Is Bovada legal in the US? Sportsbook Alternatives for Each State

You’re probably looking for a sportsbook that you can trust and you won’t get in trouble for using. If I were a betting man (I am) then I would guess that you stumbled on Bovada sportsbook. 

It’s for good reason too, it’s been estimated that they have over 10 million users but there’s no sure way of knowing without Bovada confirming. Now you’re wondering if you should be 1 of the estimated 10 million. 

We are going to give you the lowdown on whether Bovada is legal for US players and if you should use them for your sports betting needs. 

If you’re looking for someone to tell you it’s ok to place your bets through Bovada, this isn’t the article for you. We will never suggest a sportsbook or online casino who is not a US Regulated casino or sportsbook. 

If you’re on the fence and want to know why we would never recommend a non-US regulated sportsbook or casino then stick around. We want to show you exactly why. 

Brief History Of Bovada

Bovada (originally called Cyberoad) originally founded as a software company for the sports betting industry. Their claim to fame in 1997 was their platform was the first to accept online payments for the online gambling industry. 

There’s some controversy around when/how Cyberoad who was secretly owned by Bodog opened their doors to one of the big 3 online sportsbooks at the time. This was quite controversial because the founder of both companies was Calvin Ayre. 

What makes it controversial is that he also ran El Moro Finance under the alias of Cole Turner which raised the capital for Cyberoad which failed and was acquired by another company run by that same alias. 

A little background on Calvin, he was born in Canada by a pig and grain farmer in 1961. He credits his success to selling everything he owned to raise $10K to start a software company that eventually became Bodog. 

What Calvin does not share openly is in 1987 his father was convicted for smuggling 750lbs of marijuana into Canada. Calvin was not charged or arrested but he was referred to by the judge to have played a part. 

Calvin was also civilly charged with insider trading which settled for $10K and resulting in a ban from participating or promoting any company in the Vancouver Stock Exchange for 20 years. 

Not exactly upstanding and by the book kind of guy, which leads us to…

Where they operate

Bodog later spun multiple brands for different countries but the one we really care about is Bovada, the US version of Bodog, which is owned by Mohawk Morris Gaming Group which is a private company in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec, Canada.

You’re wondering “why the hell did he stress their location?” well for two reasons. 

The first reason is to point out that the company does not operate within the United States borders so they cannot be regulated or licensed by the United States Gaming Commission.

The Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake is a sovereign Indian Reservation which means that MMGG is not required to do any financial reporting. Given the past record of their founder, this should not be a surprise and should be a red flag. 

Lastly, the location is strategically picked for the United States to loophole US regulations. These loopholes are not full proof and can cause…

Difficulty of depositing

Banks and financial institutions have a duty to comply with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (ULGEA). This, in a nutshell, means that it’s illegal for financial institutions to accept payments in connection with unlawful online gambling

There’s also the wire act which makes it illegal to transmit interstate sports wagering information. You can read more about the online gaming regulations that impact the US federally and state by state. 

With these two acts in place, it can be difficult to have your bnk or credit card approve transactions to Bovada because allowing so would directly violate both acts. Players will often find themselves having to use Wester Union transfers or sending a MoneyGram. 

The reason these additional services are required is because Bovada is not a US or State Regulated Gambling Institution. 

Why people use Bovada and The Risks They Face

We get it, people outside of the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia, and Nevada want to be able to sports bet. Either because they are a big fan of sports or just have more fun watching when there’s skin in the game. 

We’re not condoning these reasons for going to an unlicensed casino just like we wouldn’t recommend you ordering a pizza from a place that doesn’t get health inspections just because you like pizza. 

Our example might sound silly to you but when you think about it, what’s the difference between choosing Bovadaa who isn’t regulated and a restaurant that isn’t policed for cleanliness? 

Sure, the service might be great and others might rave about it but what happens when it’s not? You’re left stranded with no organization or governing body to penalize as insurance should something go wrong. 

Should your bank or credit card deny your deposit, your choices for payment are the same ones a  “Nigerian Prince” uses as payment to releases riches/inheritance to you. That should be a red flag by itself for you. 

To add fuel to the fire, if Bovada decides one day not to pay out winnings in a timely matter, you are at their mercy. On the surface, Bovada has a good track record but it’s hard to ignore seeing players being held up over a month like this.

If you didn’t go through the whole thread, in a nutshell, a player tried to withdraw $1,500 and was provided a lack of transparency with a lot of work on his end to get HIS money. We do hope this player did end up getting his money but if he didn’t he’s SOL because there’s no Gaming Commission to assist him.

