Bovada Review 2020

Bovada is an online gaming and gambling site that has been reputable for providing you with one of the best online gaming and betting experience. They also offer exclusive betting experience such as sports Betting on sports like soccer, tennis, cricket, eSports, Olympic games, UFC/MMA, basketball, and Hockey as well as horse betting.

Another Bovada review answers the question “is Bovada safe” by stating that it is a top choice for sports fans who want to bet. Other users have voiced similar opinions. A good Bovada review will showcase a good amount of the features that the site has to offer. You may find a Bovada review helpful for seeing if the site is for you. Detailed analysis of every part of the Bovada experience including software, games, deposit process, mobile options, overall player skill and more. Bovada Poker Review 2020: Sign-Up Bonus & Best Deposit Code. Judging from our Bovada review, the Bovada loyalty club welcomes every player. You won’t have to jump through hoops to get a special invite. You’ll start earning loyalty points from your very first bet. How quickly you earn them and how much you can cash them in for depends on both your VIP level and the game you’re playing. Bovada currently accepts players from the United States and Mexico (they expanded to Mexico in February of 2017). They provide phone support for both countries: 1-888-263-0000 for USA and 1-800-953-0584 for Mexico. You can also contact them via e-mail and usually get an answer within 30 minutes. More US-Friendly Online Bookmakers. BetOnline Review.

This Bovada review will evaluate the game site to know if Bovada worth playing at or not.

Is Bovada Legit?

Yes, Bovada is legit. It is not a scam as of writing this review because we have witnessed their payment to their winners.

With all the circumstances guiding the activities of the Bovada gambling site, you can be rest assured that the site is totally legit. They also ensure that the site keeps its own bargain of secrecy by using the SSL encryption technology to ensure that no third party accesses your private invitation.

Also, from their Responsible gaming page, you can see for yourself that the site does conduct responsible gambling and does not accept or offer services that are directed to minors. Again, Bovada has an SBR rating of A+. You can visit it alternative here

More Info about Bovada

Bovada came alive with this online betting and gambling inDecember 2011 and since then has remained a trustworthy gambling site forthousands of players out there. They are also known to have the No.1 onlinepoker room in the US. The site regulates its gambling and therefore limits itsaccess to only persons who are up to the age of 18 years and above. The Bovadasite offers their services in English language, Portuguese and Spanish.

To ensure that you get the best out of this site, it isadvisable that you keep your cache and cookies decongested by clearing themfrom time to time. Also, ensure that you are active with your account as theyconsider an account which has been inactive for a period of 18 months asdormant and will set your account balance to zero after this period.

Why not visit their online website using their officialaddress at is advisable that you thoroughly read the terms and conditions of service aswell as the Privacy Policy of Bovada in other to enable you know the rulesapplicable to this betting site. Bovada also provides an exclusive mobilefriendly platform where you get to have access to all they have to offer andeven receive more bonus for using their mobile site.

Restricted Countries

Bovada is only open to US residents and therefore does notaccept players who do not reside in Brazil, Mexico and USA. Nevertheless,players from some US states such as New York, Maryland, Delware, Nevada, andNew Jersey are prohibited from playing in the site.

Games at Bovada

Apart from placing bet on Sports and Horses, you also have awide range of game selection to choose and have fun with, and expect to havesome winnings. The available casino games at Bovada are further divided intosections to make selection easier for you. The casino games are categorized asfollows;

Slot Games

Bovada provides over 150 slot game selection for you. Here,you get to make your slot game choice from options like Classic slots, VideoSlots, progressive slots, 3D slots, featured slots like free spins, wilds,multipliers and so on, themed slots, bonus round slots as well as 3 and 5-reelmachine slots. There may be absence of licensed slots due to their inability tofeature software companies such as microgaming or IGT but they still providecool slot game experiences. Some of the slot game you get to play here include;Shamrock Isle, Indiana Jane, Ice Picks, Major Moolah, Mega Wins, fruit Frenzy,8 lucky charms and Arabian tales.

Table Games

Bovada offer quality table game experiences where you get toplay table games like different varieties of Blackjack games, baccarat,roulette games and a lot more.

Poker Games

Video Poker

They offer a very solid video poker experience to theirplayers with video poker selections such as Deuces wild, Bonus Poker, Jacks orBetter, Joker Poker, Loose Deuces and so on.

