Sweepstakes Casinos – 10+ Amusing Facts, Stats, and Definitions

Sweepstakes casinos are coming out as a worthy alternative to traditional online casinos for those who want to add a social element to their gaming sessions.

While today, sweepstakes casinos and social casinos are associated with virtual currencies and prizes, some sweepstakes casinos pay real money. The thing is, they may not pay you in actual money but rather in tokens or coins. On the other hand, some operators award actual cash rewards.

sweepstakes casinos,sweepstakes casinos 2023,sweepstakes casinos that pay real money

Sweepstakes gaming may sound confusing for beginners, but its concept is relatively simple. We offer this guide as a starting point for every person interested in sweepstakes online gambling.

Alongside an introduction to sweepstakes casinos, we’ll give you a curated list of sweepstakes casinos in the USA.

Sweepstakes Casinos Explained

Historically, sweepstakes were social contests where one or more participants won prizes randomly in lottery-style events. Participants may be encouraged to purchase something as part of a sales promotion to gain entry to a prize draw. The draws could include both cash and non-monetary prizes.

The concept is similar today, except the sweepstakes industry is more diverse and has a growing online community. Modern sweepstakes gambling can involve real money prizes. But the gameplay itself involves non-fiat currencies, i.e., virtual tokens.

You can participate in online social gaming via dedicated sweepstakes gaming software. The software is adapted for desktop and mobile devices alike. On mobile, you can download a sweepstakes casino app, if one is available, or use a web browser.

Plainly speaking, sweepstakes casinos are identical to online casinos in almost every aspect save the method of gaming. Where regular online casinos permit real money gaming, sweepstakes casino real money play is not possible, at least not with actual money.

Sweepstakes casino games are comparable to games at conventional online casinos. Though historically sweepstakes are associated with prizes won on pure chance, sweepstakes casinos today allow you to earn prizes using skill and strategy. You collect the sweeps coins and then redeem them for cash prizes, crypto, or gift vouchers. It’s not the same as hitting a jackpot, but it’s not bad either. It all depends on what you like.

Legality of Sweepstakes Casinos

Many questions surround the legality of sweepstakes casinos. Despite some legal disputes surrounding sweepstakes casinos online, they remain a prevalent form of gaming in the wider iGaming industry.

The legality of sweepstakes worldwide is subject to local gambling laws. But while many counties have clear laws banning or allowing conventional gambling, they have largely undefined laws about sweepstakes.

The status of sweepstakes in North America is more lenient. Canada’s Criminal Code prohibits lottery-based contests and sweepstakes that award prizes based on chance and require a purchase or payment for entry. Yet, you can play legally at free sweepstakes casino sites, i.e., sites that have ‘no purchase necessary’ options and grant free playing credits. Quebec is the only exception.

The situation is more lenient in the United States, where sweepstakes are legal in more than 40 states, although the ‘no purchase necessary’ rule applies. US sweepstakes laws allow sweepstakes casino free play at licensed sites.

Sweepstakes casinos use virtual currencies, which are not legal tenders. Therefore, sweepstakes gaming does not constitute traditional real money gambling, where legal restrictions apply.

Legislative leniency has contributed massively to the rise of sweepstakes casinos. Current data indicates the global sweepstakes market will reach a nearly 10% annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2022 and 2028. By 2028, the market is projected to be worth over $180 million, up from $107 million in 2022.

Earlier research has indicated roughly 55 million Americans participate in sweepstakes annually.

States That Banned Sweepstakes and Social Casinos

US state legislatures determine the legal status of sweepstakes separately from other states. This self-governing status of states enables them to prohibit this form of gaming independently.

At the time of writing, sweepstakes casinos are legally permitted in all but three states: Washington State, Idaho, and Nevada.

It’s likely that Michigan will join these as the state’s gaming control board has been cracking down on the so-called grey market gambling operators. Golden Heart Games left Michigan first, but we’re seeing other operators adding the state to their restricted area lists.

Some operators that offer online sweepstakes casino free-play services may be unavailable in states where sweepstakes casinos are either legal or not outright banned. The popular McLuck sweepstakes casino, for instance, does not offer its services to players in Alabama, Michigan, Kentucky, and Georgia.

Sweepstakes Versus Social Casinos

‘Sweepstakes casinos’ and ‘social casinos’ are terms often used interchangeably. But there is a slight, but important difference between the two.

