A complete beginners guide to sweepstakes casinos


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As the casino industry continues to grow annually, operators are finding more and more ways to deliver the same casino experience but with a twist. One concept that’s been gaining traction recently in the online gaming community is sweepstakes casinos.

The concept of sweepstake casinos can be tricky to understand, so let’s dive deeper to see how it works and how they are different from a traditional casino.

What are sweepstakes casinos?

As the name suggests, sweepstake casinos are online platforms that combine the concepts of sweepstakes and casinos. They allow players to play the usual casino games, but instead of putting real money at stake, players use virtual coins. Win or lose there’s no real money involved because they can’t be cashed out in the same way winnings can be at a traditional casino.

There’s also a second type of coin involved: the sweepstake coin. Players can use these coins as sweepstake entries to potentially win a giveaway. These giveaways typically have actual items for prizes, but sometimes the prize is cash.

The only other time real money is involved is when players choose to replenish their virtual game coins. Remember that these coins are used to play casino games, not for sweepstake entries. Sweepstake coins cannot be purchased outright with real money but can be earned as bonuses when topping up your virtual game coin wallet.

Essentially, sweepstakes casinos combine the fun aspect of social casinos with the thrill of traditional online gambling by way of sweepstakes.

Are sweepstakes casinos legal?

Determining whether sweepstakes casinos are legal can be challenging because of its unique concept. Sweepstakes promotions in the US are legal in nearly every state as long as there’s no direct purchase required to join or win. Since sweepstakes casinos offer their sweeps coins for free, with the option to get more but as an indirect bonus, they can provide real cash prizes without being classified as a casino.

How do sweepstakes casinos work?

Sweepstakes casinos are unique in that players can play without ever spending a single cent and still get the opportunity to win real prizes. Here’s how they make that possible:

  • Virtual game coins: These coins are used to play casino-style games such as slots or blackjack. New users typically get generous welcome bonuses and even more if they refer their friends as new users. They can also replenish their virtual balance with daily giveaways. However, these coins can never be redeemed for real money.
  • Sweepstakes coins: Although new users earn these coins as the other kind, you cannot use these in typical casino games. Think of them as sweepstakes entry tokens — you can only use them as entries in a giveaway and nothing else. Although you cannot directly redeem these coins for real money, you can exchange them as entries to win a real prize.

The main thing to remember here is that having sweepstakes coins does not guarantee a prize. They only serve as entries so that you can have a chance to win something tangible. Don’t expect to win something every time you enter a sweepstake, regardless of how many sweepstakes coins you have used.

How do you get your first coins?

Signing up at a sweepstake casino often includes a welcome bonus containing a set number of game and sweepstake coins. You can then use your free game coins in any casino game of your choice, and you can increase your balance by winning games or purchasing a coin package.

On the other hand, sweepstakes coins are more difficult to come by. Aside from the free ones you get when you sign up, you can also get them as a bonus when replenishing your game coins. Sweepstakes casino operators also often hold free promotions that offer sweeps coins occasionally.

Other ways of earning game coins include daily login rewards, special promotions when reloading using real money and in-game tasks that grant bonuses when completed.

Who can play at sweepstakes casinos?

Anyone over 18 can play at sweepstakes casinos. That’s because the typical age to join lottery-style sweepstakes is 18, unlike the minimum gambling age, which is 21. As always, it’s best to consult your state’s sweepstakes regulations before joining one.

You also must live in a state where sweepstakes are allowed. Most states allow their citizens to join sweepstakes casinos because the casino aspect is not the focus, and there’s no purchase required to enter a sweepstake. The casino games are there to provide entertainment while waiting for the results of a giveaway.

What prizes can you win at sweepstakes casino sites?

There’s no exact list of prizes you can win at sweepstakes casinos, but here are some of the most common ones:

  • Cash prizes: There’s no denying that the appeal of cash is irresistible, and sweepstakes casino operators know this. Although this is not a common giveaway on various platforms, cash sweepstakes take place frequently enough to entice new users into joining so that they don’t miss the next one.
  • Electronics: When operators are not offering real cash prizes, electronic gadgets are the next best thing. After all, who wouldn’t want to win a free smartphone, tablet or gaming console?
  • Gift cards: Often seen as a lower-tier giveaway, sweepstakes casino operators give these away more frequently. Gift cards are usually for retailers such as Amazon, Walmart or even restaurants.
  • Special bonuses: This kind of sweepstakes may not be as glamorous as the others mentioned, but it could be an excellent way to replenish your game coins quickly without dipping into your bank account. Special bonus sweepstakes usually include a large amount of game coins, access to exclusive games and other perks that can enhance your gaming experience.
  • Physical goods: It is important to note that physical goods sweepstakes are different from those that involve electronics or other high-end items. Typically, the goods are promotional items based on the platform’s partnerships, but it’s a great way to win free things you could use daily.
Final thoughts

Sweepstakes casinos offer an exciting way to have fun and earn prizes without spending a single penny. Players can experience the thrill of casino games while also getting the chance to win something tangible. Best of all: it’s more accessible to people than online casinos are, thanks to its primary sweepstakes focus.

So, if you want a new way to play with your friends, try a sweepstakes casino. You might wonder why you didn’t do so sooner.

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