Bovada's introduction of Bitcoin as a deposit option allows an entirely free payment funnel to their US-leading sportsbook, poker room and casino.
- United States
- Credit Card, Debit Card, Money Transfer, Bitcoin
- #1 USA Sportsbook now accepts bitcoin deposits!
- Play poker at the most liquid room in the US, with tons of sportsbook crossover
- Existing players: cut out processing fees with bitcoin!
- Relatively high withdrawal fees (non-bitcoin)
- Betting lines changed for skilled betters
Making a deposit
The deposit module offers credit card and bitcoin deposit options, with a “bitcoin accepting here” logo granted pride of place. A click on the bitcoin logo opens a screen requesting deposit amount input – represented in dollars, as well as a “bonus claim” box offering a number of different bonuses or a bonus code option. US users will need to input the last four digits of their social security number here as well, assumedly a remnant of their standard credit card funnel that they have not seen fit to remove.
Suggestions are offered here as well as to how to go about getting bitcoin. They suggest using circle or coinbase for depositing, a bit problematic as we’ll explain below. For bitcoin newcomers (and they very rightly seem to be targeting bitcoin to their existing database) we recommend reading through our step-by-step guide to depositing in a bitcoin casino.
After selecting the amount to deposit, you’ll be redirected to a sort of shopping cart page, which offers their long address and a QR code for scanning. The exchange rate, which seems to be pulled from bitstamp, is valid for 15 minutes, after which a new deposit request must be submitted.
After you have made your deposit, tap the “I’ve completed my deposit” button, and your funds should be with you within 15 minutes. When we deposited, our account was credited in under a minute actually. Users may deposit up to a $5000 equivalent in bitcoin.
Alas, bitcoin withdrawals are not yet available, though the prominence with which the bitcoin logos are displayed suggests Bovada does intend to scale up the solution. And this is a bit of a shame, as players must wait a comparatively long time for funds to hit.
However, perhaps the most popular method of processing at bovada is a deposit via credit card, and then a withdrawal via courier check. Now, the courier check, though it can take up to two weeks to reach your mailbox (generally a good deal less time however) is free for your first time. However, on the credit card side, you can expect to pay 4.9% on all visa deposits (aside from your first), and 6.9% on your mastercard.
This is a good incentive for regular bettors switch over to bitcoin – you save 5-7% on the most popular current deposit option, and get your first withdrawal of each month for free.
|Method||First Withdrawal of the month||Subsequent Withdrawals||Cashout Speed|
|Check||Free||~$50||5-10 business days|
|Bank Wire||Free||~$50||Up to 10 business days|
|Money Transfer||Free||$20-60||3-5 days|
A word on the products
As we said in the introduction, bovada is extremely well known in the marketplace and sets the bar for their relatively quick processing of payments. A triple threat, while Bovada is first and foremost a sportsbook, their casino and poker products are also the most popular in the US market amongst mainstream brands. We say a brief word on each of the products below, in turn.
The bread and butter of bovada, this is arguably the best sportsbook for US players, and hands down the largest book. As once would expect from such a slick brand, the user interface is extremely clean, attractive, and navigating and making bets a breeze. Bovada has got excellent sports coverage and betting types, although they have been criticized for releasing their lines very late compared to the competition.
We love the Bovada betslip, which offers a simple way of parlaying all bets and buying points. Odds, in general, seem to be a bit below average compared to, for instance, 5dimes, which some would find compensated by a higher level of product quality across all major betting categories. Live betting is a joy to interface with, and there is most always action to be had. As one would expect, Bovada’s mobile betting solution is top notch, arguably the best in the market.
The Racebook offers odds on races from over 80 different tracks, 50 of which are in the states. Rebates are given every tuesday at 1 pm est, 3% on straight bets and 5% on exotic wagers.
50% of your first deposit up to $250 will be matched with a bonus, meaning that you can bet with a total of $375 on a $250 deposit. There is a five times rollover requirement on both sports and horses to redeem the bonus.
Bovada is far and away the largest US-Player-Accepting poker room in the market, almost tripling the size of the next largest network, Winning. This allows for massive tournaments, high stakes tables, and a number excellent features – like zone poker, Bovada’s rip off of Full Tilt’s Rush Poker, in which players are instantly shuffled to a new table following a fold. Anonymous play allows for a disguised identity to protect against shark stalkers, a convenient feature for the large population of sportsbook-first players who enjoy a casual game of poker without getting nailed.
While the desktop version is regrettably download only, Bovada has developed a special mobile client, which contains all the features of the downloadable version, only on a smaller screen. Most notably, Zone Poker is mobile compatible, which allows for a much better pace of action.
The welcome bonus of 100% up to $1,000 is valid for the first 60 days of play. Each 50 poker points raked translates into $10 worth of bonus, though the levels at which these bonus dollars may be redeemed escalates at the following rate:
|Level||Poker Points||Bonus Issued||Total Bonus|
For each dollar in tournament entry fees spent, players earn 3 poker points. Cash game points are earned based on contributed rake – meaning if you’ve stuck money into a pot you earn the associated points, regardless of the amount you have contributed.
This is a pretty lousy rakeback percentage, but frankly Bovada can afford to do this because they offer the most action in the US and the juiciest games. Points may also be used to purchase tournament tickets or casino or sportsbetting bonuses. The effective rate is $1 per 100 points.
The casino has got a large collection of RealTime Gaming, Betsoft and Rival software, as well as a good deal of proprietary games built in their own studios. Perhaps the largest online casino in the states by volume, players will notice massive progressive jackpots that, at least for us bitcoin-firsters, are quite unique in the marketplace. I saw a seven-figure jackpot ticking away there in the progressives section as a matter of fact.
A $3,000 welcome package is advertised, which can be redeemed across eight different deposits:
|Bonus Type||Bonus Code||Amount||Number of bonuses||Rollover||Excluded|
|All Games||GAMES250||100% up to $250||4X||40X Bonus + Deposit||Table Games, Racebook, Sportsbook|
|Slots||SLOTS500||100% up to $500||4X||25X Bonus + Deposit||Slots only|
Please note that failure to fulfill wagering requirements within 6 months of redemption will result in bonus and associated winnings being pulled back. If a user decides to pull forfeit a bonus, associated winnings will be removed from player accounts.
All games are accessible via Bovada’s very smart mobile-friendly site, so you can easily play on-the-go, or on your tablet whilst sitting on the couch.
Bovada’s introduction of bitcoin as a deposit options offers a new payment processing funnel that helps users avoid big deposit fees – 5-7% – on credit cards. We look forward to seeing bitcoin integrated on the withdrawal side as well, which will greatly increase the efficiency and speed of cashouts. Judging from the amount of space on site devoted to bitcoin, we anticipate withdrawal integration as a part of Bovada’s roadmap.
It will be quite interesting to see if existing users move over to bitcoin to take advantage of the savings, or can’t be bothered to go through the process of opening and funding a bitcoin account. If you, dear reader, are an existing bovada player debating giving bitcoin a spin, please check out our description of opening a bitcoin account for gambling. All other readers, please do click through our link here if you are interested in giving Bovada a try.