Are they regulated by the states

We don’t want to beat a dead horse, so we’ll keep this short. There are no states that regulate or condone the use of Bovada. 

As a matter of fact, legislators in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Deleware, West Virginia, and Maine have created legislation to prevent Bovada from entering their states via the grey areas they do in the rest of the country.

Is Bovada Safe?

Given the horror story we shared earlier, the answer is no. We understand there are probably plenty of success or happy reviews but if you look there are also terrible ones. 

When you factor in that Bovada is not regulated in the United States and the volatile history of the company and its founder, it would be unethical to call Bovada safe for bettors.

Are there alternatives to using Bovada?

Yup! Depending on your state’s legislation there are plenty of sportsbooks to choose from. Not every state is set up for Online Sportsbetting or Sportsbetting in person but we took the time to point out a few options that are state-regulated. 

We’ve broken it down so that you can see the sportsbook, read a review, their current bonus, and where you can play (online or in-person).

Bovada Alternatives For New Jersey








✔ Exclusive 20$ free

✔ 100% up to $600

✔ Risk free bet $250




✔ 100% up to $250 

✔ Only 1x play-through

✔ +400 casino games




✔ Great sports book

✔ Refer a friend, get $50

✔ Risk-free bets up to $1000




✔ $20 free bonus 

✔ Casino, sports & poker 

✔ 100% up to $2000




✔ Exclusive $25 free

✔ 100% up to $1000

✔ Casino, sports & poker




✔ 100% up to $500

✔ 250 casino cames

✔ Very fast support




✔ $20 free bonus 

✔ $250 Risk free bet

✔ 100% up to $500




✔ 100% up to $500

✔ Free $20 on Live Bet

✔ Casino, sportsbook & horse racing




✔ Casino & Sports book

✔ $10 free casino bonus

✔ $10 free sports bonus




✔ 100% up to $300 

✔ $10 free casino bonus

✔ Mobile apps available


Bovada Alternatives For Pennsylvania

We will update this section shortly.

Bovada Alternatives For Virginia

We will update this section shortly.

Bovada Alternatives For Deleware

We will update this section shortly.

Bovada Alternatives Nevada

We will update this section shortly.


Bovada certainly has a lot of raving reviews but the biggest flaw is they are not operated in the United States which means that it can not be regulated by the United States. 

Although it’s unlikely that Bovada will not payout on bets but should they decide not to pay, there is nothing the US court system can do for you since it is not regulated by the United States. For this, we do not suggest using them for your sports betting needs. 

You should always use US regulated sportsbooks and casinos to have confidence that you have state legislation to fall back on to hold them accountable for their actions. 

2019-2020 Sports Betting Statistics List

graph of sports gambling growth from 2009 to 2016

With the global sports betting market currently valued between $60 - 73 billion, the industry has experienced a tremendous surge in growth at a rate of $10 billion annually since 2009. Enter your text here...

graph of sports gambling growth from 2009 to 2016

Research even shows that 50% of adults in the United States have placed a sports bet once in their life. 

If you're among that statistic and looking to place some more bets, we've got a list of sports betting statistics to help you back your decisions with solid data. 

The list covers stats for the following sporting sectors:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • MLS

NFL Betting Statistics

every NFL team logo

Betting on the NFL is tough. 

This is mainly due to the point spread system invented by Charles McNeil in the 1940s. Now according to odds database, for over 15 consecutive seasons, NFL favorites have moved against the spread at 1,859 - 1,860, with 111 pushes. 

Within those 15 years, 1,886 games stayed under the total, and 1,890 games went over the total, that's with 64 games hitting the over/under. 

With those results above, you'll need all the luck you can get taking on the odds makers responsible for them, as well as the relevant numbers to help you know how to place your bets properly. 

Here are some notes and numbers to help you:

Enter your text here...

Where the Money and Bets Are

  • The number of bets placed on the Los Angeles Rams to emerge as winners at the Super Bowl is more than the amount put on any other team at the Westgate Sportsbook. In second place with the most attracted bets for the super bowl, are the Green Bay Packer, then the Minnesota Vikings and 49ers.  

  • There's been more money bet on the Green Bay Packers to win the Super Bowl, than any other team at the SuperBook. The second team attracting the most money is the Los Angeles Rams, followed by the Vikings and Eagles. 

  • Station Casinos' biggest liability is on the browns. A Super Bowl victory for the Cleveland Brown's would be over 4 times worse than any other team for Station's sportsbook.  

