Best thing about Bovada:

Play for free
with no hassles

Most online casinos insult you with popups and spam, and they give you the hard sell even if you just want to try their free-play games.  Fortunately there's Bovada, which is the opposite.  That's the primary reason they're the only online casino I accept advertising from.

  • No registration required.  Most casinos let you play for free with fake money, but there's a catch: They make you register an account first.   That's not just a hassle: after you register you can expect them to badger you by email trying to get you to deposit real money.  But Bovada lets you play right away without forcing you to register an account.  Just close any registration boxes that appear, and then you can play without registering.  Here, try it.
  • Plays right in your browser.  If you'd rather not download the casino software to your hard disk, you don't have to.  The games play right in your web browser.  Nice.
  • Works on Macs.  The play-in-browser games are MacOS compatible!  Before Bovada, Mac users were pretty much out of luck for gambling online, even for free-play.  Not any more.

Bovada's not perfect, but there's no better site serving most of the U.S.

Visit Bovada

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.

Casinos should be reformed to stop predatory tactics

Last update: June 2021

Casinos don't simply offer the games and hope people play them, they do everything they can to encourage people to play, even with addicted gamblers.  Make that especially with addicted gamblers. (NY Times, The Atlantic)

This shouldn't be surprising.  For as long as we've had modern companies (the industrial revolution), they've tried to exploit workers, screw over customers, and inflict cruelty on animals, in the name of profit.

And casinos prey on the public, including problem gamblers, simply because they can, because there are no laws to the contrary.

There should be.  And that's what it will take, new laws, since casinos won't implement the changes voluntarily.  After all, if the casinos wanted to be doing these things, they already would be.  Unfortunately, nobody's pushing for these kinds of laws.  There are groups opposing opening new casinos (akin to Prohibition), but nobody working on reforming the existing industry.  If I ever have enough time to get a non-profit off the ground maybe I'll start one.  Until then, here are some ideas for laws to make casino gambling less exploitative of the players, and especially of problem gamblers.

Suggested Reforms for Casinos
Problem Suggested Reform
(1) Casinos target problem (addicted) gamblers Casinos must be prohibited from doing so.
(2) Casinos cash paychecks and Social Security checks for customers, and most actually offer incentives for doing so (like free chips, or free entries in a drawing), clearly enabling problem gamblers. Casinos must not cash third-party checks.
(3) Casinos extend credit to customers, especially to customers who run out of money.  Some casinos do this even from the slot machines. Casinos must not loan money to gamblers.
(4) It's easy for players to lose life-changing sums and the casino will never intervene. Land casinos must:
(a) Require all players to sign up for a Player's Card.
(b) Require the card be used for all play (slots and table games)
Note:  The items below are enforceable only if a card is required for play.

All casinos (land + online) must:
(a) Have players set daily, weekly, and monthly loss limits when signing up.
(b) Cut players off when they've reached their limit.
(c) Allow players to self-exclude themselves from further play, letting the player choose either a "cooling-off" period or a permanent exclusion.
(d) Punish the casinos for allowing players to play in violation of the above, not the players.  (Self-exclusion doesn't work well at land casinos because player cards are not required, and when a player plays anyway, it's the player who gets charged, not the casino.)
(5) Players have no idea how hard it is to win a slot jackpot. Casinos must post jackpot odds on every machine, including the number of hours, days, weeks, months, or years of continuous play that it takes to hit the jackpot on average.
(6) Players have no idea what the payback (theoretical return) is on slot machines. Casinos must post the payback on every machine.


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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.

You can play Bovada's games (below) 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 the mean reason Bovada is the only online casino that gets advertising 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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