Poker Room

Initially, the poker room existed under the name, Bodog inas far back as 2004 but later had some legal issues which made them split intoIgnition and Bovada. After splitting from Bodog in the year 2016, they stillmaintained their reputation by offering the best poker gaming experience in USwith distinguished differences in their VIP clubs and software graphics.

Games that can be played in this poker room include; PotLimit Omaha, No Limit Hold’em, and Omaha Hi/Lo.

Zone Poker is another type of poker game seen here with itsunique feature which can only be played in the cash game format.

Live Dealer Games

Some of the Live Dealer Games you are opportune to play atBovada Include; Blackjack, Roulette (European and American Roulette), Super 6and Baccarat games.

They are offer online casino games which is played in returnto earn real money. You are privileged to make one complimentary withdrawal ofthe funds you earn. These funds are then sent as check to your address usingtheir courier service.

Specialty Games

Here you get to play games like bingo, Beach Bums, SudokuBox, Keno, Cavalier Cash, Tiki Treasure and so on.

They also offer varieties of card games such as CarribeanHold’em, Craps, Red Dog, Tri Card Poker, casino battle and Vegas Three CardRummy.

Bovada Promotions and Bonuses

Welcome Bonus

As a new member in Bovada, you are bound to receive their50% welcome bonus up $500. This welcome bonus also applies to Bitcoin Sports. Thewelcome bonus for the Bitcoin Casino is a 150% match up bonus up to $1,500 witha 3x wagering requirement.

The ordinary casino welcome bonus offers a 100% match upbonus up to $1,000 and also requires a 3x wagering.

It is best if you get in contact with their customer Supportservice to enable you know if you are eligible for any of this welcome bonuses.

Other form of reward and bonuses at Bovada include;

Bovada Reward Points

Bovada Reward points allows you to receive points when youplay casino games such as specialty games, slots, table games and place bets onsports which include single bets, Parlays and Round Robin as well as Racebookwhich includes Straight Wagers and Exotic. This reward points canonly be earnedand therefore cannot be bought. However, you do not get to receive rewardpoints when you play poker games, instead, you will earn poker points for pokerplays. To be rewarded for your sports bets, you must ensure that you fulfil therequirement of the wager before your reward points will be credited.

You are free to redeem your reward points anytime. you can exchange these reward points for cashbonuses and these cash bonuses can be useful in their casino, Sportsbook orRacebook. You have up till 12 months from the day the reward points were earnedto redeem them before they expire.

Note; Cash bonus roll over for casino is 10x while that ofsports and Racebook is 2x.

Tier Points

Reward Points and Tier points are earned at the same time aswith each eligible wager. Unlike reward points, Tier points helps to trace your14 reward level progress as you climb the ladder and these tier points are alsocumulative in nature. The majordifference between reward points and tier points is that while reward pointscan be redeemed for cash, tier points cannot be redeemed for cash bonuses.

Cashback Bonuses

Bovada also offers cashback bonuses for your losses. whenthey check your balance (money in play is not inclusive) and see that you haveless than $10 remaining, then they will check other factors and calculate yourloss and determine if you are eligible to receive a cashback bonus. This theyusually determine by calculations based on the last time your received yourlast cashback bonus or when you made your first deposit (for those that havenever received cashback before). If at the end of the calculation, it is seenthat the number is positive, it means that you have suffered a loss and youwill be considered for a cashback bonus.

What you stand to receive as a cashback bonus is totallydependent on your reward level as its percentage varies with respect toproduct. The cashback bonuses are received as a cash bonus which is usefuleverywhere, be it casino, Racebook, Sportsbook or Poker Room.

Note; Cashback Bonus offers are performed during midnight ondaily basis. Cashback bonus rollover forcasino, sportsbook and racebook is 1x while that of poker is $1 for each pokerpoint.

For further rules guiding these reward points earning andcashback bonuses, you can visit the reward page of their website.