  • Across the MetLife Stadium, the FanDuel SuperBook has received more bets placed on the New York Giants winning the Super Bowl than any other team. 

  • At the Meadowlands sportsbook, the Buffalo Bills have pulled in the fewest bets of any team to win the Super Bowl.

Here are some notable Super Bowl bets placed on various teams at William Hill: 

  • $12,00 placed on the Falcons at 22-1

  • $10,000 placed on the Riders at 20-1 

  • $5000 placed on the Lions at 50-1 

  • $4000 placed on the Titans at 50-1 

  • $1000 placed on the Jets at 100-1 

  • $1000 placed on the Browns at 100-1 

With the following respective net's: 

  • $264,000

  • $200,00

  • $200,000

  • $200,000

  • $100,000

  • $100,000

  • Since 2003, the Patriots have been 69-46-5 at home and 72-42-3 ATS away. 

  • The favorites on Thursdays are 97-66-5 ATS since 2003. 

  • Betters have placed six times more bets at Caesars sportsbook on the New Orleans Saints to go above their season-win total of 9.5 than have been placed on them to go under. The Denver Broncos(7.5) and Houston Texans(9) have also had six times more bets placed on them to go under in the season-win totals than on overs. 

  • More money has been wagered and more bets placed at the DraftKings sportsbook on the Giants to emerge as winners at the Super Bowl than any other team. The Giants retain the number one position at FanDuel sportsbook for Super Bowl bets; however, for money betted, the Saints hold the top position. 

  • The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have pulled in the least bets and amount of money to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings.

The NFL Statistics

  • The percentage of games during the 1st week that have stayed under since 2003 is 54.1. 

  • In 2017, during the regular season, the number of upsets by underdogs was 73, which was the third lowest of all seasons since 2003. 

  • Over the past 15 seasons, 52.1 is the percentage of games that have remained under the December total, making it the highest under percentage of any month during the regular seasons.

  • The percentage of games that have stayed above the total in October is 53.0, which is the highest overs percentage for any month in the previous 15 seasons. 

  • Bill Belichick's has had a 71.8 ATS winning percentage as an underdog with the Patriots. That's the best of any current head coach with a minimum of 3 years of experience. 

  • Under coach Bill O' Brien the Houston Texans had a 38-22-4 record against the spread in second halves, which is the best mark for any current head coach. 

  • In 2017 to 2018 regular season, 52.7 is the percentage of games the favorite covered, making it the second-best rate in the previous 15 seasons. 

NBA Betting Statistics

Lebron James posting Clay Thompson

Sports’ betting is a global phenomenon and the NBA is no different. It has attracted global bettors in their numbers. 

For instance, a report in June 2016, stated that the 7th Game of the 2016 NBA finals received the most bets of any NBA game in the history of the league. Right behind it is game 6 of the same year.

Bill Settle a director at the Caesars Palace had this to say about the 7th game of the 2016 NBA Finals: 

"In all my 29 years in the Industry at the William Hill's Nevada Sportsbook, I have never seen anything like it."

If you're an active NBA bettor or about to begin here are some amazing stats to consider: 

  • The teams that have gotten the most bets placed on them to win the NBA are the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and the Houston Rockets, respectively. 

  • There are more bets placed on the Celtics and Lakers than any other team at Caesars Palace. 

  • The Lakers have attracted the most bets to win the NBA title at the Station Casinos, MGM Sportsbook, and Westgate Superbook.  

  • The teams that have had the most money placed on them to win the NBA title at the Superbook are the Lakers, Golden State Warriors, and Celtics. 


  • More cash has been placed on the Warriors to emerge as winners than anyone at the MGM books, followed by the Celtics. 

  • In the first week the Superbook opened odds to win the NBA title, a person placed $10,000 bets on the Warriors to come out winners at +110 and $10,000 at +120. 

  • A SuperBook bettor put a $67,736 bet on the Warriors to get into the playoffs at -10,000 odds. 

  • About 50% of the cash wagered on DraftKings odds for the NBA winner title is on the Celtics.

  • The Cleveland Cavaliers hold the largest liability in the SuperBook's odds to emerge as winners in the NBA championship futures market. 

  • The team with the fewest bets for the NBA title at the SuperBook is the Charlotte Hornets. 

  • The Atlanta Hawks alongside the Sacramento Kings are the longest shot on the board at the SuperBook, as eight bets have been on the Atlanta Hawks in one season to win the NBA title at 1000-1. 

  • A VIP at the SuperBook put a $90,000 bet on the San Antonio Spurs to get into the playoffs at -180.  And the wager would be expected to yield a net win of $50,000. 

