Bovada Sportsbook Review
One of the stereotypes on Canadian people is that they are very friendly and apologize a lot. If that were true, Canada would be the perfect place for any company to have their customer support center! That is, except for one minor detail, the cost. There is a reason why almost all companies including Amazon have their support centers in third world countries. The minimum wage in North America makes it cost prohibitive. We are not suggesting that the top sportsbooks in Costa Rica, Antigua and Curacao don’t now have quality support but their leaders will tell you it was a constant struggle to get there. In fact, the customer support industry in Costa Rica was largely grown from the ground up with, and by, its online gambling industry. Frankly, for us players it used to be hit or miss when calling the sportsbook. Sometimes an individual clerk could give you such bad information it could actually cost you money… Unless you were a player at Bovada, at the time called Bodog.
Bodog invested in the user experience from day one. Most of the top sportsbooks used one of three out of the box software solutions for their sportsbook interface. Bodog spent millions building its own from the ground up. Its service center was so good and friendly, that customers would call to chat about the games when they didn’t really need any assistance. Bodog eventually had to incorporate limiting casual conversation into their training because players enjoyed using customer support for the social element. To this day, Bovada remains focused on a pure experience for their bettors. While some sportsbooks treat their bettors as stock market day traders, Bovada emphasizes the entertainment aspect of betting on sports. Bovada believes that the act itself of betting and collecting your money should be an enjoyable experience, hence the 2011 rebranded website Bovada.lv. The branding is meant to be synonymous with a bettor’s favorite place, Las Vegas, Bovada.
Bovada Sportsbook Details
|Online Since:||February, 2001|
|Sign up Bonus:||50% Cash up to $500|
|Bonus Fine Print:||10X rollover with lower of bet’s risk or win amount counting toward rollover|
|Unique Odds:||No - Bovada will be in line with the market with slightly better underdog pricing|
|Deposits:||Bitcoin, Visa, Mastercard, Amex|
|Bitcoin:||Yes, Held in USD|
|Payouts:||Free Check once per 3 months. 2nd Check is $100. Bitcoin - always free|
|Bovada Pros:||Best Customer Service and Big Deposit Bonuses.|
|Bovada Cons:||Relatively late to hang lines and low limits|
Bovada Sportsbook was the first quality mainstream sportsbook
Yes, there were big sportsbook brands in the media. BetOnSports.com and Sportsbook.com being two of them. BetOnSports was even publicly traded. But those and those like them didn’t have a perfect record of being fair. Over ten years ago most mainstream books knew they didn’t have to treat players well. They didn’t have to honor rolled over bonuses for huge winners or take part in arbitration when there was a wagering dispute. In some cases, they simply didn’t pay. That is because the big books which were more adept in marketing than they were bookmaking knew that in those early days an ad spend could drown out the individual player. Paying big winners would actually be argued as a bad business decision. Bodog on the other hand was front and center representing responsible entertainment sports betting. There went on to be magazine covers, TV interviews with ownership and branded MMA promotions featuring the best fighters in the world including Fedor. Fast forward a decade later, online reputation means everything and Bovada is one of the biggest sportsbooks today.
But the internet wasn’t nearly what it is today. Back then you could take a crazy mardi gras picture with half your face in the frame and not think for a second that in 15 years artificial intelligence facial recognition software was going to match your big ole pair of… eyes… to your personal profile! For better or for worse, the internet does not forget! That is why the Bovada Brand is one of the strongest in Gaming Entertainment now.
Sign-up Bonus - It may be the best
Getting 50% Cash added to your account with only a 10x rollover is significant. That is, as long as you are a player who typical deposits at this size. If you are betting $10,000 per game, you already left this review… in which case I was just talking to myself right there.
The requirements are relaxed enough that a player can get in and out in the same NFL weekend, bringing all his money and his new earned cash home. But the best thing about the bonus that we haven’t talked about yet… You can double dip. Let’s say you want to get in the game this weekend and don’t want to bother setting up a bitcoin account. As we just mentioned, you make a regular deposit, play, win, then withdraw the entire balance. Now, if you liked what you saw at Bovada and are ready to create that bitcoin account, you can jump back in the water for a 100%, max $1,000, cash bonus on the bitcoin deposit. Even though you won the first time around, Bovada will promo you again for trying them with Bitcoin.
