Reason I like Bovada #3:

One-stop shopping

Let me share my experience at another online casino whose name I won't mention:  I wanted to try out their free-play games, and they made me sign up for an account.  That was annoying, just for free-play, but actually most casinos make you register, so they can annoy you by email to pressure you into depositing real money.

I didn't get to choose my own username, they assigned one, and it was long! An astounding twelve digits of mixed numbers and letters.  There was no way I'd be able to memorize it, I'd have to write it down.

After trying out the free-play games I decided to deposit money and play for real.  And guess what? I had to register a separate account to play for real.  They assigned me a brand-new twelve-digit username.  Great.

Shortly thereafter they started offering play-in-browser games.  That's convenient, so I wanted to get in on that.  Guess what?  Yet another username.

And guess how they handle they money they give you as a matching bonus on your deposit?  You guessed it, another account.

Okay, now let's fast-forward to Bovada: One account gets you everything.  And I mean everything.  Real money, fake money, bonuses, you name it.  I didn't get to choose my account name, but at least it's easy to remember.

And if you want to play for free with fake money, you don't even need an account at all.  For example:

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One click and you're in.

All in all, I think Bovada is the best bet for U.S. players.


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.

10 reasons to not hire a prostitute in Las Vegas

Last update:  September, 2020.

  1. Prostitution is ILLEGAL in Las Vegas.  Many people mistakenly believe that prostitution is legal in Las Vegas because they've heard it's legal in Nevada, and because there's advertising for it everywhere.  Well, it's legal in Nevada if the county opts-in, and Clark County has not opted-in, so prostitution remains firmly against the law in Clark County, where Las Vegas is.  As for the ads, it's not illegal to advertise "Girls to Your Room", because there's nothing illegal about a woman coming to your room.  It's what you negotiate to do after she arrives that's illegal.
  2. Local police engage in undercover stings.  The woman who approaches you in the casino or on the street and offers services, or whom you find on craigslist, could very well be an undercover cop. (e.g.: 1, 2, 3)  Police tell me they arrested 224 "johns" in 2019.
  3. If you're arrested and convicted, that will be on your record forever.  Good luck explaining that to your wife, potential employers, and landlords.
  4. Some STDs last forever, like herpes and HIV/AIDS.
  5. Theft from customers by prostitutes is extremely common.  The prostitutes almost always get away with it because the victim can't easily report the crime to the police, because he'd have to admit that he hired a prostitute illegally.  In one case, a victim got robbed for $90,000.  In another, the victim got shot at by the prostitute as he tried to flee towards Treasure Island.  If she steals from you, what are you going to do, call the police and tell them that you illegally hired a prostitute?  She knows you can't go to the cops, and that makes theft extremely common.  (Other cases: 1, 2, 3, 4)
  6. Some workers or massage parlors take your money with no intention of providing services.  (Las Vegas Sun 1, 2, 3)
  7. Expect exorbitant rates.  When you call a "Girls to Your Room" ad, the agency will charge $150 to $250 as basically a delivery fee, with absolutely no services included, despite what they might tell you.  When the worker shows up, you're supposed to negotiate a price with her for services, which typically start at $500.
  8. The service will almost certainly be disappointing.  Prostitutes don't depend on repeat business and you can't leave a bad review for them on Yelp, so they have absolutely no incentive to make sure you're a satisfied customer.  Let that sink in for a minute.  Expect her to be disinterested at best and surly at worst.  (Actually, at worst would be to trick-roll you, stealing your money or other stuff.)  Expect her to be as rushed as possible, and to leave as quickly as possible.
  9. Violence is common.  A Vegas escort owner admitted on camera that most workers have pimps, and most of the workers are beaten by them.  (Natl. Geographic: Sex For Sale—American Escort).  The documentary also noted that 2/3 of former sex workers suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  10. Slavery is common.  Estimates are that around 60% of prostitutes are essentially slaves, with threats of being beaten or murdered by their pimps if they leave.  Pimps often make good on those threats.  In massage parlors, women trafficked from other countries (especially in Asia) are often forced to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Pimps confiscate their passports and effectively imprison them on site.  (More:  Polaris, Dressember, PV Times, NPR)
  11. Child trafficking is common.  Local police identified 103 child prostitutes, most 15-17 years old, in one recent year.

The ads you see for “girls to your room”

"Girls to your room" are advertised on trucks that drive up and down the strip, and on photo cards handed out by the "porn slappers".  Here are some notes about them.

  1. The models in the pictures are not the ones who show up.  It's just advertising.  You have no idea what the person showing up will look actually look like.  If you make a specific request, the operator will agree, but then if that kind of person isn't available, they'll send whoever is available, which you won't find out about until the SW (service worker) arrives at your door.  She'll almost certainly be older than the 18-22 range you see in the ads.
  2. The prices on the cards bear no resemblance to how much you actually pay.  Regardless of what the card says, or what the operator says, you'll pay what's basically a delivery fee ($150 to $250) to the company answering the phone.  That gets the SW to your door, with absolutely no services included, despite what the operator might promise.  The SW doesn't get any part of that fee.  When the SW shows up, you're supposed to negotiate with the SW for services.  Prices typically start at around $500.  Don't expect "full service" for that price.

