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Is Bovada Legal in 2021 for US Sports, Casino & Poker Players?

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American fans of online sports betting, poker, and casino games often inquire: Is Bovada legal? As one of the foremost online gambling brands, Bovada caters to residents of the United States who are looking for betting action from the comfort of their homes. Before depositing their hard-earned cash, many users wish to assure themselves that Bovada is legal in the U.S.

We've done the research for you and are pleased to report that, yes, Bovada is legal for residents of the United States to play online poker, conduct online sports betting, and enjoy their favorite internet casino games. Keep reading for more information on why this is so, how Bovada works, is Bovada safe or not, where Bovada is located, and other details that you might be curious about.

Is Bovada Legal?

What Is Bovada?

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Before going on with our exploration of Bovada legality, let's go over a few basic facts about the site.

Bovada was formed in 2011 as a US-facing offshoot of the respected Bodog brand. Its main product is its sportsbook, but there's also a racebook covering horse races around the world, a Bovada Casino with blackjack and hundreds of other games, including a Live Dealer section, and a poker room with cash games, including fast-fold poker, sit-n-goes, Jackpots, and multi-table tournaments.

Since its inception, Bovada has grown in popularity and prestige. It is now one of the most well-known online gambling brands available in the United States.

Bovada.lv WebsiteThe Bovada.lv Website

How Is Bovada Legal?

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The short answer as to how is Bovada legal is that it is located in Costa Rica and is therefore immune to prosecution under U.S. law. It must comply with the laws of Costa Rica, where it is based, and is not really affected by the moral posturings of bigwig bureaucrats in the United States.

The Federal government might have a different interpretation of Bovada's legal status particularly where online sports betting is concerned. They would probably contend that under the provisions of the Wire Act, Bovada's online sportsbook is in violation of the law and, like other betting sites, is subject to prosecution.

Yet the U.S. government's heavy-handed attempts to criminalize online gambling operations have already been deemed contrary to international law by the World Trade Organization. While rendering judgment in the lengthy dispute between the United States and Antigua regarding online gambling, the WTO noted that international trade treaties that the United States has signed demand that signatory nations allow cross-border access to all kinds of goods and services, like online sportsbooks. By claiming that these sites are illegal, the United States is breaking its solemn treaty obligations.

Regardless of their view that Bovada is illegal, it's really difficult for the U.S. authorities to initiate enforcement actions against the firm as long as nobody associated with the company enters the country. There have been, in the past, executives of sports betting sites that have been arrested when they set foot on U.S. soil. The case of Peter Dicks is one such example. However, after a few similar incidents many years ago, execs at online betting corporations like Bovada are now wise enough to avoid making this blunder.

What About a Possible Repeat of Black Friday?

Some point to the Black Friday crackdown as an example of what could happen to Bovada Poker. On April 15, 2011, several of the leading U.S.-friendly online poker sites were targeted by criminal and civil legal proceedings, and they were eventually forced to leave the U.S. market. However, it was a unique set of circumstances that led to Black Friday in the first place, and those conditions no longer pertain.

DoJ Takedown NoticeVisitors to Several Online Poker Websites Were Shown This Message on April 15, 2011
Bodog/Bovada Was Not One of Them

The Department of Justice proceeded with the Black Friday indictments based largely upon the information given to them by Daniel Tzvetkoff: a prominent online gambling payment processor who was arrested and turned state's evidence. Since that time, most internet gaming enterprises have taken steps to limit their exposure so that a single individual cannot do so much harm to their business interests.

Since the events of Black Friday, there have been a couple of changes in presidential administration, and none of the subsequent DoJ appointees have shown any inclination of launching a new version of Black Friday. The passing of Sheldon Adelson in January 2021 is perhaps relevant here too. The billionaire was widely regarded as the mastermind behind many anti-online gambling laws and regulations, and so his disappearance (and the disappearance of his lobbying money) from the scene heavily reduces the probability of further large-scale prosecutions against internet gaming interests.

