Betting markets: NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, UFC, NASCAR, NCAA football, NCAA basketball, horse racing, golf, tennis, boxing, cricket, darts, snooker, rugby, entertainment and soccer (EPL, MLS, La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1, etc)
BOVADA launched in 2011 – a spin-off of the giant online gambling brand — Bodog. Since that time, the brand has grown into one of America’s leading sportsbooks.
Let CupsBetting guide you through the process of joining, earning bonuses, betting, banking and more in this review.
Instant free bet bonus for new bettors
When you complete your first deposit into your new Bovada account you’ll receive an instant free bet bonus.
The rules for the free bet are as followed:
- Bovada rewards new bettors with a free bet, which is different than a traditional sign-up bonus.
- Complete your first deposit to receive a free bet worth 50% of your deposit for up to $250 maximum.
- Bettors have to wager through the initial deposit plus free bet amount three times in the sportsbook.
- The free bet can be wagered on any market and at any odds.
- Only winnings from the free bet (not the stake) are returned to your balance bonus.
- Players have 30 days to use the free bet before it expires.
- Let’s say you deposit $500 to receive the entire free bet of $250. You’ll now have to meet the rollover requirement, which in this case is 3X the initial deposit and bonus ($500 + $250 * 3 = $2250), before you’ll be able to process a withdrawal.
You can use the free bet to wager on anything. Keep in mind; if the free bet wins you only keep the winnings and not the stake. Win or lose the free bet – the rollover has to be met or else the free bet will be deducted from your balance when withdrawing.
Betting markets and interface – How to bet at Bovada
Bovada was developed with the casual bettor in mind and it shows in the UI. The first step is to open a new account by clicking the small green “Join Now” button in the top right corner of the website. Make sure you provide correct information on the join form.
When you select your country of residence and state the form will notify you whether or not you can register. I like this feature, as Bovada doesn’t make potential bettors waste time filling out a registration form to find out they’re unable to join.
Like most online sportsbooks – Bovada is designed with 3-columns. The left sidebar allows you to choose the sport and league you want to bet on. The right sidebar features an intuitive bet slip and the middle column lists the betting lines and markets.
All wagers are placed using the bet slip. The types of wagers allowed at Bovada are single (straight) bets, parlay (multi-bets), if bets, reverse bets, round robin and teasers. Simply add your selection/s to the slip, select the bet type, plus wager amount and confirm.
Bovada is a US sportsbook and therefore the betting markets are focused around North American sports, such as football (NFL, CFB, CFL and Arena), baseball (MLB), basketball (NBA and CBB), ice hockey (NHL and AHL), UFC, NASCAR and US horse racing.
The Kentucky Derby, Belmont Stakes, Preakness Stakes and Breeders’ Cup are all popular horse racing events to bet on at Bovada.
That doesn’t mean there aren’t other markets. Bovada provides hundreds of soccer betting markets from competitions around the world. Major international sports, including tennis, golf, cricket, rugby, AFL and motor sports, can all be bet on at Bovada too.
Bovada caters to recreational bettors in the USA and will limit sharp handicappers. The vig is standard ($0.20) on most markets.
The vig varies depending upon the market though. For example, European basketball point spreads and over/under markets have a $0.30 line (-115/-115). Many of the prop and futures markets will also have slightly higher vig than the standard ($0.20).
Betting limits start at $250 maximum for small markets, such as NASCAR head-to-head and horse racing futures. The maximum bet is $2,000 and available for bigger markets, such as UFC money lines and NFL/NCAAF point spreads.
A complete list of the betting limits for each sport and market is available on the Bovada.lv website.
Mobile and live betting
Mobile betting in the US market hasn’t taken off like it has in other jurisdictions. However, Bovada is mobile-friendly. The sportsbook has a mobile-optimized web-app that can be accessed on iPhone, iPad, Android or Blackberry devices.
Accessing the app is free, requires no download and is available on the majority of browser-enabled smart phones or tablets. Follow the instructions below to start betting at Bovada on your mobile device.
Visit Bovada.lv on your iPhone, iPad or Android to be redirected to an optimized version of the website. If you are on a Blackberry or other browser-enabled smart phone or tablet you can access the website by following the same link, with the sportsbook detecting what device you are on.
The website allows new bettors to open an account and existing players can access the banking features. Deposits and payouts can be processed directly from your mobile device. Live betting – the next feature we’re going to look at – can be accessed on the app.
I’m not a huge fan of the live betting UI, but there’s no denying the range of markets is excellent. The majority of the sports listed earlier in this review can be bet in-play. The UI features live scores, but a big improvement would be increased statistical coverage.
Bovada deposits and payouts
The banking at Bovada couldn’t be easier to explain, as there are only two deposit and two payout methods available.
Visa card (credit, debit, gift) – Minimum $20 / Maximum $500 – Fee: 4.9%
Rapid transfer: Minimum $100 / Maximum $800 – Fee: $12 to $20
Visa card deposits are the easiest method to fund your Bovada account. Your card has to be eligible for international purchases or your deposit will be declined. NetSpend is a great prepaid Visa debit card that has worked for a lot of bettors.
Rapid transfer is a great alternative, especially if you have a retail outlet near where you live. If you fund your account using a credit card you have to complete the “Credit Card Verification Form” before you can request a withdrawal.
Check by courier – Minimum $20 / Maximum $3,000 – Fee: $50 (1 free check per month)
Rapid Transfer – Minimum $100 / Maximum $750 – Fee: $20 to $60
One of the main reasons why Bovada is so popular in the USA is because they process payouts quicker than competitors. Checks take 4-7 days plus the time it takes to ship to your location, while Rapid Transfer payouts only take 24 hours, albeit with a steep fee.
Contact the Bovada customer support team
Bovada has no live chat support, which in today’s industry isn’t ideal. Support is available through email and telephone though.
Email – Fill out the contact form on the Bovada website (Reply time – 1 to 4 hours).
Email – Contact Service@Bovada.lv for questions regarding your account or recent play.
Telephone – Call 1-888-263-0000 for general support.
Is Bovada a licensed sportsbook?
Meadway Leisure Limited (“Meadway”) operates Bovada.lv in the United States and various US territories, although bettors in some states are restricted from joining the Bovada Sportsbook.
Restricted US states: Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey and New York
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Kahnawake, Quebec, Canada, has licensed the sportsbook.
What does that mean? To be honest, the license doesn’t mean too much.
Online sportsbooks aren’t licensed or regulated in the USA yet. Americans don’t have recourse when a bookie doesn’t pay them, which is why it’s so important for bettors to do their research and join a brand that’s reputable.
Bovada checks those boxes with ease. Sign-up to Bovada and start betting on sports within minutes.