Bovada Review of Sportsbook and Casino

Bovada, and their previous parent company Bodog, has been in the offshore betting industry for over twenty years. The room offers an online casino powered by Real Time Gaming (RTG) and Betsoft titles, in addition to their sportsbook offerings.

Bovada is exclusively for US based customers, and was established in December 2011 after Bodog’s exit from US betting markets. The online bookmaker is owned by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group and is licensed and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

Bovada has always been known as one of the safest sportsbooks and casinos around. Deposits and withdraws are quick and without hassle. Players in the United States that are having problems with other casinos should look no further.

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What We Like about Bovada

Bovada and their sister site Bodog are very respectable brands. They have always paid their winners. When processing gets tough in the US, they are quick to admit it and quote realistic processing times. One of the strengths of the site, though, are their fast payouts. Players that request Western Union will receive payment within 1-3 days, although there is a charge of 10% for this expedited service. Bovada even offers one free check, credit card refund, debit card or bank wire withdrawal each month.

They have been one of the most reliable and consistent sites for US players, and their transition from Bodog to Bovada was done seamlessly. Their sportsbook and payout options didn’t miss a beat. If players ever have a problem Bovada has 24-hour phone support, staffed by a highly-trained and experienced team of service representatives.

They try to cater to recreational bettors (who primarily bet favorites), so they typically offer excellent underdog lines. Their teaser odds are also above average and they offer a large list of betting markets. First depositors will also get a 50% Free Bet bonus on their first deposit up to $250. This bonus comes with a generous 3x rollover.

What We Do Not Like about Bovada

First, they charge a 4.9 percent fee on all credit card deposits, which is the primary method that customers use for deposits. Although this might not sound like much, it adds up and is a hidden cost that players forget about. Rarely do other sportsbooks charge a fee for credit or debit card deposits.

Although they have plenty of underdog lines, bettors may not find the best odds if they follow what has been heavily bet by the public. For this reason, we suggest pairing Bovada with another sportsbook such as 5Dimes.

Bovada is actually a pretty conservative book that targets low-limit recreational casino and sportsbook players. For this reason, their limits aren’t especially high compared to other offshore sites or even local bookies. They also will restrict players who have shown an ability to beat them consistently.

Has There Ever Been a Scandal at Bodog/Bovada?

In February 2012, the US Department of Justice charged Bodog and Calvin Ayre with illegal gambling. At that time, the domain name was also seized. However, Bodog laughed it off and the gaming sites did not miss a beat. The domain name was changed to, and to this day, none of the parties accused have been located by U.S. authorities.

Ayre’s defiant stance toward the US Government possibly makes Bovada a target by the Federal Government for potential UIGEA violations. Although he is not the paper owner of Bovada or their parent company, he still may be involved in the operation in some form. No one truly knows. The feds are still certainly looking for him.

Ayre was one of the most wanted fugitives on Homeland Security’s top ten list at one time, and is currently wanted for running an illegal gambling business and money laundering. While all this is serious in itself, it does not affect the day-to-day operations at Bovada. It is still a safe and secure site to place sports wagers.

How to Deposit at Bovada

U.S. Bovada deposit options include Western Union, MoneyGram, credit cards, and bank wire. Bovada will cover Western Union and MoneyGram fees for deposits of $300 or more.  Bitcoin was introduced in March 2016.

How to Withdraw at Bovada

Withdrawal options include check by courier, Western Union, MoneyGram, debit card, credit card refund, and bank wire. Western Union and MoneyGram are not available to all players. Most players that have this option available also deposited by this option. Bovada offers U.S. players can receive one free check, credit card refund or bank wire per month.  Additional transfers are $50. Cash transfers have a fee of about 10% of the transfer.  Bitcoin is available as a withdrawal option in amounts up to $5,000.

History of Bovada

Bodog has long been one of the most respected online gambling companies in the world. Launched in 1994, the company was a moderately sized pre-UIGEA but capitalized on several exits from some well-known industry giants to gain a larger market share.

As of 2014, the sportsbook and casino is widely known as the US market leader for sports betting. In their long history, they have consistently paid players in a timely manner and seem to genuinely care about their client base. Their sportsbook management has always been fair when handling disputes with players. Many other offshore sportsbooks (some highly respected) have come down with some dubious decisions against players over the years, something that Bovada management has always managed to avoid.

Betting Markets

Most of Bovada’s betting markets are centered on the big four North American sports leagues: NFL, NBA, MLB and NHL. That being said, college football and basketball have plenty of markets as well. Though they cater solely to US bettors, they have a surprisingly large list of foreign markets, the most predominant being soccer. Players can bet on most domestic leagues in Europe and many from Latin America, along with international contests. Other sports available include tennis, mixed martial arts, boxing, rugby, cricket, darts, horse racing and snooker. They also offer entertainment and politics markets.

Players will find an extensive list of betting options available for each sport, including the standard sides and totals bets, along with parlays, teasers, if and reverse bets, and more.

Futures and proposition markets are also available for just about every sport, but are much more extensive for football, baseball, hockey and basketball. Proposition markets are especially large for the NFL; Bovada has over a dozen team and player props for each game and even more for primetime contests.

Finally, live betting or in-play betting is widely available – not just on American sports, but international soccer and other contests. Bovada offers one of the best live betting platforms in the US market.

Wagering Limits

Bovada takes wagers as low as a dollar for small time bettors, but doesn’t offer lucrative high-end wagering, especially when compared with many other sportsbooks. Their limits on NFL totals peak at $2,000 and most other sports top out at $1,000 or $500. Propositions will rarely have limits over $500 and many are lower than that.

They are often one of the slowest sportsbooks to post lines and have night limits of around $500 that vary depending on the sport.

For the above reasons, we don’t recommend them to high-volume professional level sports bettors. However, the sportsbook is one of the better for novice and intermediate bettors who are looking to build their bankroll at lower stakes.

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Bovada Sportsbook FAQ

How can US players deposit at Bovada?

Bovada accepts Visa, Mastercard, Western Union and MoneyGram for US deposits. Standard credit cards are typically declined, but international prepaid debit card deposits are usually successful. These include Green Dot and Netspend. Green Dot charges a maintenance fee of $5.95 per month, but it is waived if $1,000 or more is loaded or if there are at least thirty monthly transactions on the account. Netspend charges $9.95 per month but the fee is lowered to $5 if $500 or more is deposited during the month.

Cash players can visit a major retailer or check cashing store that is an agent for Western Union or MoneyGram. The fees will be in the 5-10% range, but Bovada will provide reimbursement on deposits of $300 or more by applying the fees directly to the player’s account.  Bitcoin is also available to Bovada players as a deposit option.

How can U.S. players cashout at Bovada?

Bovada offers five withdrawal options: Bitcoin, MoneyGram, credit card refund, check and bank wire. The software’s cashier refers to Western Union as Money Transfer.

MoneyGram is referred to as Rapid Transfer. The fees is $50 for amounts up to $300.

Checks have a $3,000 maximum and wires have a $5,000 maximum. Bovada allows players to receive one check, credit card refund or bank wire for free each month. Additional withdrawal requests have a $50 fee. Bank wires will also incur fees from intermediary banks as well as the receiving bank. An intermediary bank may charge as much as $50, while the receiving bank will charge a fee of about $20.

Bitcoin was added as a withdrawal option in May 2016.  The cap is $5,000.  These are processed in about three business days.

How long does it take to receive a cashout?

Bitcoin and MoneyGram cashouts arrive in 12-72 hours. Checks, bank wires and credit card refunds arrive in about two weeks.

What is the Bovada First Deposit Bonus?

New accounts will receive a 50% Free Bet bonus up to $250. This is for the first deposit only, and is credited within thirty minutes of the first deposit. Players may use their Free Bet on any sport, wager type and odds.

How does the bonus clear?

Bovada offers a generous rollover of 3x the deposit amount plus the bonus. For instance, if a player deposits $500 and receives the 50% bonus for $250, the rollover would be $750 ($500+$250) times three, which would be $2,250. The Free Bet Bonus will expire thirty days after the initial deposit.

Does Bovada offer mobile betting?

Yes, they have a no-download web based online betting application that is one of the best in the US market. The mobile app can be used on a variety of phones, including iPhones, Androids and other devices. It has their full list of markets available, including live betting options.

What is Bovada’s phone number?

General Bovada support is available at 888-263-0000. Support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There is also a contact form on Bovada’s website for email support. Live chat is not available.

Does Bodog Own Bovada?

Bodog does not directly own Bovada. The Morris Mohawk Gaming Group is the listed owner. It is located on the Kahnawake Reservation just outside of Montreal, Quebec. Bovada pays licensing fees to Bodog for access to the network.

Where is Bovada licensed?

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is Bovada’s gaming regulator.

Can you play on Bovada if you live outside of the US?

Bovada is available only to US players. The Bodog brand is available to players in other North American countries and islands in both the Atlantic and Pacific. Bodog88 is available in Asia and is available in some parts of the European Union. It is important to check with support to make sure your country is accepted. This is based on current location, not on residency.

What states are banned at Bovada?

Bovada does not accept new players from Maryland, Delaware, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Utah or Washington State.