About the Advertising on this Site
Last update: June 2021
How I pick the advertiser
Since I first accepted advertising on this site two decades ago, I've advertised only a single online casino at a time, trying to pick the best one for my readers. I've advertised Bovada exclusively to U.S. traffic since 2005 (back when they were known as Bodog). I chose Bovada because they have some big pluses versus other U.S.-wide casinos:
- Play without registering an account. All other U.S.-wide casinos force you to register an account just to play their fake-money games. Bovada is the only one that lets you play without registering.
- Good reputation on payouts. No legitimate licensing authority will license a U.S.-wide casino because online gambling isn't explicitly legal in most states. So if you have a dispute with the casino, you have no recourse. You're relying on the integrity of the casino to pay you. Fortunately, Bovada has a good reputation on payouts.
Bovada is far from perfect, though. I detail their problems below. The reason I advertise them despite these problems is simply that there's no other casino that's better.
It's just advertising
I advertise Bovada; I don't endorse them.
Only a few states have explicitly legalized online gambling (DE, NJ, PA, WV), and only a tiny handful of casinos serve the other states, and among them, it's slim pickings. Bovada is certainly the best among them, but not because they're especially good, but rather because there's just nothing better. I'm reminded of the Simpsons episode where the RV salesman is telling Homer, "Simpson, you're never gonna own a finer RV. And I don't mean that in a good way, I mean this is IT for you!"
I used to endorse Bovada, but after they insisted that I made two losing live dealer roulette bets that I didn't actually make, I no longer endorse them. As of May 14, 2021, the ads here are what they are practically everywhere else: just advertising.
I'm sure some will howl about how I'm supposedly illegitimate for taking ads from a casino that I don't vouch for. Those critics don't understand how advertising works. Other media outlets (e.g., the New York Times, FOX News, etc.) don't endorse their advertisers, they just run the ads. There's no endorsement there, and there's no endorsement here: it's just advertising.
Further below I have a long list of what's bad about Bovada.
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. But as you can see from the rest of this page, I'm not shy on calling out the advertiser on their faults.
In any event, if you think I'm biased towards my advertiser(s), then feel free to not play there.
I'm not sending readers to the poorhouse
Critics allege that I'm encouraging readers to gamble at the advertiser (and lose money). They should read a lot more carefully. The overwhelming bulk of my advertising is for Bovada's free-play games (the kind you play without real money). The overwhelming majority of my readers (99.97%) don't gamble online for real money (or at least not at the online casino I advertise), and the median loss is around $26/mo. 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.
I don't directly profit from player losses
Most other webmasters get paid a portion of the player losses from the players they refer to the casino, but I get paid a flat monthly rate. At first blush that might seem like I have no incentive to push readers to Bovada, but in theory I do: the higher the player losses, the more I can negotiate for my monthly payment when the agreement is reviewed annually.
While that's true in theory, any reader can see for her/himself that I primarily promote Bovada's free-play games, and that a main goal of the site is to show gamblers how to play smarter to lose less money. I'm not pushing readers to go gamble a lot and lose big.
That was true even when I considered running the site my main job. Now I consider myself retired because I have enough money, so I consider the site a hobby (that I happen to get paid for).
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 for I steer you to Skiplagged, even though they wouldn't pay me a thin dime. I link to Skiplagged because they're the best site for finding airfare, and at Easy Vegas the reader always comes first.
If I could get paid by Skiplagged, then rest assured that I'd pile up the money on the bed and my wife and I would roll around in it naked.
Casinos I used to advertise
in home page
|Why I started
|Bovada||10/2013 - present||none||Bodog became Bovada|
|Bodog||12/19/05 - 10/2013||none||Offers free-play games without registration, and most games playable in the web browser (doesn't require separate download), no popup windows.|
|Casino.net||1/2004 - 12/18/05||10/2004 - 12/18/05||2/2004 - 12/2005||1/2004 -||Casino.net offered audited returns, a faster download, partial Mac compatibility, and European roulette. Also, Captain Cooks sent me spam.|
|Captain Cooks||2/2003 - 11/2003||none||4/2003- 10/2003||5/2003 - 11/2003||MiniVegas affiliate with the sleazy Golden Palace Casino.|
|MiniVegas||none||none||none||1/2002||Roman Casino sold my unique email address to spammers.|
|Roman Casino||none||none||1/2002 - 4/2003||3/2001-5/2001||Can't remember|
Dates are approximate. Gaps between one advertiser ending and the next beginning is because the Wayback Machine didn't archive my site during the gaps.
What's bad about Bovada
If you have a dispute with Bovada that you can't resolve, you have no recourse, because there's no gaming commission you can appeal to, because no legitimate licensing authority will license a U.S.-wide casino, because online gambling isn't explicitly legal in most states. This problem isn't limited to Bovada, it's true of all U.S.-wide casinos, but it's still a big one.
