Last Updated on September 5, 2023
Sites Like Bovada US
If you’re reading this in late 2023, you may have seen Bovada in the news recently, not necessarily for the best reasons. The real money online casino is in legal trouble in the USA, though nothing has come to a boil. Sites like Bovada are always the target of lawsuits, but does this one have some teeth?
List of The Best Online Casinos Like Bovada
Sister Casinos never shies away from some juicy journalism. To delve into this situation, let’s take the time to examine Bovada as a business and as a casino. We’ll start by reviewing the ownership situation, which has been ‘chaotic’ in the past. Then, we’ll do an honest Bovada review. Finally, we’ll look at the Bovada sister sites to see if there are better alternatives to this controversial real money online casino.
Who Owns Bovada?
The answer to this question depends on the day of the week that you ask it sometimes.
Bovada has changed ownership a multitude of times over the past decade. Founded by billionaire Calvin Ayre in 2011, it became the property of Ignition Casino in 2016. Then, Ignition Casino transferred ownership to the PaiWangLuo investment group in 2017. After a series of legal moves, Bovada eventually became the property of Harp Media B.V. under the direction of Kaya Richard J. Beaujon. Yes, the same one from the Panama Papers.
Then there’s the Morris Mohawk Gaming Group connection; they’re the exclusive U.S. licensee of the Bovada brand in the U.S. They aren’t the only ones pulling the strings. But they have some say in what happens with Bovada.
At this point, the real owners of Bovada are hidden behind several shell companies and investment firms, of course. But those listed above are the closest legal entities to the company’s operational side.
Is Bovada Safe And Legit?
The class action lawsuit filed in the Eastern District Court of Kentucky might have some bearing here. Filed as case number ‘3:23-cv-00053-GFVT’, the class action claims that the company’s operations entitle players in the state to recover triple the amount that they lost on the site within the past five years.
But even if you think the claim in question is B.S., part of an old gambling law from the 1800s that was never updated in light of modern technology, there are other factors to consider.
They hold a six-month 1668/JAZ license issued to Curaçao eGaming on July 21, 2023. It’s not the most reliable license, but it’s something.
Bovada RNG Certification
The real issue is Bovada’s RNG testing history. At one time, they were tested and certified by iTechLabs. Their last certification was in 2016. Then, in November of 2017, they stopped displaying any RNG certification. It needs to be added to the bottom of their website, and there has been no update on their certification status for seven years.
Instead, they have an oddly phrased statement when you click on their Fairness link:
‘Bovada certainly adheres to the industry’s best practices by utilizing a Random Number Generator (RNG) to ensure that the outcomes of their games are fair and not foreseen – guaranteeing the unpredictability of each game.’
But there are levels of computer-generated ‘randomness.’ The entire point of RNG certification is to ensure it’s working correctly and as randomly as possible. In other words, We have yet to learn who checks whether Bovada’s RNG is being manipulated.
This impacts everything: RTP percentages, games played against the house, games played against other players, bonuses… You name it.
You might ask yourself: Don’t other casinos fail to get or publish their RNG certification? Yeah. But as you’re about to see, some real concerns associated with this issue have utterly destroyed Bovada’s public image.
An Honest Bovada Review
On its surface, Bovada looks like any other real money online casino. They offer Sportsbook, Live Casino, Slots, Table Games, and Poker areas to their players. That’s the typical mix for sites targeting more Western crowds, lacking the bingo and slingo offerings that you might find in an E.U. based casino.
You can cancel the login request to try games with play money if you aren’t logged in. Slot games that you can try are primarily titles from BGaming and Woohoo. And if you look inside the various help and information menus, you’ll find the RTP of each game printed somewhere at the bottom.
But after a little bit of research, the question becomes: Is that the actual RTP for these games?