Other Bovada Casino Promotional offers

These are not all, you get to receive other promotionaloffers at Bovada which include;

  • Table Mania Tuesdays – which offers you a $10bonus on Wednesday when you bet with about $250 on Tuesday.
  • Reel it Thursdays – which allows you to receivea $20 casino bonus if you play with up to $500 on slot games. It requires arollover of 20x.
  • Mobile Casino Bonus – allows you to receive upto $10 when you bet up to $250 between Monday and Sunday in their mobile casino
  • Blackjack Weekend – you get to receive $10 up to$100 (every weekend) on each 200 casino points earned from playing blackjack

Bovada Referral Program

Bovada offers a referral program whereby members get to earnwhen they refer their friends. To achieve this, you will have to send yourreferral link to any friend you wish to invite. When they accept and make theirfirst deposit, you will get to earn a 200% up to $100.

As for your friends, they get to earn a welcome bonus forregistering up to $3,750. Since the number of friends you can invite is unlimited,you can earn as much as you wish by inviting as many friends as you can.

Bovada referral terms and conditions

To be eligible to receive the Refer-a-Friend bonus, you musthave made a deposit, at least once. The rollover as applicable to the referralcash bonus are 5x for horses and sports, 30x for casino and $1 is equivalent to6 poker points. For a comprehensive referral terms and conditions, visit the“Refer a Friend” page of their site.

Bovada VIP Program

Bovada offers exclusive VIP reward program which is known asthe Red Room as a way of appreciating their loyal members. If you get theprivilege of being a member of their Red Room, you will have access topersonalized services, advanced payouts, weekly deposit bonus offers, cashrewards among other benefits.

Bovada Banking Options


Currencies accepted at Bovada is only US dollars andBitcoin.

Withdrawal Options

When you wish to make withdrawals, you can use any of thefollowing withdrawal options available; they are Check using Courier services,Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash.

Note that the method you can use for withdrawal may bedependent on the deposit method you used. Also, you may be requested to undergoa credit card verification process in relation with the credit card used duringyour deposit.

Withdrawal Limits

There are limits attached to a specific withdrawal methodyou used. Below is a brief detailed information on each withdrawal methodlimit.

  • Bitcoin – this method of withdrawal accepts aminimum withdrawal of $10 and maximum withdrawal of $9,500 and you can onlywithdraw once in every 3 days. Approved bitcoin funds take about 15 minutes toreceive.
  • Check by Courier – this method accepts a minimumwithdrawal of $100 and a maximum withdrawal of $3,000 and you are allowed tomake only one withdrawal every 7 days.
Bovada Review 2020

Withdrawal Fees

There are different types of fees attached to eachwithdrawal activity carried out such as fee for your first non-bitcoinwithdrawal, transaction inquiry fee, stop payment or reprocessing fee and soon. You are free to contact their customer service agents for a detailedinformation on applicable fees.

Deposit Options

There are different options which are available for you tomake use of when you want to fund your Bovada account. They include; creditcard such as MasterCard, Visa and Visa Gift Cards as well as American Express.They also accept the Bitcoin Crypto Currency.

Deposit Limit

Deposits through

  • Visa or MasterCard – requires a minimum depositof $20 and a maximum deposit of $1,500.
  • Bitcoin – requires a minimum deposit of $10 anda maximum deposit of $5000.

Deposit Fees

Fees applicable to deposits may include the cash advancedfees, Bitcoin fees, International service fees (which can be up to 3% forcurrency conversion) and also a 5.9% fee charged for Visa or MasterCardsubsequent deposits (First deposits are free). Also, you get to be charged a9.9% fees on subsequent Amex deposits.

Bovada Customer Support

Bovada provides its customer an advanced and an extensivelydetailed Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page (can be accessed through the Helpsection) where you can find answers to virtually any problem you mightencounter. However, they still made available customer representatives whichare always available round the clock. You are free to get in touch with themeither through email, phone number (1-888-263-0000), or though their live chatoption. Messages sent to them are expected to have responses within 24 hours ofsending them.

Bovada Review: Feedback and Complaints

Saty Says:

I have no issue with the legitimacy of Bovada Sportsbook butall I can say is that I am not happy with the customer support services when Itried using it. Took them up to 3 days to give me a response through email andwhen I tried reaching out on phone, it took almost an hour to get a hold ofthem. Yet, they couldn’t solve my problem.

Julit Says:

The Bovada services in general was very awesome, I reallyenjoyed myself in this betting site and would love to give them 5 stars rating.

Oprat Says:

Bovada Review 2020

With over 4 years of experience in Bovada, I can’t reallysay I’ve had any major issue with them. Just a little bomb here and there but Istill choose to be with them because I’m really catching fun with theirservices. Will rate them 4 out of 5 and will recommend them to any eligibleplayer out there.