A regular sweepstakes casino online allows players to earn real prizes, including cash, by using sweepstakes (sweeps) coins.

Social casinos only provide entertainment-level gaming without the option to win real money. Therefore, social casinos are entirely entertainment-based. The gameplay involves virtual currencies that have no real value.

Conversely, a sweepstakes casino online offers real money opportunities by using sweeps coins (SC).

Some modern sweepstakes casino operators offer the best of both worlds, i.e., their operation includes sweepstakes and social casino elements alike.

Gold Coins Explained

Gold Coins (GC), also known as virtual coins, are the main currency at sweepstakes and social casinos. They have no real value other than for entertainment purposes to play free casino games. Yet, some sweepstakes casinos may award SCs if you purchase Gold Coins. Gold Coins can be bought or earned by participating in free tournaments or completing specified game challenges.

Almost every sweepstakes casino in the USA has special games dedicated to Gold Coins alongside sweeps coins games.

About Sweeps Coins

A sweepstakes cash casino will award Sweeps Coins to players who participate in tournaments or grant them free of charge as complimentary giveaways. You can’t buy Sweeps Coins, but you can always earn them for completing certain tasks.

Sweeps coins have real money value and can be traded for prizes or even real cash. You can earn sweeps coins as entry tokens to contests organized by the casino or by securing a specified place on a leaderboard.

Other methods of earning SC are through email, as a welcome prize for signing up, or for regularly logging in and playing eligible games.

Note operators can frame sweeps coins in different terms. Fortune Coins Casino has Fortune Coins, Wow Vegas awards Wow Coins, and Stake.us has Stake cash. You can join a sweepstakes casino to win real money, but only if you play with the relevant currency.

Popular Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes casinos are on the rise, and several well-established brands offer top-level services in accordance with US sweepstakes laws. Below is a list of six of the best sweepstakes casino operators, alongside a brief outline of each site.

  • Stake.us – Table games, live dealers, slots, scratch cards, and Stake original games make Stake.us one of the best brands on any sweepstakes casino list. Alongside raffles and promotional contests awarding GCs and SCs, you can join the VIP club to earn weekly and monthly bonuses, level-up prizes, and rakeback.
  • High 5 Casino – At High 5 Casino, you can play for fun or actual prizes. The casino awards daily Sweeps Coins, and if you’re active in the Sweeps Play lobby, you can earn SCs every 4 hours. You can explore over 500 slots in the game inventory, including H5C exclusives.
  • Chumba Casino – As a law-abiding sweepstakes casino, real money no deposit cash bonuses are not an option at Chumba. But free GCs and SCs are. Upon registration, you can claim a sweepstakes casino no deposit bonus.  Up to 2 million GC and 2 SC free. You can also purchase GC for as little as $10 and get complimentary SCs.
  • Pulsz Casino – Pulsz awards 5,000 GC from the get-go for creating an account. The eclectic game category comprises conventional slots, Megaways slots, jackpots, and table games.
  • Wow Vegas – The game selection at Wow Vegas comprises more than 700 titles, making it one of the best of all sweepstakes casinos around. This Vegas sweepstakes casino offers classic and modern slots, albeit lacking a table games lobby.
  • Fortune Coins Casino – An established social gaming operator with more than 200 games, you can earn Fortune Coins (FC) daily for logging in, inviting friends, or buying Gold Coins. Fortune Coins Casino offers a sweepstakes casino sign-up bonus worth 1,000 FC to every new member.

Games at Sweepstakes Casinos

Top operators offer extensive portfolios of sweepstakes games. In terms of variety, the choice is comparable to conventional online casinos. In terms of numbers, the average online sweepstakes casino in the USA has a somewhat narrower game selection.

An online casino can easily feature between 1,000 and 3,000 games. Conversely, the total number of games at a sweepstakes casino online usually gravitates around the 200-1,000 range. This is more than enough to keep even the keenest of players engaged with new and unexplored gaming products.

The game assortment typically includes casino-style games like slots, table games, and live dealers. Some operators may orient their game portfolio more toward slots. Others have classic games and alternative products as well.