Usually, we would assume so, but in light of the missing RNG certification mentioned in the last section, we need to look at external perceptions of the site’s RTP to verify that things are working correctly. Generally speaking, people will report their wins and losses in specific ratios of review sites, and that will give us a general idea of the site’s fairness, even after factoring in the ‘sour grapes’ reports.
As of early September 2023, Bovada holds one of the lowest Trustpilot ratings we’ve ever seen, a 1.3 out of 5 stars after hundreds of reports. To understand how difficult it is to get a rating this bad, you must know there is no ‘0-star’ option. The floor is 1. A staggering 91% of people rated Bovada as a 1-star site.
Putting aside how incredible that is, let’s look specifically at conversations about RNG, which is our chief concern. These reviews are using the exact spelling and language of the O.P.s:
‘If this isn’t a scam, I don’t know what is, lol. I have played here for years and have seen many things that need to be added. The bonuses are impossible to rollover, and I’m 90% certain slots and poker are rigged entirely.’
‘Stay far away from this casino. Only use sports and poker here. Their casino payouts are so low. Nothing is transparent here, too. I have never in my entire life lost so consistently at blackjack and table games as I have here. I have played here for over five years, too.’
‘Played their automated machine casino blackjack for hours. It started to get suspicious and, as such, made screen recordings. The statistical anomalies of the hands are astonishing.’
If these were isolated incidents, we could chalk them up to statistical oddities or sour grapes. But hundreds of reviews talk about unlikely losses that look engineered and accounts being closed if there is a significant win.
Even sites with terrible RTP percentages score in the high one or low 2-star range on Trustpilot. Something has to be seriously wrong with your site to achieve a 1.3, and these repeated reviews might spell out the problem with Bovada.
So, for the remainder of this honest Bovada review, note that without third-party validation and certification, we cannot vouch for the integrity of the site’s RNG. Proceed at your own risk.
As an example of things that a faulty RNG might impact, let’s look at the Bovada signup bonus. They offer a 100% First Deposit Match Up To $1,000. But the rollover requirement is 25x deposit + bonus.
To put that in numbers, let’s say you opt into the bonus and deposit $1,000, receiving an extra $1,000 matching. You must now make $50,000 worth of wagers (2k * 25) to clear it. Only slots and specialty games have a 100% rollover contribution, meaning your best RTP will be around 97%. That means by the time you roll your $2k over 25 times, on average, you’ll be left with $500 or half your initial deposit and zero bonus.
In short, you’ll get pretty lucky to clear any bonus amount. And that’s assuming that the site’s RNG is accurate. The scenario becomes even worse if it’s skewed towards the house, even a fraction of a percentage point.
The first Crypto Deposit Bonus Of 125% Match Up To $1,250 is slightly better. However, with the 25x d+b rollover, the average player will still need to clear their bonus before dipping into their initial deposit. And for reloads, the requirement becomes a virtually impossible 50x deposit + bonus.
So, assuming that the RNG is fair and untampered with (despite the lack of independent testing), these bonuses aren’t worth your time.
The sportsbook doesn’t rely on RNG. Of course, it depends on the odds. Sadly, Bovada’s sportsbook odds are nothing special. Odds are standard across the board, but unlike premier sites like BetVictor, you won’t see any odds boosts or other incentives.
There’s nothing that really would attract a neutral player to Bovada Casino. Given the lack of independent RNG certification, the abysmal Trustpilot score, and the lackluster bonus offers, we cannot recommend Bovada Casino to our readers. Sometime in the past, they were better. But as of 2023, they’re suspect.
Let’s hope the following Bovada sister sites and alternatives give us better options.
The Best Bovada Sister Sites
The recent breakaway of Bovada, now owned by Harp Media B.V., means that they technically have no sister sites. Harp Media B.V. has no other casinos under their management, which might be an intentional move that allows Bovada’s former sister sites to distance themselves from the ongoing class action lawsuit (as of late 2023).
