Reason I like Bovada #4:

It's fair and safe

As always, the best way to avoid losing money by gambling is to not gamble in the first place.  That goes double online, because online gambling is largely unregulated in the U.S.  That means the casinos serving the whole U.S. don't answer to anyone.  If you have a problem with a casino (like they won't pay you), then you're usually out of luck.  I can't count how many players have written to ask me for help because they didn't get paid by some other casino.  (Not that I helped them, it's not what I do—if a dodgy casino won't pay you then you're on your own.)

So if you're intent on gambling online, then the #1 most important thing is to pick a good casino.  The good ones know they make more money with fair games and consistent payouts than the dodgy casinos, because fair play means repeat customers and good word-of-mouth referrals.  It's no coincidence that the most successful online casinos are the ones that focus on their customers.

Many casinos try to find excuses to not pay winning players, especially players who have won big.  Outright cheating (rigged games) is pretty rare, but it happens.  Either way, with the lack of regulation in the U.S., if you have a problem with an online casino, you're usually out of luck.

So all this is another reason why I advertise Bovada, and have done so for over ten years.  They use industry-standard software, it's absolutely fair, and players get their payouts, consistently.  I have a choice in whom I advertise, so I purposefully picked a casino with a good reputation where I'm confident my readers will have a good experience.

To be clear, Bovada's not perfect.  Once they got duped by a bad vendor (Betsoft) who provided progressive slots whose jackpots weren't winnable.  When I discovered this I alerted Bovada, and they pulled all the Betsoft games from the site, but I thought they were slow to do so and didn't offer proper restitution to affected players. (more on this)  Still, even with this incident, their overall history is better than most; as just one example, there are many other casinos still offering Betsoft's questionable games.

Another good thing about Bovada is that they allow me to mediate if one of my readers clicks over to them, plays the games, and has a problem they can't get Bovada to resolve.  My time is valuable and I wouldn't offer that service if I had to do it very often.  I think I've gotten maybe one or two inquiries from affected players in the 14 years I've been advertising Bovada.

Bottom line: I'm confident that Bovada is fair and reasonably safe.  You might have a good experience with another casino...and you might not.  I trust Bovada, and that's why I picked them.

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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.

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Gambling problem?
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  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Last update: October 2018

How I pick the advertisers

Almost since I first accepted advertising on this site over a decade ago, I've generally advertised only a single online casino, trying to pick the best one.  I've advertised Bovada exclusively to U.S. traffic from about 2005 (back when they were known as Bodog in the U.S.).

Here are my ideal criteria for an online casino:
  1. Available to most U.S. players (most of my readership)
  2. Browser-based free-play games, playable without registering
  3. Good reputation on payouts, good review at Casinomeister
  4. Responds promptly and professionally to player issues
  5. Licensed by a reputable licensing authority
  6. Publishes the RTP (return to player) for all of their slots
As far as I know, there is no online casino that meets even four of these six criteria, much less all six.  Bovada meets the first three.  They used to meet #4 too, until there was a problem with progressive jackpots which they addressed slowly and incompletely.

I'm continuing to advertise Bovada because even with their faults, they're still better than the other U.S.-facing casinos, especially in that they're the only one I know of that lets you play their games right in your web browser, with fake money, without having to register an account.  And if any readers know of a U.S.-wide casino that meets more of the criteria above, then by all means please let me know.

By the way, the reason that Bovada isn't licensed is that in the current climate with online gambling not being explicitly legal, no legitimate foreign licensing authority will license any U.S.-wide casino.  (Online gambling isn't explicitly illegal either, but licensing authorities are still steering clear until there's some clarity in the legal situation.)

Am I biased because I get advertising money?

Critics often allege that site owners, like me, are biased towards our advertisers because we get ad money from them.  That might make sense if I were desperate to find an advertiser, but I'm not.  There are literally thousands of casinos I could advertise on this site.  I don't pick the advertiser randomly, I spend time trying to find one with a good reputation that will give players a good experience, one that I could feel good about recommending.  The fact that I get advertising money from Bovada certainly didn't stop me from publicly (and privately) criticizing their handling of the Betsoft jackpots issue.

That said, if you don't believe me and you think I'm biased towards my advertiser(s), then feel free to not play there.

Only 0.03% of my readers gamble at the advertiser

The overwhelming majority of my readers (99.97%) don't gamble online, or at least not at the online casino I advertise.  I'm not sending tons of people to the poorhouse, as some of my critics have alleged.  Also, one of the whole points of this site is to show how to minimize losses when gambling.  Following my advice makes gambling one of the cheaper forms of entertainment one can engage in.  When I can show people how to lose less money gambling, I'm happy.

This is a far cry from the attitude of many other gambling webmasters.  As one of them opined, "If the webmaster is not an idiot, he wants the rich, stupid and desperate gamblers to register and squeeze all the money out of him." (source)  That is absolutely not my position, and such selfishness angers me.  That webmaster's attitude goes a long way in explaining why the content on many other sites is crap.  It's also why I don't rub shoulders with other gambling webmasters except for a select few like the Wizard of Odds.

Different ads are served to different countries

The ads shown might depend on the country you're viewing from.  That's because some casinos don't take U.S. players, and Bovada doesn't take non-U.S. players.  If you're in the U.S., you'll generally see ads for Bovada.  For elsewhere, you might see Bodog, though I intend to switch to VideoSlots for non-U.S. traffic when I have time to update the site.

Non-Casino Affiliate Advertising

Besides Bovada, some of the links on the site are affiliate links, where I get a commission if you click through to the advertiser and buy something (like a hotel room).  But that doesn't mean I'm going to steer you to a lesser-quality site in an effort to make more money.  For example, I'd get paid if I steered you to Travelocity for airfare booking, because Travelocity would pay me, but instead I steer you to HipMunk, even though they won't pay me a thin dime.  I link to HipMunk simply because I feel they're the best site for finding airfare.  I'd love it if they'd pay me, but they won't, but that doesn't stop me from linking them up in my airfare section.

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.





Site Contents ©2001-2019 Michael Bluejay.
I believe everything herein to be accurate, but I'm not responsible for errors or omissions.  I'm pretty irresponsible, actually.

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