  • Slots – The most abundant game category, sweepstakes casino slots, can be divided into different sub-categories. The most popular include Megaways, jackpot slots, Hold and Win, classic slots, video slots, etc.
  • Table games – Blackjack, poker, video poker, and roulette are the most prominently featured classes of table games. These table games use a technology called random number generator (RNG) and are entirely software-based.
  • Live dealer – Poker, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack can also come in live form. Unlike RNG tables, these feature actual croupiers, although some segments of the game are automated.
  • Alternative games –Using GC and SC, you can also play scratch cards, Keno, Slingo, and other games with alternative mechanics.

Games on sweepstakes sites are no different than those at traditional online casinos. The difference is how you play. Digital sweepstakes gambling machines work only with tokens (GC or SC). Sweepstakes casino real money play is prohibited.

Note that Gold Coins and Sweepstakes Coins may only be usable on exclusive GC and SC games.  

Software Providers

Sweepstakes casinos online source gaming material from renowned providers. A few noteworthy developers include:

  • Pragmatic Play
  • BGaming
  • Hacksaw Gaming
  • Relax Gaming
  • Playson
  • NetEnt
  • Evoplay

Certain gaming sites develop sweepstakes casino games in-house. Such are the High 5 Games at the High 5 Casino and the Stakes Originals at Stakes.us.

Sweepstakes Bonuses and Promotions

Sweepstakes bonuses generally differ from traditional casino promotions. Rather than earning free spins or a deposit match bonus, you can get free coins or tokens or combined promotions upon registration. Some operators award a sweepstakes casino no deposit bonus coins for daily log-ins or for playing eligible games.

You will rarely see sweepstakes casino no deposit bonus codes. Instead, you can activate sweepstakes bonuses by completing specified tasks or challenges. Note that some third-party websites can provide sweepstakes bonus codes via affiliate links.

Bonuses at sweepstakes casinos typically include gold and sweeps coins. They can also have various non-monetary prizes and giveaways. Sweeps bonuses are often tied to weekly raffles, slots contests, or table game tournaments. Two types of bonuses are worth noting.

Mail-in Promo

As we said, you cannot buy bonuses or prizes at legal sweepstakes using real money. Yet, getting a sweepstakes casino bonus can be as simple as sending a written request. This is the concept of the mail-in promo.

A mail-in promo is an alternate method of entry (AMOE) promotion you receive via an email request. Send an email with your name, email, address, and a request to receive the bonus. You may also have to point out you agree with the operator’s terms of use.

Refer-a-friend Bonus

Sweepstakes referral promotions work like sports and casino referral bonuses. You send a referral link or code to a friend who uses the link to sign up with the sweepstakes operator. Every time a new friend uses your link to sign up, make a purchase, or complete an eligible action, the casino will award GCs or SCs to both.

You can contact the operator to inquire about the specifics of the referral program. Only one bonus is available per new account.

Mobile Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes players like to play on the fly, and mobile technology enables them to do so easily.

The quickfire expansion of mobile technology has made mobile gaming the accepted industry norm. To illustrate, mobile bettors in New York spent more than $16 billion in the initial 11 months of 2022. The mobile betting market opened in January that same year.

As more players play on the go, online sweepstakes operators sense the need to implement mobile technology. Most operators are HTML- and CSS-optimized, enabling bettors to play via a mobile browser. Many, like Chumba Casino and Pulsz, to name a few, have a sweepstakes casino app, or apps native for iOS and/or Android systems.

sweepstakes casinos,sweepstakes casinos 2023,sweepstakes casinos that pay real money

Comparing Sweepstakes and Real Money Casinos

There are many commonalities between sweepstakes casinos and conventional online casinos. One is casino-style games, like slots, table games, live dealer games, and scratch cards.

However, the differences are more pronounced in the use of currencies. Where casino sites have a real-money system in place, sweepstakes use virtual tokens like sweeps coins and gold coins. Sweepstakes operators never accept real money currencies, although they have a system that can award cash prizes and rewards.

Regarding payments, sweepstakes are similar to Neteller or Skrill online casinos. Paysafecard and credit/debit cards are two additional payment methods accepted at both sweepstakes and online casinos.

Additionally, traditional casinos allow free play via a game’s demo software using virtual money. But this style of play is exclusively for entertainment purposes and cannot result in any tangible prize. Conversely, free play is the main principle of sweepstakes sites, but this can lead to actual rewards, bonuses, tickets to prize draws, or alternate giveaways.

