Bovada Founder, History and Review Disclaimer of Non-Bias

The information contained in this review of Bovada was written from personal experience with the company over 9 years doing business with them. We provide a brief of the company and it’s owners so that you can get a view of the “lifestyle” of the company and how it reflects upon its customers. This piece of web article was written for Bovada, once known as Bodog and Calvin Ayre. You may notice I use the terms Bodog and Bovada interchangeably as they essentially are the same.

Begin Review and History of Bovada

Bovada began at the end of fiscal year 2011. It was born through the necessity of it’s owner, Calvin Ayre, to create a specific gambling site for the US only. This brand “Bovada” was named like this with reason, not many are aware of how the name truly came to fruition. Calvin still wanted to represent Bodog, hence the “Bo”, they wanted to also represent gambling in the United States. What does one think of when they associate the meca of gambling? Las Vegas, Nevada. Thus “vada”. Combined the two and you have Bo Vada. The .lv was an attempt to escape any threat of seizure by the US government. Why use a .lv which is the CCTLD for a small country called Latvia, because it looks like it is the State extension for the city of Las Vegas. Thus the formation of Bo Vada . LV =

Calvin Ayre the Owner

Bodog was the most successful sportsbook operator in the United States, literally. It was and is still under the control of Calvin Ayre. While media reports have been issued that Calvin Ayre is no longer under control of Bovada or Bodog, this simply is not true. Calvin is still very much the boss. The exit-reports were an attempt to get the Department of Justice off of Calvin’s back. See, at one point Calvin lavished in the media and playboy lifestyle as he taunted the DOJ flying private jets and popping bottles all over the world…including in the US (Calvin, shown to the right winning his own award he gives out for those caught “drunk as fuck (daf)”. While this was a brilliant marketing plan in the short term and helped him become a billionaire and grow the largest US facing bookie to serve the US, the attention was soon to catch up.

In a twist of irony Calvin Ayre, who was once the face of Forbes magazine quickly became the face as the most wanted bookies by the US Department of Justice. Anyway, don’t let the media fool you. People that work for you still get the random email from “C” or the many aliases he goes by. His bizarre use of email has become quite funny, as he tends to use emails like one would use skype, AOL, or another messenger firing off 4, 5, 6 emails to the same person with only a few words of text. Maybe he is beginning to grow a bit crazy as he ages…

Having met both “Men” behind Bodog I can only say it is a shame these guys are so highly saught by the Department of Justice as “criminals”. Calvin is an extremely savvy business man and not only that, he continues to give back to less fortunate communities through his Calvin Ayre Foundation. Giving them computers, schools, and other tools necessary to succeed in life. More than we can say about the majority of our mogul “politicans”. While Calvin is made to look like a crook, it many cases it is the ones who are chasing him and the ones who urge the DOJ to seek him who are the true crooks. Underground bookies, Atlantic City, and Las Vegas have been hammered by successful internet bookies. This doesn’t bode well for their business so I ask you, who really wants to catch Calvin?

Review of the Sportsbook, Casino and Poker Room

I don’t gamble much on the internet much these days but when I do I choose Bovada. It represents more than a gambling site but a lifestyle of having fun and living life to the fullest. Sounds cheesy but it is true. Having partied with many of the “Bodog” group, they represent a true carefree lifestyle while respecting others.

The Sportsbook
Anyway, the sportsbook is very clean and the layout makes it easy to use. Unlike the oldschool books like 5dimes, it doesn’t look like you’re clicking on something built by a 3rd grader. If you run into any problems placing a bet you can call the 800 number and the people, which seem Canadian answer by the second ring and are quick to help, unlike those at Betonline. They are true professionals and know the backend like it’s their own website. Bovada likes to run lots of exotic bets. You name it, you can bet on it. The only reason Bovada does this is to draw in the casual bettor. Professionals don’t make these types of bets and they know it. One of Bovada’s key to success is to cater to the every day person, not necessarily the big time shark punters. In fact, Bodog was licensed in the United Kingdom under but because the bettors were so good they decided to straight up shut down to the United Kingdom. It wasn’t worth their time and they were actually losing money.

The Poker Room
The poker room has the same ‘oxblood’ colors that Bodog stands behind. A man’s color if you will. The poker room has never really been a flagship of Bodog and thus they’ve never really had a full poker room. Poker is a strange type of market and one Bodog has always come in late on. Think of poker like a night club. If the club isn’t full, then people just getting there won’t stick around. If night after night the club isn’t full, no matter how awesome the club is or cheap the drinks are it won’t be successful. People follow the herds in poker. They didn’t really start marketing for poker players until it was too late, after Black Friday when many people had money seized by the US DOJ. Ever since then poker has not been the same in the United States, at least not one that is run by non US entities. They lack options to place funds into the poker site as most of the processors are placed on their bread and butter, the sportsbook.

The Casino
I’ve always enjoyed the casino as it was very simplistic and used an on-site play. Meaning, you didn’t have to download any software to play. You could easily navigate from the sports lines to the casino without having an additional program running, and being a long time Mac user it has always been compatible.


A word of advice to those in the gambling industry, don’t get on Calvin’s bad side. Him and his team run where he essentially reports the news, but is infamous for outing many brands he doesn’t like. Previous employees that went out and started their own business are under constant attack. True or not, Calvin does have a mean side when he feels disrespected. As you can see, it’s better to be on Calvin’s “good(s) side”.


Over 10 years Bodog / Bovada has proven to be a competent and reliable gambling business to place bets. To this date there has not been one complaint gone unresolved. As always keep in mind most complaints that get posted are generally from systematic scammers or competitors. gives our word of approval. Any problems can be emailed to us and we will get it resolved asap but ONLY if it is legitimate.