Kingy Says:

This site is so easy to navigate in especially their mobilesite which makes it a lot easier for me. Made my winnings without issues andhave been receiving my payouts as well. It’s a 5 out of 5 rating for me.


For the American residents, Bovada remains among the bestonline gambling and betting site although members from 5 states of US areexclusive. They offer exclusive gaming experience and is totally legit and alsoconducts responsible gaming. With Bovada, you can be rest assured that yourprivacy is fully protected from any third party personnel. Enjoy your gamingexperience as this site is fully recommended for any eligible player who wouldwant to catch fun out there.

Bovada Poker Review
Tested and Reviewed by James Carter on January 5th, 2016. Updated: January 2, 2020.
  • #1 trusted US gambling site.
  • 15+ years of experience.
  • Popular RTG casino games.
  • Fastest cashouts in the US.
  • Excellent customer service
  • 4.9% credit card deposit fee.

While there's still a lot of competition in the US online gambling market, the amount of high-quality operations is surprisingly low. For example, the luxury of being able to cashout your winnings is, as scary as it sounds, unavailable at many sites, and there's only a short list of reliable sites. We rank Bovada as the #1 option for US residents, and here's why:

  • They deliver the fastest check cashouts in the US. Well, faster than any other US gambling site excluding the sites in states with legalized online gambling.
  • They take care of customers. With both phone and e-mail support, this site delivers great experiences by putting a lot of effort into their customer support.
  • They have great software. We consider their gaming software the finest in the US for both casino and poker games. Their instant-play versions and mobile games are especially good.
  • They have a long history in the online gambling business. There are people behind Bovada's operations that used to operate Bodog - a site that's been in the business since early 2000. Some of the people have been in the business 15+ years.

Customer Service

Bovada's customer service has always treated me well. You can contact them via phone support (1-888-263-0000) or e-mail support ([email protected]) -- I've never tried contacting via phone number, but if the quality of their e-mail support is anything to go by (fast replies and thorough answers), you'll have a nice experience with their phone support as well.

Some people accuse Bovada of 'not listening to its players.' In most cases, these are the players who complain about anonymous tables, not being able to join waiting lists, etc. All of those decisions were made with recreational players in mind, and since the site is now more enticing to recreational players, educated players should love the current situation even more instead of complaining (there's a higher percentage of recreational gamblers to play against).

Bovada's customer service is also perhaps the most active out of any online poker room in the world at participating in discussions at online poker forums (many of the top internet poker forums now have 'Bovada Service' users who are there to answer any questions about the site). As incredible as it sounds, customers are sometimes getting answers to questions without even directly contacting them.

Deposit Options offers two deposit methods:

  • VISA Credit / Debit / Gift Cards.
  • MoneyGram® (called 'Rapid Transfer' at Bovada)

As of 2020, a card deposit is still the easiest and fastest of Bovada deposit options. You need a Visa credit, debit/check or gift card that's eligible for online and international purchases.

It's worth noting that even if your card fulfills the criteria, the transaction is never certain to go through, which unfortunately is typical for gambling-related transactions in the USA. Netspend debit cards have had a high success rate lately, and the cards that you should stay away from are Greendot and Vanilla VISA cards.

There's one negative with Bovada deposits: they charge a 4.9% fee for card deposits except for the first deposit. Betonline is the only other US poker site that charges for such transactions (6%). Take this into account when depositing to Bovada especially if you're going for the minimum deposit, since even though they claim a minimum deposit limit of $20, in reality you have to deposit the minimum of $20+4.9%.

Minimum Card Deposit: $20
Maximum Card Deposit: $500

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Rapid Transfer (the equivalent of MoneyGram®) is a handy way to deposit and withdraw money to and from It takes 15 minutes for a deposit and 24 hours for a withdrawal to arrive. By depositing $300 or more at a time and withdrawing max. once a month, Bovada takes care of all the transaction fees. (Otherwise deposit fees are $12-$20 and withdrawal fees $20-$60.)