We must also remember that Bovada's ancestor Bodog was not one of the companies attacked on Black Friday. In the unlikely event that there is a second wave of legal action against online betting firms, there's every reason to believe that Bovada will again slip through the net.

Players Totally Safe

The effective immunity of the principals of Bovada to prosecutions that the authorities may wish to initiate against them doesn't exactly address matters from the individual player's end. Some potential users of Bovada Poker may be wondering if they're breaking the law by accessing the betting site. A few might even be asking themselves: Can you go to jail for using Bovada? Fortunately, though, the answer to this question is, “no.”

None of the federal statutes that target online gambling sites affect ordinary players at all. The Wire Act focuses strictly on those running the online gaming organizations. The UIGEA too penalizes operators rather than players although it does also target banks and payment processors. Even those few state codes that might theoretically make playing at Bovada's casino, poker room, or sportsbook against the law are never enforced against regular customers.

Thus, there's no chance at all of jail time or even a fine if you partake in the Bovada casino, poker, or sports products online. From a legal standpoint, you're completely safe.

Is Bovada Legit?

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Of course, even after assuring yourself that Bovada is legal, there's still the question of whether or not it's a legitimate betting site with fair games and honest payouts. Well, there are two things we can look at when attempting to decide if Bovada.lv is legit or not: its official gaming license and the way it has historically treated its users.

Bovada.lv Online Gambling Licensure

There are several jurisdictions around the world that regulate real money internet gaming companies. These regulatory bodies establish rules governing the conduct of online wagering products, and they monitor their licensees for compliance. Although not the be-all-and-end-all of gauging the trustworthiness of a site, the presence of a valid license does indicate that an entity has met whatever criteria the licensing body has established and is likely not a fly-by-night upstart.

In the case of Bovada, we see that it is licensed by Curacao eGaming. Bovada was formerly not licensed – a cause for concern among some prospective customers – but in January 2021, Bovada announced that it had obtained a Curacao license. This means that it has successfully fulfilled the criteria of the Curacao regulators, and it remains in compliance to this day.

Bovada LicenseBovada's Gaming License Is Verifiable Through the Curacao eGaming Validation Tool

U.S. Players Satisfied by Bovada

Of course, official licensure is just a formality that weeds out only the most dishonest of crooked organizations. You should expect more from your legal sports betting, casino, and poker provider than simply a valid gaming license.

Since 2011, Bovada has acted forthrightly and proactively to safeguard its customers and to give them a superb betting experience.

Bovada Poker is part of the largest poker network open to Americans (PaiWangLuo Network). It would have been impossible for it to achieve this #1 status had it not delivered the unbiased shuffling results and action-filled tables and tournaments that its users are looking for. A few malcontents contend that the dealing isn't random, but we have debunked these misinformed theories that Bovada is rigged, it is in fact totally legit.

On the casino side of things, Bovada has also acted in a conscientious way. In July 2016, Bovada Casino got rid of several games from a third-party developer after it came out that there was something weird going on with many of the progressive jackpot titles from that software house. Rather than subjecting its customers to potentially crooked games, Bovada opted to remove them from its menu.

Perhaps most importantly, Bovada has always been known to pay out what it owes. It does not give winners the runaround or subject them to annoying delays when they try to cash out their money. Our regularly updated online gaming payout report shows that Bovada is indeed one of the fastest-paying sites available to Americans.

Bovada Legal Payout Methods: Checks, Bitcoins, and More

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We have shown that Bovada is legal to use for Americans and that Bovada's legit as far as the integrity of its gameplay and the no-nonsense payment of winnings. We would like to elaborate a little bit more on the nature of the payouts at Bovada because this is something that many people inquire about before feeling confident in creating a Bovada account.

You can request Bovada checks for amounts between $100 and $3,000. You will receive your check in 10 – 15 business days. Bovada provides all customers with one free check withdrawal per 90 days; any additional cashouts via check within this time window incur a fee of $100 each.

