Through all of the legal skirmishes between online gambling operators and the United States Government, one online casino has stood up for American players – Bovada Casino. Bovada continues to accept U.S. casino players, and sports bettors, as well. It dropped its poker site and surrendered its license in the legal entanglements, but Bovada Casino has been confident enough to withstand the ambiguities of U.S. laws to continue serving players, and in a way that has benefitted everyone. There’s no disputing this: Bovada has fun games, great payout returns, and a solid reputation. Plus, it’s a Bitcoin casino, which adds a lot to its attraction.
Bovada is a casino and sportsbook that was established as an offshoot of Bodog, which ended its service to U.S. bettors in 2011. People willingly accepted the conversion, and Bovada today boasts more than 3 million visitors a day. While most U.S. players are welcome, Delaware, Maryland, New York, New Jersey and Nevada residents are prohibited.
Bovada Casino Bonuses and Rewards
Bovada uses a bonus codes system in their bonus and rewards programs to help separate their offerings in various categories of their casino, sportsbook and racebook. This means that each bonus offer comes with a code you have to enter to initiate your bonus. They’re easy to find in their main menu; for casino players, look under Casino and Promotions.
The first bonus you’ll notice is the Casino Welcome Bonus, which entitles newcomers to up to $3,000 in matching bonus money for joining. Your first deposit is matched 100 percent for up to $1,000, and you can redeem a similar deposit match twice more. Naturally, this bonus money comes with restrictions, in order to keep players from collecting the bonus money and immediately withdrawing it. Bovada Casino’s requirements stipulate a 25x rollover rate before qualifying for a withdrawal. For instance, if you deposit $50, they award you another $50, but you must wager a total of $1,250 (25 x 50 = 1,250), in order to withdraw the deposit, bonus amount or any winnings.
Also keep in mind that some games count more than other in accruing credit toward meeting the requirements. Slots and specialty games such as keno and scratchcards, count 100 percent, dollar-for-dollar; blackjack and video poker only count 60 percent; and craps does not count toward the requirements at all. You can see that they want you to play enough to earn that bonus money, and they want you to play games that offer smaller return rates. Bovada has a Wagering Contribution Chart that tells you the games that count more. On the plus side, you get six months to complete the requirements.
When we visited the site, Bovada Casino was promoting their Bitcoin payment system with a matching bonus of up to the bitcoin equivalent of $5,000, with similar playthrough requirements.
There are a number of other periodic bonus offers at Bovada Casino. They have Blackjack Weekends in which players of that game can collect $10 in bonus money for each 200 of their casino points a player earns between Friday and Sunday. It comes with a 20x rollover rate, and you can earn up to $100 in bonuses on a weekend. For mobile casino players, Bovada has a weeklong bonus offer of up to $250, with a 20x playthrough rate attached. And you can collect a bonus for referring a friend to the casino. All of those deals and more are spelled out under the Promotions section in the Casino menu.
The Bovada Casino rewards program, called Casino Benefits, allows you to earn points towards cash. It is also structured to reward players of certain games more. You get 3 points for each $10 you bet playing slots, 2 points for $10 in bets at table games, etc. Each 100 points you earn is worth $1, and you have to earn at least 500 points to start redeeming them. They also have a bonus code plan that allows players to turn the redeemed cash into extra bonus money, which would also carry restrictions. You can find the details from the main menu under Promotions and Casino Benefits.
There is also a VIP program called the Red Room, which gives players even more special perks, but the Red Room section in the menu doesn’t make it clear what is required to qualify.
Games and Software at Bovada Casino
They have about 250 games at Bovada, and are adding new ones all the time. Betsoft, Realtime Gaming and Rival provide the software for these bright, entertaining and compelling games. You can download the games through your browser and try them out for free if you wish. The casino advises players to have an updated browser to get the most speed and enjoyment out of the games.
Their more than 200 slots games include popular jackpots such as Caesar’s Empire, Aztecs Treasure, Dragons, Cleopatra’s Gold, and 7’s and Stripes. Other favorites like As the Reels Turn, Coins of Olympus, Fast Lane and Heavyweight Gold are also on board. There are enough table games in Bovada Casino keep classic casino players occupied, with seven blackjack games, along with versions roulette, craps and baccarat. They have single- and double-deck blackjack options, and you can find a multi-hand blackjack game. Look for dozens of video poker and specialty games, too. They have the classic deuces wild and jacks or better video pokers, along with bingo, keno and scratchcards.
Bovada Casino’s payout returns are rated at better than normal, with some slots games at above a 97 percent payout rate, and their blackjack and video poker at better than 99 percent with proper strategy.
Bovada Casino for mobile device
More than 100 of Bovada’s games are easily accessible with your smartphone or tablet. They support Android, iPad, iPhone, Kindle, Blackberry and Windows platforms. You can get lots of slots, video poker, baccarat, jackpot games, roulette, scratchcards, and blackjack, as well. Of course, the bigger the screen, the better, so if you like gambling on a mobile device, you should try the free game mode to try them out. They did not promote an apps option.
Deposit and withdrawal options include Bitcoin
Bovada Casino accepts Bitcoin. That’s right, in addition to Visa and MasterCard, and some Visa gift card payment options, they offer the digital currency Bitcoin, which has more and more become the payment system of choice for casino players. If you don’t have Bitcoin, it is something worth looking into, because of the extra speed of transactions, privacy and security features, and the lack of fees.
The deposit provisions for these forms of payment are different at Bovada Casino, too. For Visa and MasterCard, the minimum deposit is $20 and the maximum, $1,000; with Bitcoin, the minimum is the equivalent of $20, and the maximum is $5,000. There are no fees for an initial deposit with Visa and MasterCard, but Visa carries a 4.9 percent fee on subsequent deposits, and a 6.9 percent is tacked on with subsequent MasterCard deposits. Bitcoin deposits have no fees at all.
Bovada Casino allows withdrawals with Bitcoin, and you can order a check by courier. You can also withdraw amounts of over $1,500 by bank transfer. You are allowed one fee-free withdrawal per month, but more than one a month will cost $50 extra. The minimum withdrawal for Bitcoin is $20 and the maximum is $9,500, while the check withdrawal minimum-maximum is $50 and $3,000.
Bitcoin withdrawals take only minutes, while check withdrawals require 48 hours to process and then 10 to 15 days before the check reaches you. Be prepared to go through an identification verification for withdrawals, especially those involving large amounts. You can check all of that through Bovada’s Forms & Agreements section, found at the bottom of the main page.
Bovada Security and Support
Bovada Casino employs Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to ensure that transactions and personal information are kept secure. They have a Help section with FAQs about their security measures. There you can also receive various personal security tips. If the payout return ratings are any indication, Bovada’s games are easily as fair as any online casino site.
The customer support at Bovada offers email, chat and a toll-free telephone number (1-888-263-0000). Various forums indicate a solid support service.
They have a Casino/Guide section that is a pretty handy tool. It includes all sorts of tips on game play and strategy.
If you are from the U.S. and like both casino and sports betting, Bovada is a great one-stop destination. The site has plenty of good bonus offers in their comprehensive sportsbook, and they have a racebook that covers 94 major horse racing tracks worldwide. The casino has a strong selection of games with payout percentages that are about the best you can find. And their Bitcoin deposit/withdrawal system gives them a leg up on many other online casinos, as payment processing for gambling sites has become difficult in the United States.