Minimum Rapid Transfer Deposit: $10
Maximum Rapid Transfer Deposit: $800

Pros & Cons

Credit / Debit / Gift Cards:

  • Fast, convenient and easy-to-use.
  • No need to visit any live locations to send the money.
  • A low minimum deposit limit ($20).
  • Sometimes fail to work for gaming transactions.
  • A 4.9% deposit fee (most credit card poker sites take no fees).
  • Must cashout via a check (takes a couple of weeks).

Rapid Transfer:

  • Fast and reliable.
  • Rapid Transfer cashouts are processed faster than checks.
  • You need to visit a live location to send the money.
  • A relatively high deposit fee ($12-$20).
  • A high minimum deposit ($100).

Cashout Options offers two withdrawal methods:

  1. Checks
  2. Rapid Transfer (the equivalent to MoneyGram®)

Your available withdrawal option depends on the way you deposited money to Bovada; if you made a credit card deposit, you can withdraw the money as a check (Bovada has the fastest check payouts out of all US poker sites); if you made a Rapid Transfer deposit, you can withdraw the money by using Rapid Transfer.

To be eligible for a withdrawal after having made a credit card deposit, you must complete the credit card verification form on Bovada's website.

How to cashout from Bovada:

  1. Go to your account at and select 'Payout'.
  2. Select the payout method.
  3. Enter the amount you want to cashout.
  4. Confirm your address information.
  5. Click 'Request Payout'.

What are the withdrawal limits?

  • For check withdrawals: $20-$3,000.
  • For Rapid Transfer withdrawals: $100-$750.

Are there any cashout fees?
The first check withdrawal of each month is free. If you want to cashout more than once a month, the rest of the cashouts cost $50 each. (In case you make a deposit and then, without using the money, decide to withdraw it, Bovada may charge a fee).

Here are their Rapid Transfer cashout fees:

Cashout AmountFee
$100 - $199$20
$200 - $399$30
$400 - $599$45
$600 - $750$60

Payout Speed has the fastest cashouts for US players as of now (unless you live in Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey where you can order ACH cashouts at regulated online poker rooms). Bovada delivers checks in 1-2 weeks (recent reports indicate that they deliver these in 10 days) when many of their competitors take several weeks and some even months.

Rapid Transfer payouts take a maximum of 24 business hours, after which you can collect your withdrawal at a local MoneyGram® location.

It's been increasingly hard to find US poker sites that process cashouts fast. Some sites claim to deliver checks in a couple of weeks but take months (even half a year in the case of relatively popular Lock Poker). Bovada is the biggest US poker site but incredibly also has the fastest withdrawal processing times.

Throughout Bodog's 15+ years in the online gambling business, no payout issue or dispute has been left unresolved. The only two Bovada payout issues that I recall were in 2008 and 2011 when checks took a long time to process (longer than usual, that is - they still delivered checks faster than most gambling sites do normally). But those were small issues and it's remarkable how well they've done for such a long time.

2008 Payout Delays

Bodog's payouts were delayed in 2008 and for a good reason: Maryland DOJ and IRS seized $25 million of Bodog's money as the dollars were sitting on their payment processor's account. An undercover agent registered an account at Bodog and made two cashouts during the year of 2007, which helped the IRS to seize the money. (Citypaper published a great article on the subject called The Ghost Hand.)

2011 Payout Delays

We have no real information on what caused Bovada payouts to be delayed in 2011. They claimed to be in the process of changing payment processors in order to deliver checks faster in future which then slowed down current check processing. I don't know if this was the real reason but they surely figured out how to deliver checks fast afterwards.

Bonus Offers & Promotions

  • You'll qualify for the Bovada bonus automatically by signing-up at without using a Bovada bonus code.
  • Bovada's bonus offer is decent for beginners. You get 60 days to clear the bonus (after you've made your first deposit), you can clear the bonus at any stakes you want and the terms are straightforward.
  • Bovada caters to recreational players which forces Bovada to make welcome bonuses simple and relatively easy to clear.

First Deposit Bonus

Big poker bonuses are useless unless they can be reasonably cleared. Some bonuses are impossible to clear for beginners; for example, they might take ridiculous amounts of playing to clear in relatively little time or they can only be cleared above micro stakes.

Fortunately, the poker bonus offer is good for beginners. You get 60 days to clear the bonus (after you've made your first deposit), you can clear the bonus at any stakes you want and the terms are straightforward. They cater to recreational players which forces them to make their welcome bonuses simple and relatively easy to clear.

