Is Bovada legal in Michigan?

Alex K.

Bovada is a US-facing online sportsbook, poker room, and online casino. The site is licensed overseas so continues to be available to players across the United States. However, Bovada does not carry any US gaming license in 2020.

Because of its offshore status, Bovada has become inaccessible in some US states. If you live and play in Michigan, you won’t be able to register an account and gamble for real money.

Over time, Bovada has had bases in Costa Rica, Mexico and Canada. It used to be licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission outside Montreal, Canada, but has since been shed of that license. However, Bovada’s .lv domain means that many US customers are still free to sign up for new accounts.

Bovada is known for its fast payouts and soft sports betting odds compared to other websites. Deposits do carry hefty fees, but it is possible to make transfers using cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.

The Bovada sportsbook offers markets on most major US sports, plus horse racing from major meets. The Bovada online casino is powered by US-facing Real Time Gaming (RTG). It offers several hundred RTG video slots for real money, as well as roulette, blackjack and video poker.

Under the new online gambling laws, only casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) will be allowed to offer real money games.

The first legal and regulated gaming sites are expected to appear in late 2020 or early 2021. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) is also legal under a new bill signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in late 2019.

Online gambling companies must be aligned with an existing casino in Michigan. The casino must apply for an online operating license before its software partner can start offering games.

Legal casinos and online gambling websites will be open to players in Michigan aged 21 or over. While it won’t be illegal for players outside Michigan to register accounts, they must be inside Michigan when they log on and play real money games.

So, Bovada is not illegal to sign up and play with Bovada, however we would recommend to wait until legal and fully licensed online sports betting sites, like BetMGM or William Hill, are ready to take your bets in Michigan. It is safer, and you contribute to the state budget, not offshore’s. Michigan’s gouverneur Gretchen Whitmer legalized sports betting in December 2019. Since 2020 you can place bets in-person at several sportsbooks. Online coming soon.

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