Few sites have displayed such a willingness to find their way to as many customers as possible as Bodog. For instance, this top-rated betting site and its offshoots have even managed to find a place among convoluted US gambling legislation. This is notable in its own right, but how does Bodog’s core betting offer match up in the highly competitive world of top online bookmakers?
Today, we’ll be going through an in-depth Bodog bookmaker review. Just in case you got the wrong impression – Bodog is not exclusively a US betting site. In fact, the US version of the site is not even called Bodog, instead of going by Bovada. They accept customers from all over the world, but the very fact that American residents can register and play makes them kind of stick out in the current online gambling landscape. The biggest international companies prefer not to get bogged down in US gambling legislation, leaving this sizable market up for grabs to smaller bookies that can’t be found anywhere else. This is not true for Bodog, an operator with a noted presence in Asia, Europe and South America as well.
Bodog – The Winners’ Network
At this point, it’s getting hard to keep track of all the online casinos and sportsbooks under the same umbrella. Bodog, Bovada, Bodog88, Bodog.eu, Bodog India, and even Ignition are all part of one growing family and – as far as we can tell – all subscribe to a similar business model. Still, we’ll use this as a disclaimer: depending on where you’re from, some aspects of Bodog’s service may be different for you. For instance, the payment methods at Bodog can vary greatly based on the version of the website you’re visiting.
In this version, we’ll be using the original, Canadian Bodog.com. Still, we recommend carefully re-checking any information before registering. You should especially pay attention to deposits and withdrawals, as well as the general terms and conditions. On the other hand, this article can also serve as a Bovada review because both betting sites offer essentially the same service.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s look at Bodog company information – of which there is not a lot available, unfortunately. The Bodog gambling company brand is tied to Calvin Ayre, a Canadian entrepreneur who founded the business back in 2000. As some of you may be aware of, this is the time during which online sports betting expanded aggressively and truly came into its own as a viable alternative to traditional brick-and-mortar betting shops. This expansion was spearheaded by UK bookmakers, and most of the industry remains focused on the United Kingdom and mainland Europe.
Why does this matter? Well, a large part of how Bodog came to be a billion-dollar giant is thanks to how they managed to see openings in the market and claim them before others manage to. At the time, Canada was unchartered territory when it comes to remote gambling.
The company’s origins are a bit more humble, though. Ayre looked at newfound phone betting businesses that were surging during the 90s and decided the internet was the perfect place for a betting platform. He converted a Vancouver-based company into an online gambling software firm. Initially, the idea was to licence gaming products to other sites – but Ayre quickly realized that running the whole operation would be much more profitable.
Bodog was then born as an easy-to-remember brand. It would be impossible to doubt the success of these early years – by 2006, Ayre was a billionaire. Bodog became a household name throughout North America and remains by far the biggest Canadian betting site out there. It should be noted, though, that it is currently based in Antigua.
While the European side is comparatively small, mostly due to much stiffer competition, this bookie has taken places such as South America by storm. This is what we found interesting about Bodog’s approach: they leave the big names and brands to fight over popular markets in Europe and bring their services to places which are generally avoided for one reason or another.
Depending on who you ask, sports betting was never Bodog’s biggest breadwinner. A lot of bettors see them as primarily an online casino. And while the site's services do include a robust casino betting section, it's not what we'll be reviewing in this article. Betting Fellow is primarily intended for sports punters, so the sportsbook will be all that interests us.
Licensing & Safety
The licencing situation at Bodog is strange and confusing, to say the least. First of all, the multiple different sites for different audiences can be hard to keep track of. Being based in Barbados and Antigua, this is where their most relevant betting licence comes from on an international level. Admittedly, this is not a very respected (or well-known, for that matter) licencing authority. Still, given Bodog’s size and reputation, it should be enough to guarantee at least some level of legitimacy. We should stress, though, that this licence generally applies to Bodog.com and Bodog.eu – meaning it’s only relevant for players from Canada, South America, and mainland Europe.
Then we have Bodog.co.uk. As you may have guessed, this is a UK betting site intended for British audiences. Bodog managed to get their hands on a United Kingdom Gambling Commission licence in 2011, opening its doors to the world’s most competitive betting market. While a UKGC licence is technically only relevant to UK players, it is one of the most respected remote gambling licences in the business. Gambling companies have to adhere to very strict standards if they wish to obtain one. The issue, however, is that unless you're using the Bodog.co.uk domain, you're not protected by the licence and its clauses. As such, this licence mostly serves for peace of mind to everyone outside the UK.
Bodog88 seems like an offshoot marketed towards the Asian market. The licence is issued by the regulatory body of the Philippines. At this point, we don’t know much about this authority, so it's hard to tell if it will be of use to anyone outside the Philippines.