How Do I Clear the Bonus?
You clear the poker bonus by reaching new bonus levels; you reach new bonus levels by earning poker points; you earn poker points by generating rake for Bovada.

The more bonus you earn, the easier it gets to clear additional bonus. For example, level three is $100 for 750 poker points while level five is $150 for 1,500 poker points. (Going from level four to level five was 25% easier than going from level one to level two, for instance.)

Here are the charts:

Bovada Poker rake (per pot) to poker points.
Rake generatedPoints earned
$1.00 - $3.001.00
$0.50 - $0.990.50
$0.25 - $0.490.25
$0.05 - $0.240.10
$0.01 - $0.040.05
$1 in tournament fees3.00
'Poker points earned' translated to 'bonus released'.
Points earnedBonus released

Will Additional Deposits Qualify for the Bonus?
Only the money deposited on the same calendar day as your first deposit will qualify for the Bovada Poker deposit bonus. If you deposit $100 next Tuesday and later on that Tuesday deposit another $100, you'll be eligible for $200 in bonuses.

Should you deposit the additional $100 on Wednesday, however, you've already missed the boat and won't qualify for the bonus.

Do I Need a Bovada Bonus Code?
There is no Bovada bonus code at the moment; you can qualify for the bonus simply by signing-up at their website.

Reload Bonuses
They award reload bonuses only to certain players - whether these players are selected randomly or have to meet certain criteria is unknown. There are no poker reload bonuses available for everyone.

Other Poker Bonuses
In addition to the poker deposit bonus, Bovada players are eligible for a Bad Beat Bonus (win 100 x the big blind, up to $1,000) and a Royal Flush Bonus (win 50 x the big blind, up to $200).

Other Bonuses

You get a 100% welcome bonus (up to $3,000) for your first Bovada Casino deposit and a 50% free bet bonus up to $250 for their sportsbook. How long does it take to clear the bonuses?

Their casino bonus requires you to wager the deposit and bonus amount 25 times over until you can cashout. For a $100 deposit, therefore, you need to wager 25 times $200 (includes both deposit and bonus amounts), or $5000.

Their sportsbook bonus can be cleared by wagering 3 times the deposit plus the bonus amount. For the full bonus, you have to bet $500 and you'll get $250 in bonus money, which means that in total you need to wager 3 times $750 (or $2250) to clear the full bonus.

You have 60 days to clear the bonus offers.

Bovada Poker Tournaments and Games

Readers might wonder what kind of games are available at Bovada Poker. Players can enjoy Texas Hold'em, Omaha, and Omaha Hi-Lo events. Enter no-limit, pot-limit, and fixed-limit events. Play for high stakes, mid-stakes, low stakes, or event micro stakes.

Bovada Poker Events

Bovada has a $150,000 guaranteed poker event every Sunday. For high stakes players, Bovada also organizes a $100,000 high roller event. Premium players and whales have a much higher chance of winning the $100K high roller event, because so few players enter. Sit'n go's, jackpot SNGs, and turbo events are designed for card players on the go.

  • $150K Guaranteed Poker Tournament (Weekly)
  • $100K Guaranteed High Roller Tournament (Weekly)
  • Turbo Tournaments
  • Jackpot Sit & Go Tournaments
  • Sit-and-Go Tournaments
  • $1.5 Million in Weekly Guarantees
  • Monster Stack Poker Tournaments

Special Features

Bovada's proprietary online poker software making cardplaying easy. Over the years, Bovada customers have called for special improvements, which have resulted in the following four innovations.

  • Quick Seat: Be seated at the poker table of your choice in two easy steps.
  • Anonymous Tables: The ultimate in fairness, because poker pros can't target you as a casual player.
  • Zone Poker: As soon as you fold your cards, you'll appear on another poker table.
  • Mobile Poker: Fully compatible with Android, iOS, and Windows smartphones and tablet computers.

Is Bovada Safe and Legit?


It's important to look at the background and the people behind operations that provide online gambling - especially when it comes to sites that provide games for US customers. While the company has done an admirable job so far, there's some controversy in their background that the readers at Gaming the Odds should know about - so is Bovada legit and safe? is the 'US version of Bodog' - it was created by Bodog's operators, has the same software and shares the same players. It feels good to play at a site that has been in the online gambling business since 1998.

