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Online Gambling

Reason #1 I like Bovada:

Play for free
with no hassles

Most online casinos insult you with popups and spam, and they give you the hard sell even if you just want to try their free-play games.  Fortunately there's Bovada, which gives a much friendlier experience.  That's the main reason why I advertise them exclusively.

  • No registration required. Most casinos let you play for free with fake money, but there's a catch: They make you register an account first.   That's not just a hassle: after you register you can expect them to badger you by email trying to get you to deposit real money.  But Bovada lets you play right away without forcing you to register an account.  One click and you're in.  Here, try it.
  • Plays right in your browser.  If you'd rather not download the casino software to your hard disk, you don't have to.  The games play right in your web browser.  Nice.
  • Works on Macs.  The play-in-browser games are MacOS compatible!  Before Bovada, Mac users were pretty much out of luck for gambling online.  Not any more.
  • No popups.  I'll never understand why companies think it's a good idea to annoy their visitors, but that's standard practice at most online casinos.  Bovada is one of the rare exceptions -- no popups, no popunders, just the website.

Bovada's not perfect, but there's no better site for U.S. players.

Visit Bovada

Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.
Play these
free slots now

Gambling problem?
  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

Casinos should be reformed to stop predatory tactics

Last update: September, 2018.

Casinos don't simply offer the games and hope people play them, they do everything they can to encourage that play, even with—make that especially with—addicted gamblers. (source)

This shouldn't be surprising.  History has shown that companies will always do shocking, even evil things to earn profits unless there are regulations to stop them.  That was made patently clear during the industrial revolution where factories exploited even child workers in nearly slave-like conditions, in extremely dangerous environments which saw them mangled and killed by machinery in large numbers.  The companies stopped only when government regulation forced them to.  Factory farming imposes unfathomable cruelty on animals, and exists because there isn't sufficient regulation against it.

And casinos prey on the public, including problem gamblers, simply because they can, because there are no laws to the contrary.

There should be.  And that's what it will take, new laws, since casinos won't implement the changes voluntarily.  After all, if the casinos wanted to be doing these things, they already would be.  Unfortunately, nobody's pushing for these kinds of laws.  There are groups opposing opening new casinos (akin to Prohibition), but nobody working on reforming the existing industry.  If I ever have enough money to get a non-profit off the ground maybe I'll start one.  Until then, here are some ideas for laws to make casino gambling less exploitative of the players, and especially of problem gamblers.

Suggested Reforms for Casinos
Problem Suggested Reform
(1) Players have no idea how hard it is to win a slot jackpot. Casinos must post jackpot odds on every machine, including the number of hours, days, weeks, months, or years of continuous play that it takes to hit the jackpot on average.
(2) Players have no idea what the payback (theoretical return) is on slot machines. Casinos must post the payback on every machine.
(3) Casinos cash paychecks and Social Security checks for customers, clearly enabling problem gamblers. Casinos must not cash third-party checks.
(4) Casinos extend credit to customers, especially to customers who run out of money. Casinos must not loan money to gamblers.
(5) It's easy for players to lose life-changing sums and the casino will never intervene. Casinos must require all players to sign up for a Player's Card; to have players set daily, weekly, and monthly loss limits when signing up; require the card be used for all play (slots and table games); and cut players off when they've reached their limit.