The best known sportsbook on the planet, but what’s that worth?
Five years ago, I’d say they were really spreading themselves thin with their record label (Bodog Music) and MMA franchise (Bodog Fight) to the point that their flagship sportsbook started to suffer.Bodog is probably one of the largest and most well known sportsbooks on the planet, thanks in no small part to Calvin Ayre.
Thankfully, they’ve since left all that behind and the sportsbook is on its way back to it’s former glory.. Renamed, rebranded, and reborn as Bovada.
Sportsbook Bonuses and Promos (8/10)
Bovada trades a lot more on its reputation than other books. I guess that’s one reason they don’t kick up the big bonuses to bring in new customers.
Initial Deposit: 10%, up to $50 UPDATE: their current promotion offers 50% up to $250!
Gambler’s Insurance: none
Refer-a-Friend: 20%, up to $100
Casino: none (other than initial deposit bonus)
While their deposit bonuses seem paltry, you only need to rollover your deposit and bonus amounts 1x time to get your money, so that’s a good thing. Never underestimate the value of low rollover requirements. (Note that to get the current 50% promotion, the rollover is 3x. Still very good!)
Customer Service (10/10)
When it comes to customer service, Bovada absolutely shines. I’ve never had a problem getting a hold of an account rep at any hour of the day thanks to their top notch 24/7 customer service. I’ve never had to wait for anybody to answer the phone or been left on hold for more than a minute, and my emails are usually answered within minutes.
Sportsbook Features (9/10)
Bovada covers all the major sports, offering bettors straight bets, parlays, teasers, if bets, futures, and props on pretty much any sport you want to bet on.
While some people say they cater more to new or average bettors, I find their lines to be decent — you can find a good deal if you’re betting early.
Additional Features (10/10)
In additon to the sportsbook, Bovada also has a Racebook, a huge Casino, and the busiest online Poker Room out of all the sportsbooks. Personally, I spend a decent amount in their Poker Room and Casino.
Their Racebook covers primarily North America tracks, so international horse bettors will be out of luck with Bovada. I don’t bet those so this doesn’t matter to me.
Mobile Betting (10/10)
Bovada’s mobile site is the easiest to use out there. Just pull out your iPhone or Android and go to the Bovada site like you would normally, but it’s all formatted so you don’t have to squint and don’t accidentally place a futures bet on the Jaguars to win the Super Bowl. Great for betting on the way to the game, or just when you don’t want to leave your couch.
Bovada doesn’t have a lot of deposit options — credit cards, bank transfers, or the eWallet service. I don’t need a lot of options, as long as my credit card works and I’m happy to report that I’ve never had an issue.
A few years ago, Bodog was plagued by probably what was the worst payout rate in the industry — long delays and lack of payouts really helped to kill their reputation with online gamblers, including yours truly. As Bovada, I have no issues whatsoever.
Fast forward to 2009 and the company did a lot of work to get rid of their slow (or no) pay reputation. In the last 2 years, I haven’t had any issues getting my couriered checks when I’ve requested a payout, and they come quick.
The once mighty Bodog really took a big hit a few years ago, but has done a lot to get back in the online sportsbook game. It looks like a new name with a fresh face signifies their journey back to the upper echelons of online gambling. Welcome back, Bodog… er, Bovada.