Finally, if you’re looking to bet from the US, you should refer to Bovada. To call the licencing situation there a mess would be an understatement, and we won’t get into it too much because this is a review of Bodog and not Bovada. Still, most other aspects of the service presented here should apply to Bovada, so you’ll still find a lot of useful information.
When it comes to online transaction safety, there’s very little to complain about. At least the situation is clear here. All traffic between you and the Bodog site is heavily encrypted so your personal and payment information cannot be accessed by third parties.
When it comes to restricted countries, though, it may be hard to distinguish which countries are available. Our advice would be to try out all the different Bodog-licenced websites, roughly following the principles we outlined above.
Deposit and Withdrawals
This is by far the biggest difference you’ll come across when dealing with different versions of Bodog. Bovada users from the US may be especially hard-hit by this, but this is not the only issue at hand.
To call the deposit options at Bodog disappointing would be kind. There’s not a lot of them, most of them are very slow and subject to very strict limits. Don’t get us wrong, a $5000 maximum will not be a problem for the vast majority of customers – but it seems bad compared to some of the competition who often have no limits. And when they do, we’re usually talking about hundreds of thousands.
The first option for deposits is credit and debit cards. These, at least, are nice to have and are the go-to options for a good part of online punters. There are a $20 minimum and a $5000 maximum, but at least there are no hidden fees or strings attached.
The only e-wallet options available are eWallet Xpress and Click2Pay. Again, these are only for deposits so they’re instant and subject to the same limits as card payments. MyPayLinq is, similarly, an online payment option with the same limitations.
Your other options are Skrill’s Rapid Transfer and Wire transfers. The rapid transfer can only be used for amounts between $100 and $1000 and has fees for any amount under $300. Wire transfers are for amounts between $1000 and $100,000 and may take days to be processed.
Now we come to the really problematic part: withdrawal methods at Bodog. Your options here are either a direct bank transfer or a cheque. The former will take several days, while the latter method may take upwards of two weeks.
The other option is Bitcoin. Bitcoin payments are instant with a minimum of $20 an a maximum of $5000 (or rather, the equivalents in BTC.)
We realize that withdrawal methods for Canadian punters are severely limited. However, if Bodog ever wishes to gain any ground in Europe this aspect of their service will need some serious work.
As any trusted online bookmaker, Bodog has a customer support team to take care of any questions or issues that might come up. We’ve noticed, however, that customer service is not the same across all Bodog-branded platforms. For starters, the contacts are different: we’ll list bodog.com’s channels of communication – but if you’re using bodog.co.uk, for example, you might need to e-mail a different address or dial a different number.
Either way, all communication we had was pleasant and fast. They are also open 24/7 which is always nice to hear. It also makes sense, seeing how broad Bodog’s customer base seems to be in terms of which parts of the world they come from. The site also features a help section that has answers to some of the most commonly asked questions, although not nearly enough information is displayed. Either way, here are the ways in which you can contact Bodog customer service:
Live Chat: The fastest method for top bookmakers in 2020. The live chat feature is available to all customers 24/7, and can be accessed on the website itself after you’ve logged in
Phone: You can also speak to a Bodog representative directly by calling them at 1-877-263-6422
Market & OddsBodog’s international nature coms as a big plus when we look at their coverage and available sports and markets. First of all, there is no bias towards European sports and fans – which will be good news to everyone else. We’re getting ahead of ourselves, though.
There are some 25 different sports and betting categories to chose from on the sportsbook. This is more or less average for this kind of website, so no surprises there. Besides all the usual options of things like football, basketball, and hockey, there are also specialized categories such as e-sports betting and politics.
Bodog is renowned among Canadian punters for the amazing lines they offer on NHL matches. Being Canadian at its heart, Bodog is probably one of the best hockey betting sites around. Other sports favoured in North America are also covered and have remarkably good odds and value, namely the NFL, NBA and MLB.
What about other fan-favourites, like football betting? Of course, soccer is quite well covered, although if you’re looking for smaller leagues and low-profile matches you might have better luck elsewhere. Where Eurocentric sites focus on football above all else, Bodog merely includes it – although there are still a lot of options because there are just so many football games played worldwide. Still, if Premier League betting is your main concern, there are better options out there.
The selection of betting markets is well above average average, and the same applies to odds as well. All in all, Bodog’ssportsbook is fairly balanced, with a slight preference for North American sports. This is reflected in both the number of markets and how well they are priced – all-round it’s quite good, but the lack of focus means that specialized sites might have better lines if you're only interested in a single sport.
As previously mentioned, the only exception is probably ice hockey. Bodog offers some of the best hockey betting odds on a global level. Besides hockey, there are two outliers: baseball gets unconventionally excellent odds, while tennis is plagued by a huge margin and mediocre offers at best.
