Many punters will likely know Bovada as the former Canadian Bodog franchise. In 2011 Bodog split its operations in two, in the process transferring all of its American players to the site we know now as Bovada, while continuing to operate for players from other jurisdictions under the Bodog name. In the time since, the casino has changed a little, adding its own games and others from Betsoft, while still maintaining a sportsbook and poker software client. The question is: Do these moves still make Bovada a premium site to wager at, or does it get lost in the shuffle?
Software and Games
Bovada offers its casino games in both a download and instant play format through its slick and attractive website. The casino’s games are powered a few different developers, such as Real Time Gaming, Betsoft, and the casino’s own in-house software. It must be said that the RTG games are starting to look dated though, as Bodog previously purchased the developer’s source code which granted them RTG’s library at the time of the purchase, but none of the newer RTG games released since that time.
However the real attraction are the non-RTG games. Bovada has a few of its own slot machines that are unique to the site such as El Luchador, Zombies vs Cheerleaders and Ares the Battle for Troy, and on the whole they look more polished and modern in comparison. But by far the pick of the 80+ slot games at Bovada are the 3D Betsoft games, which really do provide a fun experience for the player. Animations in these games are generally smooth and full of character and create a great playing atmosphere that is head and shoulders above the other games offered. Take a look at the little Alien who mans the spaceship console in Arrival, or the randy tribal chief in Aztec Treasures for example.
Players looking to win it big will be happy to find that Bovada is offering 51 progressive games with varying jackpots. The largest as of the writing of this review is Mid-Life Crisis, which boasts a jackpot of more than $1.5 million.
Games offered on the table side include Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and various forms of table poker. These are mostly similar to the table games offered at RTG casinos, so should be instantly familiar to anyone who has played at one of those. The games play smooth enough, but it is fair to say that they are more utilitarian than flashy, lacking the pop factor that we have become accustomed to seeing at other casinos.
As a short aside, we were quite happy with Bovada’s poker client. The software offers a great variety of games to play, and the popular software boasts more than 1000 cash players at a time on average.
Banking and Customer Service
Banking options at Bovada are limited for the casino’s American-only clientele, with the casino currently only accepting Visa, MoneyGram, or Western Union for deposits. As is usual for Americans, withdrawals are also limited, with the casino paying out via Checks, MoneyGram, or Western Union.
In terms of withdrawal timeframes, our experience has shown that you can expect to wait around 2 weeks to receive a payment from Bovada, irrespective of the method that you choose. You can be confident that you will be paid as Bovada has an established reputation for always paying winners, but such is the difficulty in transacting with Americans these days that you should not expect the process to be quick.
Customer service is available 24/7 though the site’s telephone or email system. We were a bit disappointed to see that there was no instant messaging option, although we did get responses within a 24 hour timeframe by using the email option, and the phone support is handy if you have an urgent need to speak to someone.
Overall Bovada is a decent casino option for American players, and the addition of the fresh new Betsoft games has injected a bit of life into what was at one point looking like a tired old library of games. If we were to nominate one thing that would take this casino to the next level it would be an improvement in their withdrawal processing speed.