For fifteen years, Bovada allowed me to mediate player disputes for players I referred to them, but in Oct. 2020 they notified me that they will no longer do so. There was really nothing for them to lose by continuing to allow me to mediate, because I was just a mediator, not an arbiter, so I had no power to compel them to pay any player. And besides, I got a request from a player to mediate only once every several years anyway. Bovada's revocation of mediation tells you where they're coming from these days.
Phantom live dealer bets
On March 24, 2021 I was watching (not playing) live dealer roulette games, to record spin data for an article. During that time, Bovada claimed I made two losing bets, of $15 and $45, which I absolutely didn't make. It would have been impossible for an errant mouseclick to have made $15 and $45 bets, since the $15 bet would have required three separate clicks (one on the $10 chip, one on the $5 chip, and then one on the layout), and the $45 bet would have required four separate clicks (one on the $25 chip, two on the $10 chip, and one on the layout). I explained this to Bovada, but they were unmoved, and insisted that I made those bets. So, you might want to steer clear of the live dealer games.
Poor customer service
You can't call them. They no longer have a customer service phone number.
Some emails you send them go straight to the trash, unread. Your message to them could trigger an automated response, and if it does your original message goes to the trash, never to be seen by a human agent, and the automated response gives no clue that your message was trashed. I learned this from a support chat with a supervisor.
Bovada has no intention of fixing this problem. When the supervisor explained to me in a support chat that my message was trashed when it triggered an automated response, I suggested that Bovada fix that problem: send out the automated response, sure, but also forward the customer's message to actual human support staff rather than unceremoniously trashing it, without notice. Rather than saying that Bovada will fix that, or at least saying he'd forward the problem to management so they could consider fixing it, he just replied, "Unfortunately if the automated response is triggered an agent won't see the email." (groan)
Also, they made me start my support request over from scratch. Here's the sequence of events:
- I inquired as to why my balance was lower than I expected, and they said I lost two live dealer roulette bets (which I actually didn't make).
- I sent a detailed reply, explaining how I didn't make those bets and how it would have been impossible for an errant mouseclick to have made the bets, because it would have required several clicks, and said that if they wouldn't credit my account, to please escalate the case to a manager.
- Instead, they replied saying they disabled my account and demanded my date of birth and PIN. I replied with that info.
- They replied, saying, "To assist you further, please provide us with more information about your issue or concern...." (groan)
- I replied, asking to speak with a manager.
- They replied, saying that I needed to go through their Chat support.
- I started a chat session, but the supervisor refused to believe that there could be anything wrong with their live dealer games (if it happened to me, it could happen to others, and maybe already has), and defended Bovada's practice of trashing customer messages unread if they trigger an auto-reply.
Slow response to horked games
In 2016, a user on a forum suggested that the progressive jackpot on certain Betsoft games at Bovada couldn't actually be won. I ran the numbers and confirmed that he was right. I alerted Bovada, sharing my data, and they promptly blew me off. Another webmaster tried to get Bovada's attention on this, they blew him off too. I persisted, and months after they were first made aware of the issue, they finally realized that the games were really horked and pulled all the Betsoft games from the site. (Why they didn't get the publisher to fix the games instead, I don't know.)
Lousy response to the Betsoft horked games
Bovada never came clean with its players that the jackpots on some Betsoft games were unwinnable. It never made an announcement stating that, specifically. It should have.
Bovada also should have refunded the progressive contribution of the players' wagers. It didn't; instead, it assigned the jackpot amounts from the removed games to other progressive jackpot games that Bovada still retained. That was absolutely the wrong resolution; it required players who wasted their money on an unwinnable jackpot, to spend even more money on a chance to win a different jackpot.
No RTP information
Some online casinos (like VideoSlots, which doesn't serve the U.S.) publishes the RTP data for each of its slots. RTP is "Return to Player", the percentage of all money wagered that the player gets back. It's only fair for players to have this information, but Bovada doesn't provide it.
For that matter, they don't post the jackpot odds on their slots, either. If you buy a lottery ticket, you can flip it over and the odds of winning will be printed right there. But you can't get that info on the slots at Bovada.
Weak self-exclusion options
Bovada offers exactly one self-exclusion option: a permanent ban. What they should offer besides that is the option to allow players to set daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly loss limits. Since players can't limit their play, because Bovada doesn't let them, their only options are the two extremes of either permanent ban, or play with absolutely no limits at all. There are undoubtedly many players who would choose to limit their play, and don't want to go for the drastic step of a permanent ban, so they don't choose the ban, so they play without any limits. I suspect this is by design.
They also don't offer "cooling-off periods", where you could self-exclude for a certain period of time (a week, a month, etc.).
To be clear, most other online casinos fail to offer loss limits and cooling-off periods, not just Bovada, but it's still a problem.
No win/loss reports
Bovada has a record of all your bets, so it would be extremely helpful if they'd send you a list of all your bets for tax purposes. But they don't.
For that matter, if you just want to see what sports or political bets you made in the past, you can't, except for the last 31 days. There's really no excuse for that.