The 6 Big Questions To Ask Yourself Before Signing Up To Bovada

Today we’ll be taking a look at a fairly recent addition to the online gaming world: a site simply known as Bovada. It’s what we call an all in one site. As anyone who has read a couple of our many other comprehensive betting reviews will know, this simply means that the site has, at the very least, a sports book and a casino section.

Bovada banner

We aim to make our review as frank and as fair as possible. To do so, not only will we be looking at every intricate detail of the site, from customer feedback to site design, but we’ll also look at both the good and the bad of each site element we examine. There is of course the odd occasion where we find a site that is wholly great at something or wholly terrible. But generally speaking, you’ll find that most sites could either use improvement or have some saving graces, no matter to which side of the good/bad pendulum they swing.

The other real sticking point when it comes to staying objective in our reviews is personal taste. While we think we can reasonably say, for example, having a 24-hour live chat service will be seen as a positive by pretty much everyone, something like a site’s looks and personality is a different story. Some people might love the ultra modern looks of Rizk Casino or Manhattan Slots. Others may prefer the more conservative Bet365 or Ladbrokes.

Bovada mobile

So, in order to best tackle this issue, we’ll put forth what we think will likely to be the most positive and negative reactions to the site’s stylistic choices. However, we know that everyone’s different. So with that in mind, we advise you to spend some time checking out the site for yourself before making a decision. And if you really want to find out where the grass is greenest, then it’s always a good idea to check out some of the competition too. If you want more information on a wide variety that’s out there, check out any number of our reviews. These are all available via the toolbar to your right.

With all that said, let’s crack on with the review.

 

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  1. Is the site well designed?

We should mention a few points before we begin with our look at the Bovada site.

You might notice that the more conservatively styled sites tend to be the sportsbooks or all in ones. Most commonly, the betting sites which take more of a risk with their style are casino exclusives.

Bovada sportsbook

There’s a few reasons for this. One is just general design trends. When certain things become popular among certain types of sites, the minimalism of Virgin Casino and Sportsbook or Royal Panda Casino for example, then others see that success and often try to emulate it. But there’s also practical reasons for this.

Due to the complexity of a sportsbook, there’s simply not as much room to play around. This means that a simple design is often needed for practical purposes. We therefore will be more closely analysing and comparing the Bovada site design to sites which are more direct competitors. That is, unless we feel that a broader look would be particularly relevant in this case.

Another difference we acknowledge is the sheer variety of content. Sportsbook or casino exclusives focus on site element only and that’s how they are advertised and presented to their target audience. We therefore don’t think it would be fair, for example, to criticise Rich Casino for not having the amount of content somewhere like Mr Green’s Casino and Sportsbook offers.

Bovada casino

To put it simply, in order to create the best review possible, we :

  • cover a wide range of site elements
  • look at both the good and bad of everything we cover
  • make sure to look at a wide variety of potential opinions and tastes to keep things objective and…
  • closely compare them to the most relevant sites

Bovada’s look and feel

So, in the case of Bovada, where exactly does it land when compared to other all in ones?

Well, it’s a fairly decent looking site with few surprises in store. What we mean by this is everything it does is well executed and it’s reasonably pleasant to look at. However, aside from the main toolbar being to the left rather than to the top of the screen, we think it’s quite unlikely you’ll find much innovation here.

Bovada poker

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Plenty of very successful sites, most of them in fact with regards to sportsbooks, do tend to keep things traditional. Put simply, it works and people like it. With a sportsbook, you have a lot of information to wage through and there are only so many ways logically to craft a site without compromising its structural usefulness.

And, for what it’s worth, Bovada might follow a much loved formula but it does so with a reasonable amount of flair. It’s comparable to excellent sites like Betfair and Betway. That’s not bad company to be in. We think therefore that looked at from this perspective, many customer will be perfectly happy with the stylistic direction of Bovada.

It’s more good news on the technical end of things too. The site responds well, is easy to use and is well laid out.

On the other hand

Bovada horses

Obviously the issue here is a lack of originality. There’s little about Bovada that stands out.

Now, if you’re a William HillCoral or any major established name, this isn’t much of an issue. But Bovada doesn’t have that kind of brand recognition. So if it wants to make a name for itself and not get lost among the hundreds of other betting sites that are out there, then it will need to do so on the quality of its product alone.

While this is not an unsurmountable task, we think that, considering the quality of the competition, it’s a tall order for any betting site.

  1. What exactly is available at Bovada?

As mentioned, this is an all in one site, meaning we’ll have at least a casino and sportsbook to look at. This site also has dedicated sections to horse racing and poker as well though. This is great, as it means customers don’t need to go to PokerStars, Paddy Power of Full Tilt Poker to get their fix.

After all, not all betting sites are made equal.