Some might still consider the ‘Bodog brats,’ or all of the casinos Calvin Ayre had a hand in building, sister sites. Some might see the involvement of Morris Mohawk Gaming Group to indicate that anyone under their umbrella of interest is a sister site.
For this article, we will only list real-money online casinos based in the Americas that were former Bovada sister sites or alternatives under the same branding. It would make little sense to list Bodog, for example, as it’s closed to players in many regions now (including the U.S. and the U.K.).
With that in mind, here are the best Bovada sister sites and alternatives: Cafe Casino, Ignition Casino and Slots.lv.
Whether or not we recommend these individual sites will depend on a few factors. First, they must give us a reason to believe their RNG is solid via certification or long-term public perception. They’ll also need to offer reasonable bonus offers or some reason to choose them over the average real money online casino.
So, let’s look at these three Bovada sister sites and alternatives. If these don’t pan out, we’ll review an alternative to Bovada that you can check out.
Cafe Casino – Bovada Sister Sites And Alternatives
Owned by Arbol Media B.V. and holding a 1668/JAZ Curacao license, Cafe Casino is a spiritual Bovada sister site. They’re primarily focused on slots, table games, and live dealers.
Slots include popular titles from Rival Gaming, BGaming, Woohoo, Radi8, and more. Most RTPs we randomly checked ranged from 95% to 96.5%, which is a decent spread. They have some single-table versions of popular games like bingo, but nothing where you’re battling it against other players.
Their Trustpilot score is 2.6 out of 5 stars. It could be better, but it could be better, too. However, most complaints are about cash-out issues and terrible bonus offers rather than RNG issues, so we’re past that particular problem.
Let’s examine Cafe Casino’s bonus offers to see why some people aren’t pleased with them. They initially seem generous, offering a 250% First Deposit Matching Bonus Up To $1,500 with credit cards and a 350% First Deposit Matching Bonus Up To $2,500 with crypto.
What’s the catch? They impose a 40x deposit plus bonus rollover! Unless you’re fortunate, you can wave goodbye to any amount of bonus and your entire deposit.
The math is simple: Deposit $600 to get the maximum $1,500 bonus for $2,100. On average, you’ll lose 3% of your bankroll per rollover on a 97% RTP machine, which comes to $63. Times 40, and on average, you’ll lose $2,520 before you’re free of your bonus obligations, completely zeroing your bonus and core stake. You had better be very lucky if you want to be left with anything.
Bonus offers like these are running jokes in the industry. We call them the ‘Math Penalty Bonus Offers.’ 40x deposit plus bonus is something you need to avoid at all costs.
Payment methods for Cafe Casino include Visa, Mastercard, cryptocurrency, MatchPay, and bank transfer. Withdrawal methods include crypto, MatchPay, check, and bank wire transfers.
Although we aren’t seeing evidence or reports of RNG issues at this site, they aren’t mentioning or displaying any third-party testing or certification of their RNG. If that’s important to you, you should avoid this site.
The reviews are lackluster, and the bonus offers are terrible. But if you want to play at Cafe Casino, you can. At first glance, it doesn’t look like a scam, though we certainly can’t call it a great deal. It’s miles better than sites like Bovada, as you’ve probably already determined for yourself. But we know that there are even better options out there.
Ignition Casino – Bovada Sister Sites And Alternatives
When we thought we were rising above the muck, we sank back to the bottom of the barrel.
Despite being owned by Lynton Limited, Ignition Casino is a virtual clone of Bovada. But instead of a sportsbook, they have a Virtual Sports section rather.
That’s the main difference between the sites. Ignition has a 1668/JAZ license in Curacao, just like Bovada. They’re a crypto-preferred casino, just like Bovada, and they have often reported RNG issues, just like Bovada.