Bonus Terms - No Calculator or Spectacles Needed
Bovada knows they are getting many new players and those that primarily want to enjoy watching the game… not feel like they are opening a line of credit at Bank of America. For that reason, keeping the most straightforward sports betting bonus requirements of all online sportsbooks just makes good business sense.
Reduced Juice - Nope, But There Is Value to be Had
Reduced juice is great. It means if you have a sportsbook that operates on a lower margin all the time. But keep in mind that sometimes books move lines differently, and that means you may see the Boston Celtics +1 (-105) at a reduced-vig sportsbook while also finding Celtics +1 (-105) at Bovada because the team the Celts are playing, the Bulls, happen to be favored by one at -115. To Summarize, different lines can bring more value in unique situations.
More importantly, with the Bovada Bonus, you are essentially getting your juice reduced to zero during the course of your 5X roll-over. That’s because the bonus is worth more than the sportsbook’s vigorish before you withdraw. I know… that can be confusing.
Think of it like this: You buy a Hummer instead of a Tesla. The Hummer comes with a free gas card for the first 10,000 miles. All other things being equal that Hummer has the cheapest gas mileage in the beginning stage.
Unique Odds - Dogs bark at Bovada
This title was cooler when it was “Dogs bark at BoDog” but… they do bark under the new brand Bovada. A lot of bettors think lines are meant to trap or trick players. That’s not the case, especially at Bovada where the sportsbook is not looking to take any opinionated position on games. The lines they put out are a representation of supply and demand just like retail products. Many players at Bovada are likely to play the favorite and over the total. That’s because it’s easier for fans to root for the better team and the scoring of points versus a bad team and the game clock to tick. Since bettors are more likely to bet the favorites at Bovada, that very slightly moves the line making the underdog price a bit sweeter.
Bitcoin - The new eWallet
Bovada will pay you $9500 in Bitcoin every three days at no cost. It takes 24-48 hours for the sportsbook to process the request.
When Bitcoin betting first came out, it was a novelty. The big sportsbooks didn’t offer it so about 50 “bitcoin sportsbooks” popped up. They were all new and untested, so it was a constant effort to move money to BetBitCoinHerePrettyPlease.com and back as fast as possible after the game. Also a negative, was your funds were held in bitcoin. You could be watching the game, be WINNING that game, and still lose money if bitcoin were to drop in value while Tom Brady was getting you that TD you needed. Now, Bitcoin is primarily another method to move dollars.
Bovada has a few negatives depending on the type of bettor you are.
1) Bovada lines come out a bit later than other books, but only a bit. As I write this at 10 pm, tomorrow’s baseball lines are already up. In years past it wouldn’t be until the morning of. However, their baseball 10c line is 20c until 9:00 am EST. That’s a negative compared to 5c and 8c MLB overnights being offered elsewhere. Limits are low on overnight lines.
2) Bitcoin payouts can take up to 48 hours to process. In our experience its closer to same day but with a max of only $9500 per transaction we would like to see Bovada commit to the same day.
3) Bovada is not a high limit book. Most bettors bet below $1000 per game and therefore won’t mind. But limits on college basketball are mostly $500, and an NFL halftime bet is maxed at only $1,000.
Bovada Pros - Bovada is the Apple of Sportsbooks
Do you know someone who is an iPhone user but saw the specs on paper of the latest Android phone, switched, but then they came back because the experience just wasn’t as smooth? That seems to us how many Bovada players feel when they are tempted elsewhere. Android has a lot of impressive features… that most iPhone users aren’t going attempt to use and iPhones just work. Bovada just works. It’s not made from different platforms and third-party plugins. It’s built from the ground up by Bovada with the same goal in mind, to entertain and offer the best service. We have talked about the bonus and how easy it is to cash out. Unless you’re a whale who doesn’t need a free $500-$1000, the bonuses are a big enough perk that makes it worth it to find out if Bovada is a good fit for you.