  • 40% of the cash wagered at DraftKings on the odds to win rookie of the year are on Knick guard Kevin Knox.  

  • Both James and Joel Embid have both accounted for approximately 40% of the money wagered on Draftkings odds to win the most valuable player.

NBA Season Win Totals

  • The Spurs under 43.5 hold the biggest liability at the SuperBook for its season win totals. 

  • The Caesars Palace largest season win total liabilities are the Spurs over 45, the Hawks under 24.5 and Rockets over 55.5. 

  • In some books, the Hawks win totals have been as low as 22.5 and are the 15th lowest since the 2002 to 2003 season. However, Analytics site Eldorado states that 13 of 16teams with win totals as low or lower than 22.5 have gone over the win total. 

  • The Warriors have a season win total of 60 and are the ninth team to have this.

NBA Coaching Numbers

  • The number of games the Warriors have been underdogs with coach Steve Kerr is 23. The Golden State Warriors is 10-13 ATS in these matches.

  • If a bettor placed $100 on every game with Gregg Popovich as the coach for the Spurs, they would be up by $1,530. 

  • There are 8 coaches with losing records against the spread: J.B Bickerstaff,  David Fizdale, Luke Walton, David Fizdale, Lue, Alvin Gentry, Billy Donovan, and Fred Hoiberg.

  • The percentage of games with Quid Snyder as the Utah Jazz coach that have stayed below the total is 54.23.

MLB Betting Statistics

Yankee Stadium

Baseball is arguably the most profitable sport for bettors. 


Well unlike, basketball and football where most bets are dependent on the point spread; baseball is a money line spot.  Meaning that as a bettor, you just need to pick who wins a game, and not who covers. 

Baseball also offers bettor’s seemingly endless opportunities for edge maximization as the games have a long, drawn-out schedule. 

With that said, let's see MLB betting statistics that'll help you make better decisions: 

  • Popular teams like the Yankees, Dodgers, Red Sox, Dodgers and Cubs are always overpriced as recreational bettors bet on them regardless of if they're -180, -200, or -150. 

  • If bettors had bet $100 on each plus-money dog since 2010, they would have profited $12,972. 

  • In the 2016 -2017 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers ended with a 64.2% record (104-58). The San Francisco and Detroit Tigers in the same season ended at the worst mark at 39.5% (64-98).

  • It's a common trend for top teams to win approximately 100 games and the underdogs to win 60 games. 

  • Bettors need -150 favorites to win 60.0% of the time if they want to break even. In scenarios when it's increased to -180, bettors would need a 64.3% win on all wagers. 

  • When betting on the underdog, bettors only need +150 to break even.  If this is increased to +160, bettors only need to win 38.0% of the time. 

  • Bettors from all over the world are more likely to place bets on the 5 most popular teams in the MLB:  the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants. This is done without recourse to the  famous team factor.

  • The Minnesota Twins were the most profitable team to bet on in the first half of 2019 MLB season. 

  • At +1515 the San Francisco Giants come in as the second most profitable team to bet on in the 2019 majors. With the Los Angeles Dodgers coming in at +1217

  • The Detroit Tigers were the worst team to bet on in the 2019 MLB half-season with a -$2,687 net, which is worse than the -$1,667 of Kansas City or the -$1,780 mark of the Boston Red Sox.

  • When picking overs the Mariners have been the most profitable team to bet on in the 2019 season. 

  • The Cincinnati Reds are the best team to bet under in 2019.

MLS Betting Statistics

Yankee Stadium

MLS betting is as basic as it gets. In the market, you can bet on majorly three possible outcomes, which are the away team wins, the home team wins or the game ends in a draw. Bettors can also place bets on goal scores. For example, if a particular team would win by 1 - 0 or 2 -1. 

With that said, let's dive into the stats: 

  • In the 2018 season only 18% of games ended with a score of 1-0, 23% ended with 3 goals, and 21% ended with 2 goals. This means placing bets over 1.5 or 2.54 would be profitable in the MLS as it turned out to be in 63% and 83% of matches in 2018. 

  • As of 2018, there was a positive 6% rise from the recorded goal scoring figures of previous seasons, with both teams scoring in 61% of all MLS games. 

  • In the MLS bets placed on the home team, do not always have the strongest advantage. 

  • The 2018 MLS season saw a high -21% draw rate. 

  • Betting on the home team is more favorable than betting on the away team as only 25% of games see the away team wins. 

  • The New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United are the top teams that attract the most bets to win the title.