Since 2007, the gaming web site known as Bodog, including the Bodog Sportsbook, was operated by the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group (MMGG) under license out of Kahnawake, Canada. On December 14, 2011, the brand licensing agreement with the Bodog Brand expired and, as a result, MMGG stopped offering all services using the Bodog name or from the website, bodog.eu.
In Bodog’s place, Bovada Online Gaming has been established at bovada.lv, coming under the jurisdiction of Latvia as only the third gaming site to be licensed in that country. The move was prompted at least in part as a way of continuing to serve U.S. customers from an offshore location. However, the operators have also stated that the “LV” suffix should “remind our players of Las Vegas” just as the “BO” in Bovada should remind them of “Bodog.”
In December, MMGG sent out a notice to its players regarding the move and assuring them that the new web site would offer a "New Name, New Look, Same Great Service." Player accounts remained entirely the same as with Bodog, so no effort was required by existing players to migrate their funds, usernames or passwords. Incorporated within the Bovada site are the same familiar sections for casino games, poker and horse racing along with a sportsbook that features betting opportunities across all major leagues, tournaments and events in North America.
Opening an Account
Opening a new account on Bovada requires filling out a form containing 18 fields, of which 16 are required and two optional. Start by clicking the “Join Now” link on the homepage, and then fill in the blanks on the sign-up page. Required personal information includes country of residence, title, name, address, email address, phone number and date of birth. Create a password and answers to two security questions. Registrants must be at least 18 years of age.
Software & Navigation
Bovada is so similar in format to the old Bodog, from its black and red color scheme to its navigational tools and layout, that it may be difficult o imagine that it really is new site. It is still powered wholly by proprietary software—easy to navigate, quick to load and with a clean appearance. All sports categories organized on the left column within expandable menus that show specific leagues and events. The central pane of the browser window displays specific match-ups, lines and wagering information. The bet slips are easily created in the box that appears on the screen’s upper right.
Limits for major markets can be found in the Sportsbook section of BovadaHELP. The minimum bet for single outcome wagers made online or by phone is $1. For parlays and teasers, it is $50. For Internet wagers on football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey the ceiling is typically $1,000 dollars, depending on the type of wager made. There is no stated maximum bet amount for phone betting, but all bets above the listed Internet maximum are subject to approval by a book manager. The maximum wager payout for the Bovada Sportsbook is $100,000. For horse racing, the maximum win allowed is $50,000.
All of the same sports and horse racing markets, plus the same products and games that were offered on Bodog, are now provided by Bovada. Even the Bovada Poker Room remains on the same network. The focus is still on North American sports, with odds posted on everything from football to basketball and top award shows like the Oscars. Markets are available for political events, too, such as the U.S. Presidential Elections. Other major betting categories covered include golf, cricket, rugby, baseball, hockey, tennis, motor sports, boxing, mixed martial arts and horse racing. A tab for “Live Betting” gives access to a variety of markets for “in running” wagers, too, making it possible to bet on activities as they occur.
Bovada’s betting odds use American moneylines as the default, but fractional and decimal odds are also available. Point spreads, moneylines and totals are available for most in-season sporting events and they can be combined in several wager types. Props and futures are always offered as single wagers. The web site’s Line Posting Schedule presents a complete list of the times/dates when lines are posted. Unless otherwise noted, odds quoted at the time a bet is made and confirmed are the odds that will be used to settle the bet, regardless of any line changes after that time.
New customers at the Bovada Sportsbook receive a 20% Welcome Bonus instantly upon their first deposit of $20 or more, up to $100 in total. Once the initiating deposit has been processed, the bonus is accessible for wagering within half an hour. Additional sign-up bonuses are available on the other sections of the web site, too, including a 100% Welcome Match Bonus up to $500 n the Bovada Casino and a 100% Welcome Bonus up to $1,000 in the Bovada Poker Room.
Promotions & Bonuses
Ongoing promotions at Bovada Sportsbook range from daily entries in a Grand Prize Party Drawing to weekly 5% cash back on horse racing losses. On Mondays and Thursdays, eligible players in the Bovada Casino receive comps based upon their play; rewards are issued directly to the player’s Casino chip balance and have NO rollover requirements. During certain promotional periods, such as around New Year’s, there are additional Cash Back offers worth up to $200 for Blackjack, Slots and Video Poker play.
Bovada Sportsbook is extending the Bodog tradition of employing knowledgeable customer service representatives, trained to satisfy bettors with service available 24/7 via toll-free telephone and email. Answers to frequently asked questions can also be found in the web site’s BovadaHELP section, which features sections for Poker, Casino, Sportsbook, Racebook, Financial and General.
Information secured in Bovada’s databases is protected against outside intrusion through the use of multiple firewalls. Within Bovada Poker, Casino, Sportsbook and Racebook, access to players’ personal information is monitored and restricted to upper-level Bovada staff on a need-to-know basis.
Deposits & Withdrawals
Several deposit methods are offered, including those tailored specifically to the needs of U.S.-based players. The three recommended options are Visa Credit Card, Rapid Transfer (via phone) and MyPayLinQ (eWallet). With the exception of Visa, payouts requested are processed using the same method by which the deposit is made; otherwise check by courier is also available. Minimum and maximum levels for deposit/withdrawal apply to each financial method, starting at $20. All deposits and withdrawals with are processed by Bovada free of charge, although transaction fees may be assessed by the related financial institution.
In most respects, Bovada is no different from its Bodog predecessor. However, a few innovations have bee introduced, such as an instant play casino lobby that allows navigation back to the sportsbook or player account pages without the need to end a game in progress. Mobile betting has also been made available, with no downloads required and free access to in-play betting as well as futures, props and the standard moneyline wagering for most major sports.
For all intents and purposes, Bovada is the "Same Operator. New Name and Look." Access to the old bodog.eu web site is no longer available, and attempts to reach the old URL are automatically routed to bovada.lv. MMGG is hoping that the Bodog clientele will remain loyal. They have worked hard to create a new site that offers everything players had before, plus more.