But if you were to judge the people involved in Bovada's operations by what they were doing before they created Bodog, you may think that Bovada is anything but a safe to place to gamble at. However, keep in mind: they've done a wonderful job at being a reliable, professional and entertaining gambling site for several years now.

In 1998, a company called eSportz provided original software for a company called Cyberoad, through which the software was provided to some of the first online betting sites, namely Grand Prix, The Big Book, The Sports Machine and Mayan Sports. All of these companies used a payment processor called eBanx. Eventually, Cyberoad purchased eBanx.

Bovada Poker Review 2020

In 2000, a company called El Moro Finance agreed to make $200,000 worth of credit available to Cyberoad. Since Cyberoad was unable to pay its debt to El Moro, it went out of business during the same year and El Moro - curiously, a company that owns some of Ayre's real estate - acquired Cyberoad's assets, leaving Cyberoad's investors with nothing.

Bodog was born out of this situation, and as far as the other companies that were powered by eSportz software go, The Big Book had acquired Grand Prix (The Big Book shared offices with Calvin Ayre's company) and continued using the same software, while Mayan Sports couldn't come to an agreement with El Moro and decided to start using new software.

Bovada Review Reddit 2020

During the time it took for Mayan Sports to transition to using new software, eBanx (which, again, was Mayan Sports' payment processor, and technically now owned by El Moro) sent e-mails to Mayan Sports' customers, urging them to move their business to Bodog, and they could even use the same usernames and passwords they had when playing at Mayan Sports.

During this time, Ayre even used a fake name ('Cole Turner'). Understandably so, the Mayan Sports people were not happy to find out his real name later on.

That's the story when you look at official records. Calvin Ayre paints a different picture:

'There's no point in me talking about Cyberoad,' Mr. Ayre said dismissively in an interview. 'It wasn't my company, it was only one of a number of customers I had.'

In U.S. regulatory filings, however, Mr. Ayre is described as the 'creator and visionary' of Cyberoad. The filings say he gave up his CEO's title shortly before the company obtained a stock listing in the U.S. 'over-the-counter' market in the spring of 1999, and began acting as a consultant.

It's worth noting that Calvin Ayre has been associated with marijuana smuggling (for which his father got sentenced) and insider trading (which he settled for $10,000), due to which he was banned from serving as an officer or director in any company listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange (among other things). Being a 'consultant' is sort of a cliche for people to call themselves after they've been banned from directly running a company.

It's difficult to tell what they real story is, although if you read the article linked to from the previous paragraph, you'll find out about several things he claims to be true that don't add-up when compared to the 'official' story.

In short, Cyberoad relied on eSportz software (controlled by Calvin Ayre) and took a line of credit from El Moro (affiliated with Calvin Ayre). If eSportz would stop providing software for Cyberoad, would the company go out of business and then be owned by El Moro essentially for the price of $200,000 minus the money that Cyberoad paid back before going bankrupt?

And having eBanx e-mail to Mayan Sports customers, urging them to join Bodog instead is unethical to say the least. Then again, competition is fierce in the world of business.

Criticizing Bodog / Bovada the company, however, is difficult. They've provided customers with first-class online casino games, professional customer support and fast payouts for over 15 years now, and even though their poker room has the most player traffic out of all US sites by far, they still process cashouts the fastest.

But if you look at the background of the company's founder, there's definitely something shady going on. With that said, I have yet to find a case where Ayre's actions have negatively affected his customers, even though many of his business partners seem unhappy.

Is Bovada Rigged?

Bovada has essentially been in business since 2000. They've been through all sorts of testing, their software is certified by Gaming Associates, and they are currently licensed by Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

So is Bovada rigged? My answer is a definite no.

In case you still worry about Bovada cheating or being rigged, you're obviously more than welcome to contact their customer support. They're true professionals and I've never had a bad experience with them. You can either call them or send an e-mail. Can you cheat at Bovada?

The fact that this is an honest and reliable company doesn't mean that there wouldn't be cheating at Bovada. Just like an honest live casino or poker room is bound to have cheating customers, the same goes for online sites.

Fortunately, bigger online poker rooms have all sorts of methods to stop players from cheating; for example, they can detect if you're talking with your friend on MSN or Skype, have a lot of experience on studying hand histories, etc.