Ignition Casino Reputation
This is another site where they’ve avoided getting third-party independent validation of their RNG setup. Without certification, we have to give a lot of weight to the 1.5 out of 5-star rating from Trustpilot, mainly when so many people are complaining about game fairness (review text reposted with exact spelling and grammar):
‘There’s no way to confirm this site is legit and almost certainly rigged. There’s no way to know if you’re even playing against people or bots or if the other player is in cahoots with Ignition. Almost every time I’ve had at least a 90% chance of winning post-flop, I lose on the turn or river. While that’s not technically impossible, it’s implausible.’
‘I try to play poker on this site, but it is frustrating because of the number of bad beats. It’s hard to bet when you feel like you are getting cheated.’
‘They can and do cheat and will say it’s a random generator that does the picking. They are not held accountable by anyone or any 3rd party nonbias entity. B.S., if you play poker, you will see the cards you get, and how often your sucked out is impossible.’
The other complaint is a disturbing amount of account closures after jackpot wins. That’s usually a sign that an offshore casino is leveraging the ineffectiveness of its license authority. Since their reputation is already in the sewer, they have nothing to lose by not paying out.
Ignition Casino Bonuses
As you might have guessed, their welcome bonuses have a 25x deposit plus bonus rollover requirement. So, only bank on retaining that bonus if you’re fortunate and expect the clearance effort to eat into your initial deposit.
When looking for sites like Bovada, we expected Ignition to be far from the mark! We suggest you avoid Ignition Casino since they share the same shady reputation and lack transparency about their RNG testing.
Slots.lv – Bovada Sister Sites And Alternatives
We’ll save you some time on this one: The help files, layout, and general policies of Slots.lv are identical to Ignition Casino. Regarding features, it lacks the sportsbook and virtual sports offerings, but everything else is intact.
It’s another Lynton Limited Casinos operation, which isn’t a shock. It has recently dipped to 2.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, which is better than Bovada or Ignition, but Cafe Casino is better. But this might be because of a suspicious glut of 4 and 5-star reviews between May 15th and 16th of 2023. Without those, the site could quickly have dipped to the 2.0 range or lower.
Their bonus offers are worthless, featuring a 35x rollover requirement for deposit plus bonus. As we know from the 40x d+b version, it’s downright laughable. Don’t bother.
They have no RNG certification displayed on the site, and their help files contain no relevant RNG testing results by third parties. We have no reason to think they aren’t running the same engine under the hood as Bovada. Therefore, we cannot recommend Slots.lv for real money play.
Let’s look at alternatives to Bovada and her sister sites while we still have a fraction of our sanity left.
Alternatives To Bovada Casino
If you’re looking at island sister sites with a decent reputation, how about using one that explains exactly how they are regulated and certified?
Casino Extreme – An Alternative to Bovada Casino
Casino Extreme, owned by Anden Holdings Ltd, is one of the best examples of transparency. They’re open to U.S. players and players in most E.U. countries. They hold a 1668/JAZ license from Curacao Gaming.
But best of all.
Casino Extreme is a real-time gaming-based platform, with its RNG tested by Gaming Laboratories International (GLI). These names are well-known in the industry.
What difference does that make? Check out Casino Extreme’s scores on Trustpilot. That’s a staggering 4.5 out of 5 stars after over 1,000 reviews, rivaling even the best UK-regulated casinos like BetVictor. It’s impressive for an offshore operation.
Don’t get us wrong. Some of their offers are wild, both in good and bad ways. Their withdrawal policies don’t encourage high-roller play despite accepting many different crypto types in large amounts. But as a total package, Casino Extreme is the real deal.
Casino Extreme Games
Let’s start with Casino Extreme’s offerings. They’re primarily a slot site with some table games mixed in. If you’re looking for a sportsbook, there is a better solution. But this platform is far superior to the Bovada sister sites for everyone else.
All of the games are available in Demo mode without a login. The vast majority of the RealTime Gaming Slots have an RTP between 95.5% and 96.5%. The new slots are live on Casino Extreme’s homepage without a published RTP figure. And if you look around, people still need to post those RTPs.
