Bodog was among the very first online gambling sites to hit the world wide web, established as a sports betting site in 1994. Within a few years, the group had expanded into online poker and casino games. The evolution continued with the launch of Bovada in the US in 2011 and the creation of the very first anonymous poker model that same year. Now the site’s popularity continues to grow, boasting a massive 35% increase in traffic in 2015 alone.
According to the traffic tracking results of PokerScout, the Bodog network was attracting an average of 1,400 concurrent players at the start of the year. Now, not even midway through the month of February, the online poker site is averaging 1,900 players at any given time (3,739 at peak hours).
Those statistics put Bodog / Bovada in the 4th highest ranked position for most trafficked online poker cash games in the world, beneath PokerStars (avg. 20,500) , 888Poker (avg. 2,700) and the iPoker Network (avg. 2,200). Needless to say, the operator is ranked #1 among US-facing online poker rooms, with Merge Gaming (avg. 600, ranked 18th overall) being the nearest rival.
What is it about Bodog / Bovada that makes the online poker room so popular? Longevity and integrity surely have a lot to do with it, but there are other factors playing a larger role in the operator’s intensified visitations. One is the Anonymous tables set-up, but the fact that online poker is still unregulated in 47 of the 50 US states has to be taken into account as well.
Bovada open to the US
In 2013, Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey launched US-regulated online poker markets under a legally regulated framework, giving players in those states an opportunity to enjoy games without any possible threat of legal recourse. The majority of the remaining 47 states do not explicitly prohibit online poker, therefore millions of players continue to access offshore websites like Bovada.
Due to the publicity surrounding online poker regulation is some jurisdictions, particularly California, where two online poker bills are currently under the scrutiny of legislators, online poker may have received an additional boost in popularity. And in California, although online poker is not yet legal, it’s not exactly illegal either (at least, not for the player).
Bodog / Bovada – Anonymous Cash Games
As for the anonymous poker model developed by Bodog four years ago, it’s almost humorous how prevalent the structure has become today. When first launched, the operator was criticized for developing an online poker platform that catered to recreational players. At that time, it was the sharks, the grinders, the serious full-time day-in/day-out card gamers that got the most attention. They saw the move as a slap in the face, and ridiculed the company for thinking anonymity at the tables would ever work.
Now, if you look around at all the major online poker operators from all corners of the globe, they have all shifted their focus to some degree towards recreational players. Grinders may contribute a lot to the rake, but there are many more casual players just looking to have a good time, than there are serious pros staking out the lobbies, and they have recently been identified as the true bread and butter of the online poker industry.
While other online poker operators are steadily working to mimic Bodog’s ingenious concept of anonymity with similar segregation techniques, it’s becoming rather obvious that none have come close to matching the quality of Bodog / Bovada.