Yet, there are better ways to get your money in this day and age. When you use a crypto-currency like Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, or Litecoin to make a withdrawal, you will be able to receive up to $9,500 at a time. Furthermore, there are no fees for crypto payouts. The coins should hit your crypto wallet within a day or two of making your withdrawal request.

Digital coins are also a superb way to deposit funds to your Bovada account. Doing so will let you avoid fees and also spare yourself the possibility of having your credit card declined. Many card issuers block transactions related to online gambling, but this is never a problem for crypto users.

Bovada CashierBovada Accepts Several Cryptocurrencies

Crypto-currency is truly a huge innovation, which has transformed the world of online gaming. If you aren't familiar with how it works, then you can learn more by reading this guide to using Bitcoin for online poker. We have also created guides to two popular “altcoins” that are fully supported at Bovada.lv: Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.

Who Can Sign up for Bovada?

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Bovada focuses its efforts exclusively on the United States, and this is the only country from which it accepts sign-ups. There are other sites within the same group of companies that cater to those in other parts of the world. Bodog offers its services to those in Canada and Latin America while Ignition Casino, in addition to the United States, also serves Australia.

Unfortunately, there are several states from which Bovada does not accept customers. They are: DE, MD, NJ, NV, NY.

Minimum Age Requirements

Another requirement is that you must be 18 years or older. This is the age of majority throughout most of the United States. In case you live in a state with a different age of majority, then it's your responsibility to ensure that you are of legal age to agree to a binding contract before you register for Bovada.

If you are underage, we strongly counsel you not to attempt to play at Bovada. Besides being against the terms of service of the site, gambling while younger than 18 will likely cause you problems during the identity verification that's generally required before any cashout is processed. Therefore, you will not be able to collect any of your winnings if you break the rules.

Is Bovada Legal Conclusion

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If you were wondering, “Is Bovada legal?” then the answer is: Definitely. The Bovada legal sportsbook, poker room, and casino caters to people in the United States looking to conduct real money gaming, and there's nothing in the law that makes it illegal for you to bet online at this site.

Besides just being legal, Bovada is also legit. That is, it conducts itself in an upright manner and provides fair, honest games along with reliable payouts.

If concerns about whether or not Bovada is legal in the U.S. have been holding you back from creating an account, then there's no reason for you to worry. Bovada provides a legal and safe venue for you to engage in all your real money online gaming.

If you want to learn more about Bovada legal gaming, you can read this comprehensive Bovada.lv review. If, for whatever reason, you don't think Bovada would be right for you, then perhaps a list of Bovada alternatives (sites like Bovada) would interest you.

Bovada Legal FAQ

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There are a lot of ancillary questions that might pop into your head when considering “Is Bovada legal?" We have attempted to address as many of them as possible below in our FAQ.

Yes, Bovada is a legal online gaming site for residents of the United States of America. There are no federal laws that make it illegal to play. Furthermore, Bovada is a safe site that keeps its users' accounts secure and conducts itself honestly.

Yes, collecting your winnings from Bovada is certainly not against the law. Still, in order to avoid restrictive banking regulations and delays, it's probably wise to use crypto-currencies for all your withdrawals rather than depend on Bovada checks.

No, Bovada does not forward any information about its customers to the IRS or any other government agency. It is up to the individual users to figure out their tax liability, if any, and make the appropriate payments to the tax authorities. We advise you to pay what you owe so that you won't get into any trouble later on.

Yes, Bovada is one of the premier legal poker, casino, and sports betting options for Californians. You can log into your computer and bet at Bovada without any legal impediments in California.

No, you cannot legally play at Bovada from The Empire State. It used to be possible, but in May 2021, Bovada decided to cease doing business in New York.

This decision was not the result of any real change in Bovada legal status. Rather, Bovada took it upon itself to voluntarily leave New York allegedly because of forthcoming legal sportsbook legislation.

Yes, Bovada is a completely legal online gambling website in Pennsylvania. Bovada restricts access from several regulated online gaming states, but Pennsylvania is not one of them.