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After a few years during which its licensing details were murky at best, popular online gaming provider Bovada revealed in January 2021 that it had obtained licensure from Curacao. Bovada is the USA-facing, offshore poker, casino, and sportsbook brand originally spun off of Bodog, the multi-billion dollar gaming empire founded a couple of decades ago by Canadian entrepreneur Calvin Ayre.

The Curacao gambling licensure that Bovada obtained has been continually maintained and is still valid. Thus, not only is Bovada regulated, but Bovada is legal in most of the USA.

Bovada has obtained licensure from Curacao

Hard Evidence

Magnifying Lens

We can see that Bovada, which hosts a poker room on the PaiWangLuo Network, is operating under a Curacao license by reading the terms of service. When doing so, we encounter the following:

The Bovada terms of service contain a link to info about the license from Curacao eGaming

Following the link that says, “click here,” brings up the license verification page from Curacao eGaming.

This page shows that is properly licensed in Curacao

Here you can clearly see the URLs “” and “” shown with “Status: LICENSED.” Furthermore, you can see the company that registered these domains with Curacao, its address, a complaints email, and the time the page was generated, i.e., the date and time when the verifier checked the status of the license:

If you scroll down a bit, you can see the actual license certificate complete with the signature of the official responsible for granting the license:

The actual certificate issued to the operators of

Scrolling even further down yields a complaints form and a page where you can request self-exclusion.

These documents serve to prove Bovada's bona fides as an entity that's properly licensed by Curacao eGaming. There's just one problem: All of these pages appear in the web browser by clicking on a link provided by the gaming site itself. Although improbable, it's possible for an unscrupulous operator to host fake links that merely redirect you to bogus documents created by that same company itself.

Fortunately, Curacao eGaming offers a tool that lets you check the license status of a domain without having to click through any pages on that domain. To launch the registry search, click on this link. Type the website URL in the field indicated (in this case, “”) complete the CAPTCHA, and click on the button marked, “Search.”

The search register tool shows as licensed

Now you will see “Licensed” in big text at the bottom of the search window. There's no doubt about it – is a website that's legitimately licensed by Curacao eGaming to offer real money online gaming services.

Validating the License

ProfessionalRakeback would happily link you directly to Bovada's license and other related documents, but we are afraid you will have to go there directly yourself. The reason for this is that each validation link provided by Curacao eGaming expires after an undetermined, but nonetheless short, period of time. In order to verify for yourself that the site's license is valid, follow the instructions below:

Go to the Bovada website. Either click on the Curacao seal at the bottom of the page, or click over to the Terms of Service and use the link contained in item 8.4. Following either of these steps will open up Bovada's license and related documents in your web browser.

If you would rather bypass Bovada's site entirely, then you can type the following URL into your browser: Enter in the website, complete the CAPTCHA, and conduct a search. This will verify Bovada's license as valid although you'll have to use the previous procedure if you want to view the relevant documents.

Licensing History

In the past, Bovada did not publicly display any licensing information. This becomes evident when we look at old copies of the terms of service page:

The previous version of Bovada's Terms of Service say nothing about its gaming licenseThis Archived Version of Bovada's ToS, From Nov. 17, 2020, Does Not Contain Item 8.4

The sentence containing the link to Curacao eGaming is not present on old versions of the Bovada terms of service page. This led many to speculate that this gaming provider was active without being licensed anywhere in the world. The inside scoop was that Bovada indeed held a valid Curacao license for more than two years, but for reasons that we can only speculate upon, they opted to keep this information well-concealed for quite a while.

Bovada had actually previously been licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission until September 2016 when, allegedly under pressure from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Kahnawake announced that it would no longer be licensing companies that operated in the U.S. market (an exception was made for those organizations offering legal online gambling duly regulated by a state). A press release from around this time revealed that the corporation that owned Bovada had voluntarily surrendered its Kahnawake license.

What Impact Will This Have?

Regarding the day-to-day operations of Bovada, securing Curacao licensure doesn't really change much. There have been many instances before of sites with licenses from reputable jurisdictions, like Full Tilt, absconding with player funds. On the other hand, many firms without licensure have faithfully discharged their duties to their users, offering fair gameplay and speedy cashouts.

Bovada falls into this latter category. It has established itself, over the course of more than a decade, as a trustworthy firm that has never had a scandal where customers' real money was concerned. A license from Curacao doesn't really noticeably enhance this enviable record although it certainly doesn't do any harm either.

The new license might help out a bit in attracting new players. People doing research on international poker, casino, and sportsbook sites sometimes view absent license information as a red flag. In general, the offshore gaming field really ought to seek out and prominently display tokens of respectability because the industry as a whole has an unjustifiably negative reputation in the minds of some segments of the public.

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Black Checkmark

On the whole, we welcome this news about the Curacao license because it tends to add an aura of legitimacy to Bovada. Of course, we already felt that this organization was among the most reputable and fastest-paying available to residents of the United States. We reiterate our recommendation of Bovada and urge you to read our accurate Bovada review to find out about their promotions, games, cashier methods, and other pertinent information.

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