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Online Gambling

Reason #4 like Bovada:

It's fair and safe

Online gambling is largely unregulated in the U.S.  That means the casinos serving U.S. players generally don't answer to anyone.  If you have a problem with a casino (like they won't pay you), then you're usually out of luck.  I can't count how many players have written to ask me for help because they didn't get paid by some other casino.  (Not that I helped them—if a dodgy casino won't pay you then you're on your own.)

That's why the most important thing in playing online is to pick a good casino.  The good ones know they make more money with fair games and consistent payouts, because that ensures repeat customers and good word-of-mouth referrals.  It's no coincidence that the most successful online casinos are the ones that focus on their customers.

But some casinos aren't so smart.  The stupidest ones actually rig the games, promptly get blacklisted at sites like Casinomeister, and then their business dries up.  (It's pretty easy for watchdog mathematicians like the Wizard of Odds to determine whether a casino is cheating.)

Cheating is rare.  You're more likely to have a problem getting a payout.  Some casinos try to find excuses to not pay winning players, especially players who have won big.  And again, since online gambling is unregulated in the U.S., if you can't get a payout from a casino, then you're usually out of luck.

So all this is another reason why I advertise Bovada, and have done so for over ten years.  They use industry-standard software, it's absolutely fair, and players get their payouts, consistently.  I have a choice in whom I advertise, so I purposefully picked a casino with a good reputation where I'm confident my readers will have a good experience.

To be clear, Bovada's not perfect.  Once they got duped by a vendor (Betsoft) who provided progressive slots whose jackpots weren't winnable.  When I discovered this I alerted Bovada, and they pulled all the Betsoft games from the site, but I thought they were slow to do so and didn't offer proper restitution to affected players.  Still, even with this incident, their overall history is better than most; as just one example, there are many other casinos still offering Betsoft's questionable games.

Another good thing about Bovada is that they allow me to mediate if one of my readers clicks over to them, plays the games, and has a problem they can't get Bovada to resolve.  Believe me, I wouldn't offer that service if I got more than a trivial number of inquiries over the years on that topic.

Bottom line: I'm confident that Bovada is fair and safe.  You might have a good experience with another casino...and you might not.  I trust Bovada, and that's why I picked them.

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.

Survivg as a Vegetarian in Las Vegas

What happened when I tried to reserve a room at The Western

Here's my phone conversation with an employee while trying to reserve a room at The Western in 2001. Of course, this is kind of what you expect when the rooms are only $16 a night.

Me: I'd like to reserve a room for the 27th through 29th.

Him: We don't accept reservations for Saturday.

Me: Okay, why is that?

Him: Because we don't accept reservations for Saturday.

Me: Okay, but why don't you accept reservations for Saturday?

Him: It's the policy of the hotel.

Me: But can you tell me why that's the policy? I'm curious.

Him: It's just the policy of the hotel.

Me: Can you tell me why it's the policy of the hotel? If you don't know, just say so.

(never did answer my question, I abandoned it)

Him: Check-in time is 1:00.

Me: Check-IN time? Not check-OUT time?

Him: We have a 1:00 Check-In time.

Me: And that's check IN time and not check OUT time?

Him: Check In time is 1:00.

Me: Can't I check in at any time in the afternoon or evening?

Him: We have a 1:00 Check In time.

Me: So I can ONLY check in at 1:00?

Him: Check in time is 1:00.

Me: So I can't check in at 2:00 or 3:00?

Him: You can check in then.

Me: Okay, so you mean that I can't check in any EARLIER than 1:00?

Him: You can check in at 2:00 or 3:00 if you want.

(abandoned that line of questioning)

Me: Do you think the hotel will be full on Saturday?

Him: It's first-come, first-served.

Me: Okay, but do you think the hotel will be full on Saturday?

Him: It's walk-in only on Saturday, first-come, first-served.

Me: I understand that. But do you have any idea whether you think the hotel will be full on Saturday?

Him: You can just come in and try to get a room.

Me: I KNOW! But is it worth trying? But do you EXPECT the hotel to be full on Saturday?

Him: It's first-come, first-served.

Me: Yes, but do you usually fill up on Saturdays?

Him: Yes, usually we're full on Saturdays.

Me: Well then, why didn't you tell me that any of the last five times I asked you?  Never mind, let's skip to the next part.

Him: (after taking my credit card number) Okay, so that's $17.44 for the 28th.

Me: And the 29th, remember? Two nights.

Him: (says nothing)

Me: You got the Monday night too, right?

Him: (mumbles something)

Me: So shouldn't it be $17.44 times two, for $34.88?

Him: We don't actually charge your card now.

Me: Okay, whatever, but is my reservation for two nights or just one night?

Him: Check in time is 1:00. [Okay, he didn't actually say that at this point, just kidding.]

Him: (mumbles something)

Me: So I just tell them at the desk when I check in that I'm staying for two nights?

Him: They'll have it on their thing.

(abandoned this line of questioning)

Me: When I called the 800 number, there were options for three different hotels. [They're all owned by the same company.] If I want to get a reservation for Saturday at another hotel, do I need to call back, or can you take a reservation for those other two hotels?

Him: If you want to cancel your reservation, just call back 24 hours in advance.

Me: I DON'T WANT TO CANCEL MY RESERVATION! I'm just asking about making a reservation for SATURDAY at a different hotel.....

 

No wonder it's only $16/night. You get what you pay for. :)