But you could, of course, play in the same table as your friend and have a phone conversation at the same time, thus sharing information with each other. These players get caught faster than you'd probably think since it's surprisingly difficult to act like you're not playing together.

All-in-all, I suggest spending less time wondering 'is Bovada rigged?' or 'are other players cheating at Bovada?' Just play the game and enjoy it. Should you see anything suspicious, feel free to report it, but it's unlikely that you will.

Is Bovada Legal for US Players?

I get a lot of questions asking about whether Bovada is legal or not. While I'm not a lawyer, have never studied law and write for entertainment purposes only, here's why my answer is 'yes.'

  • Bovada operates in Canada, is owned by Meadway Leisure Limited and has a gaming license issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. For all I know, they're running their business legally under international law and fully comply with Kahnawake Gaming Commission's rules.
  • Nowhere in the US federal law does it say that it's illegal to play poker, casino games or bet on sports online. This is a myth. People often confuse the legality of betting on these games with the legality of running a business that accepts bets or is involved in processing online gambling payments (those might be illegal).
  • They use a .lv domain. This prevents the Department of Justice seizing the domain like they seized the .com domains of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker in 2011, which turned into quite a catastrophy for the US online poker market.

Is It Legal for Bovada to Operate in the US?

They accept sports bets and are involved in processing gambling transactions so there's a real chance that the US government will take action against them at some point -- especially considering it already has done so when seizing $25 million from Bovada's payment processor's account in 2008 (as referred to earlier).

Bovada has, however, demonstrated that they can handle problematic situations and payouts were delayed only for a while. They since prohibited players from states where they feel like operating online gambling games is going to be the most difficult (legally-speaking).

But betting on sporting events or casino and poker games is not illegal by any federal law, although some state laws do prohibit it. Accepting sports bets online is illegal per the Wire Act of 1961. The sites operating an online sportsbook are taking a risk and you - if you participate in their games - take a risk as well since the site might fold one day and take your money with you. But by playing, you're not violating any federal laws (this, again, is my uneducated opinion - for legal advice, contact a local gaming lawyer).

Where Is Bovada Legal?

While no federal law prohibits you from playing online poker, casino or sportsbook games, individual state laws may do so. Most state laws have vague gambling laws and it's a matter of interpretation to determine if playing there is legal or illegal, however, there are a couple states where participating these games is illegal with almost 100% certainty. (Still, getting prosecuted for gambling online is rare.)

States such as Utah, New York and Washington have strict laws against online gambling. With many others, it's difficult to say and only three states have specifically legalized online gambling games (although not in all forms) and those are Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

Bovada Poker Review 2020

Bovada operates in Canada, is owned by Meadway Leisure Limited and has a gaming license issued by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. For all I know, they're running their business legally under international law and fully comply with Kahnawake Gaming Commission's rules.

I recommend contacting a local gaming lawyer about the subject. In fact, that's what you should do if you want to get a professional answer to 'Is Bovada Legal in the US?'

Why the Biggest Poker Sites Got Shut Down a Few Years Ago?

When PokerStars left the US market and Full Tilt Poker shut down (it has since re-opened, although not for US players), US players lost two of the biggest online poker sites in the world. Will legit Bovada get shut down as well? While everything is possible and I have no way of predicting the future, PokerStars and Full Tilt were charged with fraud and money laundering and the Department of Justice never blamed them for violating the Wire Act (which, they later admitted, applies only to online sports betting anyway).

Banks allegedly processed 'unlawful' gambling transactions - while making them look like non-gambling transactions - in exchange for large investments from those poker companies. SunFirst Bank, for instance, allegedly processed around $200 million in online poker payments.

All the problems that US poker sites have had with the Department of Justice have related to bank frauds, money laundering or accepting illegal transactions, which is why only a few payment options for US players exist. Legality of playing poker online (from a player's point-of-view) has never been the issue. And there is no federal law that prohibits you from playing poker on the internet. Locally, in your state, there may be though.

It's only reasonable to assume that something of similar sort may happen to other real-money online gaming sites in the US, no matter how 'legit' they are. Banks and payment processors aren't willing to process online gambling related payments knowingly so gambling sites have to 'hide' the true origin of the transfer. We recommend that you keep your account balance at minimum in order to avoid losing a lot of money in these situations.


Bovada Casino Review 2020

Last Updated: January 2, 2020