Bovada sportsbetting

In terms of the sports on offer, the following were on the Bovada site at the time of writing:

  • Football
  • Baseball
  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Golf
  • UFC/MMA
  • Basketball
  • Entertainment
  • Cricket
  • Hockey
  • Politics
  • Motor Sports
  • E-Sports
  • Rugby League
  • Rugby Union
  • Darts
  • Cycling
  • Handball
  • Table Tennis

That’s a rock solid selection of sports there, including the likes of politics, entertainment and E-Sports to keep things fresh. They also have MMA, which has become so popular in the betting world that some sites make it their primary focus, such as Punchbets.

On the casino side of things, there’s plenty of slots, table and video poker games available. There’s far too many to list here but rest assured, if there’s a casino game you’re aching to play, you’re very likely to find it here.

Bovada casino games

Another major selling point is the site’s use of the online currency bitcoin. This currency has become very poplar and widely adopted, which has even led to entire sites based around that concept, including the fantastic BitStarz.

On the other hand

The only real complaint we have about the line up is that it could use a bingo focus. With horse racing and poker getting their own star spots in the site, we feel a Bingo page would finish off their product.

It would also make them better able to compete with the likes of Foxy Casino and BGO We’re aware they’re casino exclusives but that’s no reason to miss out on the large bingo market.

 

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  1. Does Bovada have good customer service?

Bovada contact us

It’s good news here! The Bovada site has 24/7 live chat. This is available alongside options to contact them via an online form with responses via e-mail usually taking place within a few hours. There’s also a toll free telephone number.

On the other hand

There’s nothing much to complain about in terms of options here. They have pretty much everything you could want. Sometimes, there’s just nothing to criticise. Happily, this is one of those times.

  1. What promotions do Bovada have?

There are currently six promotions available on the Bovada site at this time. However, this may change depending on when you read this review.

Nonetheless, we’ll take a look at them to, at the very least, give you a clear idea of what you should be able to expect in terms of variety and quality.

First up, there are four welcome bonuses:

  • $250 Sports Welcome Bonus: 
    Bovada sports welcome bonusThis is a 100% bonus, with a pretty excellent rollover requirement of 5 times and a decent 30 times for casino.
  • $3,000 Casino Welcome Bonus:
    Bovada Casino Welcome BonusThis bonus is split into three 100% bonuses up to $1,000. This comes with a play through requirement of 25 times, which is reasonable.
  • Poker Welcome bonus up to $500:
    Bovada poker welcome bonusThis is earned through poker points: details of which can be viewed through the promotions section on the site.
  • $5,000 Bitcoin Bonus:
    Bovada bitcoin welcome bonusYou can receive a 50% bonus up to $500 and a 150% bonus up to $1,500 with this offer. The latter is redeemable three times. This has the same rollover requirement as the sports welcome bonus (including 30x for casino).

There are other bonuses available as well. These include:

  • Refer a Friend Bonus:
    Bovada Refer a Friend bonusGet a 200% bonus up to $100  when you refer a friend to Bovada. This carries the same rollover requirements as the bitcoin and sports welcome bonus.
  • Treat Yourself Bovada Rewards:
    Bovada rewardsThis is essentially a customer reward scheme. It provides you with points for wagering amounts on various parts of the site, with different points depending on what you bet on. For example, $1 on blackjack will only net you one point, whereas $1 on sports parlays will net you twenty. You can use those points to redeem cash or get a percentage of cash back on losses.

The good thing about their promotions is that most of them offer real value and are simple to understand. If you’re all business when it comes to your promotions, then you’ll be right at home here.

On the other hand

Although seven is by no means a terrible amount for a promotions line up, it’s far from the best you can find online. Worse still is that so many of these promotions are very, very similar. This means that variety is a serious problem here.

Furthermore, there’s also a lack of personality here. This is an issue we’ve already discussed regarding site design. The best promotional pages on the best sites offer good deals with something unique and fun about them to help both a site’s individuality and value. This is not the case here.

  1. Does the site have a good reputation?

Bovada advert

On the plus side, Bovada in general does appear to have good reviews from critics. In fact, we’d go a bit further than that overall, they have extremely high scores based on our research.

On the other hand

The customer responses aren’t quite as forgiving. They are significantly more critical than their professional counterparts.

In the defence of Bovada, we’re not sure how many of these criticisms are recent, as we did find several complaints that we can clearly see are not true at the time of writing. One example being a lack of live chat, which is clearly now not the case. In terms of specific complaints, we simply do not have enough information to comment.

  1. So what’s our verdict on Bovada?

Bovada logo

Bovada is one of those betting sites which does very little wrong but also doesn’t do a huge amount to excite us. It’s a  perfectly fun, functional site with a good selection of sports, among plenty of other things. They boast professional staff and some pragmatic promotions.

However, it does sometimes feel a little lifeless. And while we think you’d have fun here, there’s not too much that makes it stand out from the crowd.

Nonetheless, one thing we do have to take into account is that the site only opened its online doors in December 2011, meaning that it’s still growing. The site has done well with many important aspects and we hope that now it moves towards the future with an eye on giving itself a little injection of personality and fun. 

 

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