportsbooks. It is one of the weaknesses of the entire industry because they are always struggling to find good payment processors. That is why it is crucial you join a site with a good history on this. Bovada is such a place. It is one of the keys to their ongoing success, that their clients know they will get paid and, for the American-serving industry, faster than almost anywhere else. It follows from this that the customer service is good and accessible 24/7 by email support or by toll free phone. All the telephone numbers are listed via the 'contact us' tab at the top of every page.
Ownership and licensing: Bovada is owned by the Morris Mohawk Group. This is headed up by CEO Alwyn Morris. Does that name ring a bell? He was a gold medal-winning canoeist in the LA 1984 Olympic games. As for the licensing, well that is provided by the Kahnawake territory near Montreal. This jurisdiction license and regulates many gambling sites, and they ensure their licensees are doing a fair and honest job.
Opinion & review conclusion: If you are looking to join an online sportsbook for the first time then there is a strong argument to be made that this is the best of them. If we were allowed to join just two USA online gambling sites then this would certainly be on that shortlist. If you are already a member of a different bookie or casino and you are happy there, then it still would be worth you joining this one too. Bovada is such a well operated set-up that it will certainly add to your options as a bettor.