    I called one of the numbers for this article and asked about the "$79 special", wondering what one could possibly get for $79?  The answer was that that means "$79 off the regular price".  And since regular prices are never posted, and since Nevada doesn't have laws regarding sale prices, you can be sure that everyone pays the same delivery fee (unless you're successful at negotiating; I didn't try it, it might be a thing).
  3. The ads are legal because they don't specifically advertise sex for money.  The ads only promise "girls to your room".  It's not illegal for you to hire someone to come to your room.  The services you may negotiate once she gets there are a different story.

My own experiences

The "girl to [my] door" from the card ad

To test the system without engaging in naughty business, I called a few numbers on the cards, and paid the delivery for an escort to meet me and friend at the Stratosphere to accompany us gambling for a couple hours.  Because it was loud where we met (right next to the lounge band), we had to lean close to hear each other, and she reeked of cigarette smoke and had horrible breath.  We agreed to a two-hour meeting.  After almost an hour we asked if she'd come to lunch with us at the Indian place nearby, and she agreed but said that safety protocols forbid her from getting into someone's car, which is reasonable.  So we gave her the address, she said she'd meet us soon, and of course she never showed up.  I called the agency and they said they'd get back to me but never did.

Holding hands on the strip

Once I heard some working girls talking outside the Riveria, so I offered one of them $20 to hold hands and walk for a few blocks.  She agreed, but after maybe five minutes she said she had to use the bathroom, so we went into a casino, she entered the bathroom, and then never came out.  (Well, she came out like 15-20 minutes later and told me to get lost.)

Street walker behind the Stratosphere

Another time in 2005 I was staying at Stratosphere, I took my bicycle wheel to the 7-11 behind the hotel to air up the flat tire I'd patched.  There was an unclean, visibly pregnant young woman standing next to air machine, trying to flag down cars.  While I aired up my tire we chatted, and she told me she was homeless, which was easy to believe because she certainly looked it.  I went inside and bought her a burrito and some bananas, and when I came back out and gave it to her she started crying, saying, "Nobody's ever done anything for me before!"

Wanting to do something more for her, without getting too involved, I told her, "Look, I've got a room right here, you can come and get a hot shower if you want, maybe wash your clothes in the tub."  She said no, because she needed to try to score a date, because she and a friend were trying to pool their money to get a motel room for the night.  She asked, "Are you sure you don't want a date?  It's only $20."  And she started crying again.  I had no intention of doing anything naughty with her, but I could afford $20, [$27 in 2020 dollars] and her uncleanliness troubled me to the point that I was really desperate to get her into a shower.  So I said, "Okay, let's go," and I gave her the $20.

When we got to the room she sat on the bed said, "Okay, so what do you want to do?"  I replied, "Well, I'd like to fix my bicycle."  She started laughing.  I realized that while I didn't plan to use her services, I hadn't told her that.  I suggested she use the shower but she declined.  I continued to suggest the shower as I worked on my bike and she continued to decline.  In a few minutes she was passed out cold; she'd probably been running on a serious lack of sleep.

I wanted to take a picture of this weird experience I was having, but was divided about whether it was okay to take a picture of someone sleeping without her consent.  I decided to take it.  The question now as I'm writing this article is, is it okay to publish it?  After waiting for fifteen years, I've decided that it's okay as long as I obscure her face, so here it is.  You can see her clutching the empty burrito wrapper in one hand and the $20 bill in the other.

Homeless, pregnant prostitute


After about an hour and a half, I needed to go to my conference, but she was still passed out.  I tried to wake her by voice but she didn't respond at all.  I shook her gently but still no response.  I raised my voice and shook a little more aggressively but it had no effect.  I would have thought she was dead except I could hear her breathing.  So I shook her pretty forcefully and with a pretty loud voice but she growled so aggressively I was kind of scared.  Like I said, she was probably running on a serious lack of sleep, and her body was determined to get some.

I didn't know what to do.  I couldn't leave her there, because she might wake up and trash the room or steal things (or invite her friends to do the same) and then I'd be responsible.  I contemplated calling Security, but I was worried they'd be rough with her when they dragged her out.  I also didn't want to make them responsible for something that was my fault.  Out of options, I called my local friend the Wizard of Odds and told him my predicament.  He kind of chastised me for getting myself into that mess but didn't really have any options.

I decided to wait as long as I could without being late for the conference, so I had another 30 minutes.  After that time I resolved to just drag her out of the room if I had to, but the way she'd growled at me when I tried to wake her earlier, I expected I might suffer some scratches at least.  When the 30 minutes elapsed I was actually able to rouse her with some difficulty.  I gave her a clean shirt and the remainder of my box of generic Cheerios™.  We went to the elevator, and inside she was greedily stuffing the Cheerios into her mouth with her dirty hand (she'd never set foot in the bathroom), while a woman tourist looked on with whorror.

I hope her situation improved, though it seems unlikely.  As bad as her life was, her child's might have been destined to be even worse.


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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