Those who are on the search for safe options when it comes to an American online casino often look for evidence that a platform has been around for awhile. This is exactly what Bovada offers. With a history dating back to 1995, Bovada has been one of the most stable names in online gambling history and isn't disappearing anytime soon. Even in the wake of Black Friday, which disrupted online gambling communities in the United States permanently, Bovada thrived through the event and didn't experience any critical events as a result of the government's intervention. So, what do you need to know about this platform?
Bovada isn't just a typical American online casino per se. One of the first things that really hit me about it was the fact that it's actually a network of gambling activities wrapped under one pretty bow. Bovada offers sportsbooking, casino games, and the increasingly rare online poker within its network of games to play. This was after years of growth of course and it started from rather humble beginnings dating all the way back to the early 1990s when the Internet as a whole was just starting to take off for home users.
The platform itself is based in Nevada, which shouldn't come to a surprise to American casino players as it's such a gambling-friendly state. It is currently licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which operates under the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act. Its actual providers, the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group, aren't strangers to the gaming scene either with several successful ventures to their name. Bovada also includes a rarity in the American online casino scene, too: independent testing under the Technical Systems Testing framework that both establishes and certifies that the casino is one that's committed to fairness and reasonable odds. I wasn't able to find out those odds though.
Bovada is also committed to ethically responsible gaming, too. This is quite common within the largest names in the online gaming scene and provides players with advice on where to find help with gambling issues money management, and completely restricts the platform to those who they find out are gambling underage. I personally tried out their restriction software at the end of my run with the platform and found it to be effective. After declaring a gambling problem and installing a simple code, I wasn't able to load Bovada's platform any longer – I was just met with an error message and the application exited itself.
The crowning achievement for any American online casino is to have a catalogue of over 100 games. Bovada more than doubles this with over 200 games on offer. I had a good run through the excellent mixture of slot machines and table games on offer, but slots and blackjack seem to be the casino's main focus.
As I expected, the slot machines on offer included everything from the traditional 777 slot machines through to modern five reel machines. There's definitely a leaning towards the more modern machines and this makes sense. After all, they're big money makers for the house. However, there's a good offering of community bonuses on offer whereby I was able to play a machine for a little while and be rewarded with a random prize, which was a free spin, just because I was playing the game for so long. It's actually fun to note that I didn't realize this sort of thing existed. It just kind of crept up on me: I was having too much fun otherwise.
Blackjack is another clear leader for its game library with both single and double deck games being made available. The house edge is next to nothing in comparison to other Vegas casinos, too, with an advertised 0.19. If you're looking to hit a jackpot around the blackjack tables, then this would very likely to be the platform to consider given the very strong odds against the industry norm.
Another thing I found myself particularly drawn to was Bovada Poker: a sister platform that offers Texas Hold'em as its primary offer. In the wake of Black Friday, this is the sort of dedicated service that online poker players might want to consider within an American online casino. Like their main casino platform, the Poker application was well-built and offered a seamless visual experience that didn't tax my computer in any way. I'd even go as far as to say it would likely work on older systems as well thanks to the availability of a mobile edition built closely on the code found in the PC software platform.
In addition to the standard withdrawal options including bank wires and credit card deposits, Bovada has found ways to speed up the whole withdrawal process that American online casino players often complain about. I was able to have a Western Union withdrawal of my initial deposit within two days, but Americans can also request a Moneygram transfer. For large withdrawals over $100, it's also possible to have a check sent by Fed Ex within seven business days - something that's quite unique to Bovada and I haven't come across elsewhere. The deposit options are also similar to what you'd find elsewhere and I made a credit card deposit instantly to get myself going.
Like other online casinos, Bovada offers a wealth of sign up and deposit bonuses, and even offers a loyalty program to those who stick with the platform for quite awhile. Their slot machines are the key winner in this regard because a 100% first time deposit bonus up to $500 exists, where players will be given slot tokens and be required to play through 25 times the deposit amount in order to receive the deposit as their own money (compared to 40 times for any other game). I still found these figures pretty low in comparison to what's normally out there, so it's certainly worth considering if you're after making a deposit bonus your own.
The loyalty program was also pretty interesting to me. Players are automatically enrolled into it when they start and I found myself earning VIP points every time I bet just over $3. Players become VIPs when they have over 100 points and this entitles them to join the "Red Room" on Bovada: a separate, unlockable service within the software that will allow players to receive more bonuses and invitations to platform-sponsored tournaments. While I didn't stick around long enough to become a VIP, the presence of the Red Room is nonetheless there and frequently hyped up.
For blackjack players and slot jockeys, Bovada is a very hard platform to beat. It's definitely up there with the leading names in American online casinos simply because of their careful consideration of their needs. Players don't have to wait around for deposits, withdrawals, and can simply get on with their favourite gaming experiences knowing that their bankrolls are safe. Certainly worth considering!
Author: Steve Mitchell