Most guys who were into MMA and televised poker a few years ago would be familiar with the name Bodog. It was the biggest name in online betting. Today, the sportsbook is now operating under the name Bovada. A few other changes have been made, but Bovada is still a behemoth today.
Signing up is quick and painless, and they have just about any depositing option you’d need, including both Visa and Mastercard. I used visa and the deposit went through and I was good to play almost instantly. If you’d rather use a 3rd party payment service like MoneyBookers or NETeller that’s accepted too. Whatever your choice, you should be up and running quickly and Bovada’s telephone agents are there to help you through the process if you need. In general, their customer service is very good and easy to get a hold of. If you ever have questions about betting or depositing don’t be a afraid to give them a call and you’ll be talking to someone without delay.
Bovada offers new customers a 20% bonus on to of the initial deposit. This is more than they used to offer but still not mind-blowing. The good news is that they have a very small 1x rollover requirement, which definitely increases the value – especially among the casual bettor. It’s relatively rare, however, that Bovada will offer you a reload bonus. Making your second deposit over the phone will help your chances of being thrown a reload bonus, but be sure to deposit as much as you’re willing to play the first go-around to get close to the maximum bonus of $100.
As far as the betting itself, the online betting interface is bug-free and pleasant to use and offers advanced options such as parlays and teasers. Odds could be up a little sooner for some sports, but other than that we have no real complaints. Being one of the bigger books, Bovada offers lines on just about every league you can imagine. They have also been known to sometimes offer tempting lines on underdogs, especially in the NFL. Bovada also offers a racebook, with odds on racetracks all over America (but not so much internationally).
In addition to horse and sports betting, Bovada (and the old Bodog) have been one of the web’s poker destinations for some time. This is good and bad for the average player, as this means that there are going to be tougher competition at tables than the average sportsbook poker room (which are normally full of inexperienced poker players like me, just checking it out and playing around with their sportsbook winnings). However, the Bovada poker software is also much better than the average sportsbook offers. One thing I miss over the old Bodog poker is the user names. Learning each player’s traits is a big part of poker (at least it would be if I was any good at it).
Aside from poker, a full casino is available with all the slots and table games you’d expect to see at a casino.
Between Bodog and Bovada, these guys have been in business for almost 20 years, so you can be confident that they’ll pay you. Sometimes, however, they haven’t been as fast as other competitors – occasionally it’s taken a week or two to get the check. In my experience this has been improving, especially over the past year or so. Other than that there’s never been an issue and they’re very easy to get a hold of and request your payment over the phone.
Overall, Bovada lives up to Bodog’s reputation as a consistently impressive online betting experience. Their size makes them a bit slow at times but it also gives them certain advantages that smaller books don’t have. Give them a try if you want an easy to use site with a straightforward bonus offer and readily available customer service.
Especially Suited for:
- Poker players
- Casual bettors
- Fans of obscure sports
- Bettors who like to play the underdog
Not suited for:
- Players who need payouts extremely fast
- Fans of international horse races