No modern sportsbook could operate these days without a live betting section. As most of you know by now, this feature allows punters to make bets as the action unfolds in the field. We don’t have a lot to say about in-play betting at Bodog – in this case, however, that’s a good thing. This means that the page is everything it needs to be – fast, intuitive, reliable and easy to understand. It provides all sorts of interesting information about what’s going on in the match.
Furthermore, our usual complaint about live betting on various bookies is that it lacks a lot of options pre-match bets have. For example, live betting often chooses to omit some sports and matches, or the odds are simply not up to snuff. Thankfully, this is not the case on Bodog. While some low-profile games and matches are understandably not an option, everything else will be enough to satisfy even the most demanding of live bettors.
Bodog Live Streaming Offer
Some bookies turn their sites into betting platforms which can be used to watch your favourite sporting events on the web. Unfortunately, though, Bodog is not one of those bookies. There is no live streaming at Bodog of any sort as of the writing of this review. While it would be nice if they added the option at some point, streaming is a secondary feature for sportsbooks at best. In other words – if you’re a punter looking for a good site to bet on, this should by no means be a deal-breaker.
Bodog Bookmaker Margin
Overround, which is another name for bookmaker margins, is the percentage by which all odds are adjusted to guarantee profitability for the house. Betting odds are closely tied to this margin, which is one of the reasons why odds can be different on various betting sites.
Ultimately, the smaller the margin, the better the returns for players. Of course, these margins are not consistent across all sports – which is betting sites are better for some sports than others.
That’s why ice hockey is Bodog’s main attraction with a low margin of just 3.1%. It’s also one of the best places to make basketball bets and wager on baseball. These sports have margins of 4.1% and 3.8% respectively.
Soccer and American football have rather average margins of around 5%. As we mentioned in this review’s section on markets and odds, the only sport we would designate as below average is tennis with a margin of 7.6%.
To sup up, Bodog’s strengths lie in their versatility and general high quality of the sportsbook. We would recommend this site to three groups specifically: people who regularly bet on several different sports, fans of ice hockey, and Canadian players in general. If you fall into one of these three categories, you can register at Bodog while being confident that you’re making the right choice.
For everyone else, we’ll point out some negatives and let you be the judge. The payment options are severely limited, as we’ve discussed in great detail. The overall design and UI of the website are also a bit uninspired – though they are undeniably functional. The major problem here is that there are plenty of other sites that provide a similar offer in terms of odds, but that also add bonuses and promotions more relevant to European audiences. The whole operation is also lacking in features like bet builders in live streaming.
All in all, Bodog is an excellent, world-class online bookmaker. The issue is that the competition appears to always be a step ahead. Still, to those whose interests align with Bodog’s, it’s a great option.
How to open an account at Bodog?
Currently, Bodog’s welcome offer is as follows: a 100% first deposit bonus which doubles your initial sum in free bets. This is the standard sportsbook signup bonus and there are several others, namely ones for casinos or other Bodog-branded websites. To take advantage of this special offer, all you have to do is register at Bodogby following these simple steps:
- Head over to Bodog.com. You will be redirected to a different regional version if necessary.
- Click the “join now” button at the top right corner of the page.
- Fill out the form with personal information such as name, surname, age, and country of residence.
- Provide contact information such as a billing address with postcode, you're email and your phone number.
- Chose account information: username, password, preferred currency, and preferred odds format.
- You may also be required to provide personal documents as proof of age and residence. This can be done through the account page. Additionally, you may need to provide further information if you want to use Direct Bank Transfers as a withdrawal method. Contact customer support if you’re interested.
Bodog review FAQ
Can you use Bodog in the US?
Yes and no. While US citizens cannot directly access Bodog.com, they can instead use the US-focused brand Bovada.
What does Bodog mean?
Nothing in particular, as far as we can tell. When he was thinking up the brand, Calvin Ayre used general principles of brand naming: stick to short, memorable phrases. He also thought it would stick out next to the usual bookie names which all include “sport”, “bet”, and similar words that allow you to immediately realize what the site is all about.
What currency does Bodog use?
Bodog.com’s users can deposit funs in British pounds, Canadian dollars, Euros, South African rand, or US dollars. However, some offshoot websites might allow other currencies, such as Asia’s Bodog88.
Bodog – How to cash out?
You can cash out of Bodog bets by looking at the "My Bets" tab and clicking the "cash-out" button on your betting slip. Note that cash-out may be unavailable at some times or for some events, due to various reasons.
What is Bodog’s maximum payout?
The max payout at Bodog is $100,000 US or the equivalent in your currency. There are some exceptions, though: horse racing bets are limited to $50,000 per wager.