What are Sweepstakes Casinos and How Do They Work?

We'll walk you through how sweepstakes casinos work and if they're right for you!
What are Sweepstakes Casinos and How Do They Work?

A sweepstakes casino is an interesting combination of traditional casino games and sweepstakes promotions. They generally operate as an alternative to real money casinos in areas that may not allow real money gambling. Sweepstakes casinos provide players an opportunity to play their favorite casino games for free, and a chance to win prizes like gift cards or cash.

You might be thinking, how is this legal then? Well, sweepstakes casinos cleverly use sweepstakes laws to allow users to redeem coins for prizes. In this way, players aren’t using real money, but are allowed to redeem playable currency for prizes. These playable currencies are the main difference between sweepstakes casinos and standard online casinos.

How Sweepstakes Casino Currency Works

The most common type of sweepstakes casino operates with a two-currency system, a free currency such as gold coins, and a sweepstakes-based currency, commonly referred to as sweep coins. The free currency can be used to play casino games like slots, blackjack, and many others for fun. They cannot be redeemed for prizes.

Sweep coins function similarly but can be redeemed for prizes. However, there is a catch, sweep coins cannot be purchased. So how do users get coins?

There are three main methods users can receive coins.

  1. Bundling Sweep Coins With Free Currency: Many social casinos will provide sweep coins as a bonus offer when you purchase a free currency. As an example, if you purchase 15,000 gold coins for $9.99 you’ll get 100 sweep coins as a free bonus. This is the most common method to get sweep coins, and how these sites make money. 

  2. Daily Drops: These drops typically provide a small amount of currency to players hourly, daily, or weekly. 

  3. Direct Sweepstakes Entry: By law, sweepstakes must be free to enter. This means sweepstakes casinos must offer a method to join the sweepstakes without a purchase. For many sites, this means you can write in, normally to a PO box with your information and they will enter you into the sweepstakes by giving you a sweep coin.

How to Redeem Prizes at a Sweepstakes Casino

For most popular sweepstakes casinos sweep coins have a value near $1, but it can vary. This allows players to take their coins and redeem them for prizes such as cash or gift cards. The catch is, that most of these casinos require you to have a minimum amount of coins to cash out. For many the minimum requirement to redeem your coins for cash is 100.

Where are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

In the US, there are only 3 states that outright ban sweepstakes casinos, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington. If you live in any other state there is a good chance you’ll have access to at least a few sweepstakes casinos. It’s always a good idea to double-check on the website before joining, however.

Our Top Sweepstakes Casinos


Funrize has become our go-to recommendation when it comes to sweepstakes casinos. With a stellar variety of games, an excellent interface, and a great daily bonus wheel it’s hard to beat. The bonus selection alone is worth taking advantage of with daily deals and a well laid out rewards program. Getting started is easy, and 100% free so it’s a terrific site to get started with.

High 5 Casino

High 5 Casino has broken onto the scene as our second favorite sweepstake casino. Offering a wide variety of promotions, games, and prizes, High 5 is an excellent choice for newcomers to sweepstakes casinos. One of the highlights is their generous harvest system that provides players with coins hourly. This helps keep your account flush with coins to play a huge variety of games.

Wow Vegas

There are few names larger in the sweepstakes casino industry than Wow Vegas. It’s easy to see why too, with an unmatched number of games and great promotions it’s hard to beat. They offer some of the best technology in the business as well. With a lightning-quick site, they make the experience silky smooth.

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