A significant difference pertains to the legality. Where legal sweepstakes casinos are available in over 40 states, online casinos operate legally only in a handful of states.

Marketing is another area for comparing the two. Legal casino sites can occasionally engage in more aggressive marketing tactics. On the other hand, sweepstakes operators are more inconspicuous and employ more low-key strategies.

Unique Sweepstakes Casinos

The online sweepstakes industry is a versatile and evolving ecosystem. It involves multiple styles of gaming. Some emerging operators are breaking ground with innovative sweepstakes casino no-deposit programs; others allow real money play and credit purchases. Here are a few alternative operators that grabbed our interest.

  • Golden Hearts Games – Golden Hearts Games adds a charitable element to its sweepstakes model. You can earn or win Sweeps Coins to play for free, but earn a prize or a cash reward. Or, you can purchase Gold Coins to play for free. But worry not. Every deposit and wager is for a good cause. The operator donates 2% of every package of Gold Coins you purchase to a charity of your choice.
  • B spot – At first sight, B spot seems like the run-of-the-mill sweepstakes site. You can play slots, arcade-style games, or scratch cards. Or, you can vie for prizes in one of their tournaments. But the payout mechanics are where this site stands out. Players’ bets on casino games are collected into a pool and placed on horse races. The way they figured, random bets on random horse races can produce just as random results as a slot’s software algorithm.
  • Stake.us – Stakes.us stands out in several regards. It offers VIP benefits, develops original games, and has exclusive weekly challenges that award cash prizes. Only, Stake.us is a crypto sweepstakes casino. Although cryptocurrency is a form of virtual currency, Stake.us is breaking ground by fusing sweepstakes and crypto gaming.

Why Should You Bother With Learning About Sweepstakes Gambling?

As the stats show, the sweepstakes and social casino market is huge and only growing. So, regardless of what aspect you focus on, you should be familiar with the concept.

On one side, we have those hoping to start a casino affiliate business to generate income through leads. Considering that casino-style platforms target the US and Canada as main markets, their potential is huge. You can profit from their operations by partnering with them.

On the other side we have all those professional casino affiliate writers looking for new gigs. Once again, to provide top-class content, you must know what you’re writing about. This guide will surely help you understand not only the basics but the specifics, too. You can’t be a reliable source of details for your readers if you don’t know the theory and are without first-hand experience. So, we also advise you to sign up and play at these sweepstakes casino sites to get the feel of them.

How to Get Started With Sweepstakes Casinos

We want to share a brief disclaimer before you open a sweepstakes account. Any cash prize you win using sweeps coins may be subject to a federal income tax. The rate differs from state to state. It would be wise to inquire about how sweepstakes winnings are taxed in your state to avoid any legal mix-ups with the IRS.

That said, signing up with a sweepstakes site is a cakewalk. Here are the general steps.

  1. Choose an operator – Carefully consider where you want to play. Check how the casino works and go over the general terms of service and gaming rules. Compare multiple legit operators and select the best casino based on personal preferences.
  2. Open an account – Open the homepage and launch the registration by tapping the Sign Up, Register, or Join button.
  3. Verify – Opening a casino account is a multi-step process. After logging in, complete any required verification procedures to verify your identity.
  4. Claim a Bonus, buy Coins – Once registered and verified, pick a deposit method. Note you don’t need money to get a bonus. But you might need them to buy Gold Coins. GCs often come with complementary Sweeps Coins you can use to play free sweepstakes casino games for real prizes.
  5. Enjoy responsibly – Once the casino credits your bonus credits or purchased coins, you can start playing.

Potential Risks of Sweepstakes Gambling

We can’t conclude this article without mentioning the potential dangers of sweepstakes casino games and gameplay.

Many people mistake them for random gaming apps and services. The truth is, even though no actual real money gambling is involved, they can still be addictive. When you add the option to upload cash to play – despite not winning real money prizes – the risks are obvious.

Casino-style games can be addictive, just like regular casino games. In fact, casino-style games and casino games are the same concept. Only the prizes differ, as you’re playing with virtual coins while sweepstakes gambling.

So, we must point out the responsibility sweepstakes operators have towards players and the precautions players need to have in mind. Responsible gambling tools are mandatory, in our opinion. Consumers must be careful, set spending limits, time limits, and, if necessary, even self-exclude.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *