BETTING ON MARCH MADNESS AT BOVADA
Bovada Review Summary
Bovada has been a part of the offshore online betting industry for nearly two decades (including the time as Bodog). They offer a full-service sportsbook and are the only sportsbook online that is exclusive to US residents. In addition to their sportsbook, they offer an online casino powered by Real Time Gaming (RTG).
It’s important to note that Bovada does not accept new accounts from players in some states due to the uncertain legal landscape of iGaming in those jurisdictions. These states include Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Utah and Washington State.
History as Bodog
Bodog was just one of the many online sportsbooks in the US market but became a much bigger player after the passage of the UIGEA in 2006. Many operators left because of fear of US prosecution, but founder Calvin Ayre and his company decided to stick around. With other competitors gone, Bodog ascended to become a top option worldwide for sports bettors, and especially in the United States and Canada. In 2007, Ayre decided to sell off his North American business to focus on European and the newly emerging Asian betting markets.
Ayre sold his North American arm to the Mohawk Morris Gaming Group (MMGG), a company based in Canadian Indian Territory. The group still owns Bovada today. This also marked the beginning of the Bodog Brand, which spawned many gaming sites such as Bodog88, Bodog UK, and Bodog Europe. There were also several non-gaming sites launched such as Bodog Fight and Bodog Music. Most of these brands have closed up shop. Only Bodog.eu, which services Europe and Canada, and Bodog88 (Bodog Asia) remain.
In 2011, a rough year for online gamblers in the United States, Bodog remained relatively unscathed. However, the international brand wanted to separate itself from unregulated US traffic. In December 2011, Bodog rebranded as Bovada. They offer their services only to American online sports bettors. Canadians moved to Bodog.eu. Fast-forward to 2014, and Bovada is one of the most respected brands in online gaming. As well as, one of the top sites in the US betting markets.
A Personal Opinion on Bovada.lv
What We Like About Bovada For Online Betting
There are few sites with a track record that goes back as far as Bovada’s, and in the offshore betting industry, longevity is everything. The longer a site has been around, consistently practicing legitimate business practices, the more trustworthy it becomes. They also have the best software available for betting sports online.
Bovada has always paid players quickly and is still tops in the US market for payout speeds via check. They offer one free check withdrawal per month and also have fast speeds for bank wires and person-to-person transfers. Their support staff is one of the best around as well. They offer 24-hr phone support, 365 days a year, and their email response time is somewhat legendary. They quote a 24-hr response time but usually answer emails in several hours or few minutes.
The goal of sportsbooks is to make money, and Bovada certainly does that in a big way, but their track record and rulings always seem to be favorable to players. While some highly-rated US-facing offshore bookmakers have made some questionable decisions in the past, Bovada gives players the benefit of the doubt in most disputes. They truly seem to value their players.
What We Don’t Like about Bovada Sportsbook
Their 4.9% charge on credit card deposits is pretty brutal. This is the primary method that bettors will use to deposit, and this additional cost is costing them five percent every time they deposit. Their deposit bonus makes up for this a little bit, but players will only receive that on their first deposit. They’re not the best sportsbook for high volume bettors due to their lower limits, and they are quick to limit players who are beating them for substantial amounts. They also offer two sets of lines to their customers, something we’ll touch on in the next section of our Bovada sportsbook review.
The Department of Justice likely despises them and may be trying to shut them down. Though Calvin Ayre may have sold off his stake in the company in 2007, that story is not necessarily true. Rumors of Ayre’s involvement in the company have circulated for years. No one knows for sure how involved he is in day-to-day operations, if at all. Ayre has been added to ICE’s Most Wanted list, and Bodog had their .com domain seized by US officials several years ago (it was a dormant domain at the time of the seizure, however). However, Ayre came to an agreement with US authorities in July 2017, pleading to a misdemeanor charge with the more serious charges being dropped. The outcome was certainly a victory for Ayre.
Also, Bovada’s position in the US market is at the top of the heap, perhaps making them a bigger target than others. They are also one of the few offshore sites that ignore US copyright laws, and regularly use photos from NFL and NBA contests on their main page. With that said, all sportsbooks who take US customers are at some risk from the Department of Justice. However, there’s no definitive proof that Bovada has a bigger target on its back than other sportsbooks. It’s simply something to where bettors should keep their eyes peeled.
Bovada Users’ Opinions and Experience
Bovada vs Mybookie vs GTBets
- Deposit Bonus
- Live Odds
- Cashier Fees
- Accepts Crypto
- Banned Regions
- Live Support
- Deposit Bonus:50% Up To $1,000
- Live Odds:Yes
- Cashier Fees:Yes, But No Fees With Crypto
- Accepts Crypto:Yes
- Banned Regions:None
- Live Support:Yes
- Bet & Win at MyBookie
- Deposit Bonus:50% Up To $250
- Live Odds:Yes
- Cashier Fees:Free payout per month/ BTC free
- Accepts Crypto:Yes
- Banned Regions:DE, MD, NJ, NV
- Live Support:Yes
- Bet & Win at Bovada
- Deposit Bonus:100% Up To $500
- Live Odds:Yes
- Cashier Fees:Yes, But No Fees With Crypto
- Accepts Crypto:Yes
- Banned Regions:KY, LA, MD, MO, OR, WA
- Live Support:Yes
- Bet & Win at GTBets
Is Bovada Legit for US Players?
Yes, Bovada is legit for US players. They have been in the online gambling industry for close to two decades. As you read in our complete Bovada review, they are not perfect and do have few minor flaws, but when it comes to the best online betting sites for US players there is nobody above them.
- They pay players on time.
- Their support is fast, friendly and helpful.
- Bovada offers more than 150 casino games plus tons of sports betting markets.
- They have live betting, props, straight bets, parlays and more to satisfy every sports enthusiast.
- Bovada is mobile-friendly for both their sports betting and casino.
Bovada is legit and we highly recommend its sportsbook to every sports fan for betting online.
Bovada Deposits and Withdrawals Review
Deposit options for bettors are smaller than other sites. Bovada only offers players credit cards or Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash as deposit methods. Accepted credit cards include VISA, Visa Gift Cards, and MasterCard.
Bovada.lv has added extra security to accounts to protect players from fraud. Each user will create a 4-digit PIN when they sign up, which they will use for account changes and must be entered before making a withdrawal.
Currently, the only other options players will have for depositing is by Visa Gift Cards or Credit Card. If you’re against using Bitcoin – this is your only option, but it’s not a good one. Visa deposits will come with a 4.9 percent fee and MasterCard deposits come with a 6.9 percent fee. It isn’t worth paying such high fees when you can deposit with zero fees using Bitcoin.
Bovada shines with their payout speeds, which have led the offshore betting industry for years. Being paid when you win is more important than any bonus or odds difference. They are a shining example in the industry of how to do it right.
Processed checks take about a week in most cases, despite their given timeframe of 5-10 days. Requested checks have a limit of up to $3,000 and have a minimum amount of $50.
Bank wires have a limit of up to $9,500, making them a better option than checks. Perfect for those looking to unload a larger balance. They come with a $50 fee per request, along with fees charged to the intermediary and receiving banks. Processing a bank wire is slower than checks. They take 2-3 weeks. Bovada offers one free payout per calendar month up to $50 for checks and bank wires.
Bitcoin Payouts and Deposits
We highly recommend Bitcoin. The crypto-currency does not come with any fees. Deposits and payouts are also processed much faster than other methods. Funds sent within 24 hours after requesting a payout. Player accounts credited with the deposits within a matter of minutes. Customers can request up to $9,500 per payout when withdrawing with Bitcoin. Bovada also accepts Bitcoin Cash.
|Method||Deposit||Payout||Minimum Limit||Maximum Limit||Estimated Payout Time|
|Bitcoin||Deposit: $10Payout: $10||Deposit: $5,000Payout: $9,500||15 Minutes|
|Mastercard||Deposit: $20||Deposit: $1,500||No Payout|
|Visa||Deposit: $20||Deposit: $1,500||No Payout|
|AMEX||Deposit: $20||Deposit: $1,500||No Payout|
|Visa (Gift Card)||Deposit: $20||Deposit: $1,500||No Payout|
|Check (courier)||Payout: $100||Payout: $3,000||5-10 Days|
Bovada Online Betting Bonuses
The Bovada sportsbook offers an exclusive 50% Match Freeplay Welcome Bonus for new players on their first deposit, up to $250. The promotion can only be used once per account. There is no bonus code needed for this account. When a new player makes their first deposit, the bonus will be credited automatically within 30 minutes of their deposit. The bonus comes with a 5x rollover. If used in the racebook, the rollover is also 5x. However, casino play will require a 30x rollover.
Rollover is determined by the lesser of your risk or win amount when the wager is settled. If a withdrawal is made before the bonus terms are met, then all bonus funds are forfeited, along with any money earned wagering with freeplay funds.
$500 Bovada Bitcoin Bonus
Bovada also has a 50% Match up to $500 on the first Bitcoin deposit that a player makes to their account. However, they do have to enter a bonus code for the bonus to be credited. The bitcoin bonus code is “BVSBITCOIN50”. Like the Welcome Bonus, it comes with a 5x rollover. Take advantage of the Free Cash or Bitcoin bonus when you sign up at Bovada and start placing bets using their money.
Bovada Sportsbook Betting Tip
Bovada is a favorite among well-seasoned online bettors. They offer excellent prices on underdogs and have just a 5x rollover on their Welcome Bonus. They have consistently paid players quickly with only a few delays in nearly 20 years of offshore betting.
Bovada Sportsbook Highlights
North American Focus, But Other Markets Available
Bovada is only for US citizens, but players wouldn’t know it by their odds selection. Their largest number of markets will focus on the main US sports, such as the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL, along with college basketball and football, but they have odds on dozens of leagues around the world. There are loads of futures and propositions on European soccer leagues, cricket, and loads of other sports.
Rugby, cricket, darts, racing, horse racing, cycling, mixed martial arts and more are available in some form. Betting options for most sports include teasers, parlays, if-bets, and reverses. They allow a fair bit of customization on their teasers, but aren’t quite on the level of 5Dimes when it comes to markets and bet customization.
Recreational Wagering Limits
As mentioned above, Bovada is a sportsbook that markets itself to recreational bettors. Bettors who want to wager thousands of dollars per game and not get themselves limited if they begin to win will have to look elsewhere. The sportsbook is conservative when it comes to betting limits. The largest wagers they will take on the NFL and NCAA are $5,000 on sides and $1,000 on totals, parlays, and teasers. NBA spreads have a maximum bet of $1,000, and NBA moneylines and totals have a maximum of $500. NCAA spreads and totals both have a max of $500.
More important, Bovada posts their lines much slower than other US-facing sites and most other sportsbooks. When you’re betting big money, getting the best price is paramount and that usually means getting a jump on early lines. Bovada doesn’t even offer overnight lines on MLB, the NBA and college basketball. Their NFL lines don’t go live until 6 pm on Monday evenings for the next week. This is 24 hours after other sportsbooks release their lines for the coming week. When the market has undergone major adjustments.
Even without the early jump on the lines and the dual pricing issue, Bovada offers some excellent value on underdogs because they shade their lines toward heavy public bets. This is even true if you “switched over” and are dealing with the sharper set of odds. Players will often find underdog pricing that beats the rest of the US betting market because of their heavy recreational base of players.
Proposition Bets At Bovada
Bovada’s proposition markets are vast, especially when it comes to the NFL. Their maximum bet on props is $500 for most, but some can actually be slightly less. However, this still represents a chance for savvy bettors to find some hidden profits. Bovada’s large numbers of propositions make keeping track of all of them by the oddsmakers nearly impossible. There are plenty of inefficiencies in these markets (NFL specifically) and are an excellent way for players to build a bankroll.
Related Online Sportsbooks
Bovada Sportsbook Customer Support
They respond to all emails within 24 hours, but they are usually much faster. We have received replies in less than a half hour to most of our queries.
Bovada.lv Reddit Review vs SBS’ Review
Certainly, there is value in looking at other users’ reviews before picking an online sportsbook to place your bets. Reddit’s threads about Bovada sportsbook do provide value however one needs to be careful as they may be biased and written with a certain purpose by strangers on the internet. SBS’ staff follows specific and strict criteria such as uncompromising honesty and in-depth analysis in our sportsbooks reviews which are written by professional sports bettors who have years of experience in the gambling industry and use reviewed sportsbooks.
Bovada Review Conclusion – Top 3 Sportsbook Option
Despite their low betting limits compared to some other sites, Bovada is one of the kings in the US offshore betting market, and for good reason. Their reputation and brand have serviced players without interruption for over a decade, and they have always paid players as quickly as possible. Their transition from Bodog to Bovada went without issue several years ago. Though they have had slight delays in payments in the past, they fixed these minor problems. Running an offshore sportsbook that services Americans is a tough business. Something that few outfits have perfected, but Bovada has come the closest.
Dual Lines At Bovada
This is one of the heaviest criticisms that knowledgeable sports bettors have with Bovada. The online Bovada sportsbook actually deals two sets of lines to players. One set of lines is tagged for recreational gamblers and another set for customers who have a clue. In colloquial betting speak, these are generally known as their “square lines” and “sharp lines.” Bettors who have been at Bovada for a long period of time may not even realize that they deal two sets of lines. The easiest way to determine if you’re dealt the sharper odds is to log out of your account.
Their standard odds or square lines will be available to those visitors without an account. The majority of Bovada’s clients are also dealt this same set of lines. Bettors who show an inkling of knowledge will turn over to the sharper set. How fast will players get the sharp lines? That depends, but it can be quick depending on the types of bets made by the player. Some players have reported the change over in a few hours.
Bovada is famous for shading their lines toward public plays, such as spread favorites and overs. Even if you’re switched over to their sharp lines, there are still plenty of +EV betting opportunities. Remember, few of Bovada’s customer base are savvy gamblers. Most of them rarely consider factors such as line shopping or seeking out +EV markets. Their head oddsmaker at one time stated that something like, “most of our action comes an hour before game time on most markets.”