Reason I like Bovada #5:

Simple Bonuses

Many online casinos give you a big matching bonus when you sign up and make a deposit.  For example, deposit $100, get a $100 match bonus, so you have $200 to play with.  They also give smaller bonuses for subsequent deposits.

Of course there's a catch.  You can't just deposit $100 and then cash out for $200.  You have to do a lot of betting before cashing out the bonus.  Playthrough requirements vary from casino to casino (and bonus to bonus), so check the rules.

Here's what I like about Bovada's bonuses vs. the other guys'.

  1. Most games count.  At many casinos, play on the most popular games doesn't count towards the wagering requirement.  Sometimes the only thing that counts is slots.  At Bovada, everything counts except craps and live dealer games, though with anything but slots the playthrough requirement is higher (and clearly spelled out in the terms).
  2. The terms are right up front.  You don't have to hunt for them, the summary is right there on the bonus page, with a link to the nicely-formatted complete rules.

What I don't like:  Like many casinos, Bovada can cancel your bonus if it looks like you were trying to just meet the play-through and then cash out, or if you strategize your play to maximize the bonus potential.  (See the terms for examples.)  This could hurt players who weren't trying to game the system if their play looks suspicious.  I haven't heard of any such cases but it's possible.  My advice: If you accept a bonus, play normally, as though the bonus wasn't really there.

See Bovada's current Welcome Bonus

Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

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Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Las Vegas Casinos Hall of Shame

Last update:  September, 2020.

Fremont Casino: Manhandling and detaining an innocent customer

According to the complaint by the Gaming Board, here's what happened:  A woman playing slots at Fremont (let's call her Karen) left her machine and another woman (Angel) sat down to play.  Karen told security that she had accidentally left $202 in credits on her machine and that Angel was playing them.  So, security goes up to Angel, grabs her by the neck, handcuffs her, and hauls her into the back room.  She professes her innocence for 90 minutes while security staff alternately ignore and berate her.  Security won't let her go until they extort $202 from her, which is then given to Karen.  Later, security footage shows Karen cashing a $202 slot ticket she had in her pocket.  The record in the slot machine showed that Karen had indeed  cashed her machine out.  As a result of this screwup, Fremont was hit with a $300,000 fine.

I can easily believe this.  I've been to every casino on the strip and downtown, and I've never encountered ruder staff than at Fremont.

Is it fair for me to blame the casino itself for the actions of some rogue employees?  It is when the casino refuses to own up to its mistakes.  Then it's not just the security staff which is culpable, it's Fremont itself.  If Fremont had admitted its error and made a public apology (especially with an explanation about how they're going to avoid making the same mistakes again), they could have avoided getting into the Hall of Shame.  But they didn't, so here they are.

Before adding Fremont to the Hall of Shame, I wrote to them asking for a statement, but they ignored me.  Typical.  (Sources: Fox 5, Sept. 29, 2020

The Sahara hotel & casino, run by dickheads.
Photo credit: Sahara press release

Sahara Casino:  Suing a local blogger

The Sahara Casino becomes the inaugural member of our Hall of Shame for baselessly suing a beloved local blogger.  Scott Roeben runs the popular, funny, and fantastic blog "Vital Vegas", in which he gives you the scoop on what's happening in Vegas as only a true insider can.  But when Roeben published a rumor that the Sahara might be closing soon, the dickheads at the Sahara actually, literally sued him.

The Sahara can't win their lawsuit, and they know it.  They can't win because it's not libel to publish a rumor that you identify as a rumor.  But even though Roeben will prevail, he's still gonna incur big legal costs to do so.  Sahara sued him for a relatively small amount ($15,000), probably figuring that he'd have to pay more than that to lawyers to defend the suit, so he would just settle.  Too bad for them, because Roeben says he's not backing down, a move we applaud.

We should note that Roeben's batting average is excellent.  If he publishes a rumor, that means there's a basis for it and/or the source is solid, and more often than not the rumor proves to be true.

This lawsuit hits close to home for me.  After all, like Roeben, I publish a website that shares info about Vegas and which is free to readers.  Frivolous lawsuits could make it impossible for me to do that.  So, if you enjoy reading websites like Easy Vegas and Vital Vegas, for free, then please think twice before you stay at the Sahara or spend any money there.Aug. 18, 2020

Excerpts from the Vital Vegas article (before it was removed), emphasis ours:  “This startling rumor is unconfirmed...The rumor of a potential closure is all the more shocking...Again, Sahara's closure has not been announced or confirmed...Sahara has become one of our favorite casinos in Las Vegas...We have been rooting for Sahara.”

Update, 10/20/20:  As predicted, Roeben won, Sahara lost.

Practice gambling with play money

Before you throw down your hard-earned cash in a casino, PRACTICE FIRST!  Learn the games with play money where it doesn't cost you anything if you lose.  Seriously.

I like Bovada's practice games the best, because you can play right away without registering for an account.  Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games — ugh.  That's why Bovada is the only online casino that gets space on my site.  I hope other casinos will eventually start treating their visitors like human beings rather than walking wallets, but until they do, there's Bovada.  One click and you're in.

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