Table games range from Blackjack to Baccarat to Caribbean Hold Em. It’s not the most extensive selection in the world, and the graphics could use some updating when compared to the beautiful slots that the site has available.
A separate Video Poker section is more robust, offering over a dozen variants. Jacks Or Better is the classic that everyone is used to, while something like Sevens Wild throws a big curveball into proceedings. A few miscellaneous games round out Casino Extreme’s portfolio: Keno and Banana Jones.
On the support side, they have Live Chat, Toll-Free U.S. and Canadian Phone Numbers, and E-Mail Support. These days, it’s rare to have all three. They also have links that lead directly to Realtime Gaming to report any bugs that might have arisen and to various forums for people with general questions about gaming practices, strategies, and options.
Casino Extreme Payments
Payment methods include all the major cryptocurrencies, Visa, Mastercard, AMEX, and various regional favorites like Neteller, Skrill, and ecoPayz. Withdrawals are made via Bitcoin, Litecoin, Neteller, Skrill, or ecoPayz.
We mentioned that withdrawal limits don’t suit high rollers, and that’s because the maximum withdrawal is 4,000.00 Euro per week. But they say VIP levels are available, which means jackpot wins and the like can become more streamlined. The loyalty levels and withdrawal limit hikes are as follows:
Casino Extreme Bonuses
The Bonus Offers for Casino Extreme are all over the place. As of early September 2023, there are incredibly generous and tough ones, all mixed in. Let’s cover the best and the worst of these.
The worst bonus offer is their generic 100% Bonus plan. Oddly, it can be claimed once daily for any deposit over $50. But it has a 40x guarantee plus a bonus rollover scheme, which, as you know by now, could be better.
However… Their Low Wager Bonus allows you to claim a 112% bonus or 225% bonus on crypto with only a 15x deposit plus a bonus rollover requirement! There’s a max bonus cash out of 5x the deposit amount on this one.
So, if you deposit $100 by credit card, you can get $212 in credit. Assuming you play on a 96.5% RTP non-progressive slot to clear it ($10 max bets), on average, you’ll lose $127.50 after 15x rollovers. That means by the end, you’ll still have a balance of around $85. That’s as fair of a bonus offer gamble as you see today!
Additional offerings include a 10x and even a 1x rollover requirement, but heavier restrictions apply, and there are tight withdrawal limits. Still, you get to pick the bonus that suits you the best. Just avoid the 40x d+b offer.
With this kind of flexibility and a good support team that has earned a positive reputation, it’s no wonder Casino Extreme is considered one of the best sites like Bovada for North American players.
We can enthusiastically recommend Casino Extreme for our readers. Their level of engagement and transparency is rare in this day and age. We wish they would embargo new games until the RTP is published, but it’s a minor complaint.
The Final Roundup
Bovada Casino has a lot of challenges to overcome if they want people to take them seriously. That starts with getting an independent RNG audit and publishing it. Then, they need to work on their support policies and execution.
The same applies to most of the Bovada sister sites and alternatives. Only Cafe Casino has a decent Trustpilot score and enough of a reputation to salvage right now. The rest are in the same boat as Bovada, circling the drain with negative reputations and low expectations.
The alternative to Bovada Casino is a site that welcomes North American customers, has multiple avenues of support, has built up a good reputation, and offers exciting bonuses.
Casino Extreme embodies all of those things. They need a slightly broader game selection and a sportsbook, and they would be a complete replacement for sites like Bovada. Tack on bingo and slingo would also capture most of the E.U. market. But it’s great for what it is: A reliable slot site with some entertaining table games.
We’ll keep an eye on the Bovada sister sites and Harp Media B.V. If they turn over a new leaf, increase their transparency, publicly release their RNG audit, and improve their support, we’ll be ready. Until then, you should avoid the Bovada sister sites (past and present) and focus on better alternatives.