Whether your state regulates its own legal online gambling industry or not, it’s 100% legal to play casino games for prizes on sweepstakes sites almost everywhere on the North American continent.
As long as you’re 18 or older and don’t live in Washington state in the US or Quebec in Canada, you can sign up for a chance at cash prizes. No purchase is necessary.
These sites operate in accordance with sweepstakes laws, which create sort of a loophole when it comes to online gambling. Read on for more details on how sweepstakes casinos work.
It should take you just a short while to get the hang of how these sites operate, and after you catch on, you’ll find very little difference between sweepstakes and traditional real money online casinos. You’ll also find welcome bonuses, promotions, tournaments, and great casino slots and table games on sweepstakes casino sites.
Sweepstakes casinos sign-up bonuses 2021
What to expect from a sweepstakes casino
Sweepstakes casinos operate on a simple premise: Sweepstakes entries are always free, and winnings from sweepstakes drawings, or games in which luck determines the winner, are redeemable for cash prizes.
What’s in it for the sweepstakes casino?
Sweepstakes casinos use two types of play money. Sweepstakes entry coins, called Sweeps Coins at several sites, are always free, and they have no monetary worth on their own. When you win Sweeps Coins from casino gameplay, however, you can redeem those winnings for cash prizes.
Sweepstakes casinos then offer a second currency, which you can use to play games just for fun. Sites that use Sweeps Coins call this second currency Gold Coins. You can’t redeem Gold Coin winnings for prizes. You can buy Gold Coins, however, and when you buy Gold Coins, the casino will include free Sweeps Coins with your purchase.
The number of free Sweeps Coins with each purchase depends on the size of the package you buy. For instance, Chumba’s $30 Gold Coin package comes with 3,000,000 Gold Coins and 30 free Sweeps Coins.
If you win a minimum of 100 Sweeps Coins from gameplay, you can redeem your winnings for cash prizes.
This system is really no different from making a deposit or withdrawal at a real money casino, with one key difference: The sweepstakes model is legal in most US states, including states that prohibit online casino gambling.
Note that Funzpoints Casino uses Standard and Premium funzpoints in place of Gold and Sweeps Coins, and there’s a different equivalency. A cash prize of $1 is equivalent to 100 Premium funzpoint winnings.
Legal sweepstakes casinos in the US
To sign up for a new account with a sweepstakes casino, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old. Visit the site you’re interested in joining by using one of our links, and click on the sign-up button to get started.
You can rest assured that sweepstakes casinos are safe and fair. Sweepstakes sites are 100% legal in 49 US states. The only exception is Washington state. If you’re a resident of the Evergreen State, you are not eligible to sign up for sweepstakes casinos, since state law prohibits them.
The outcomes of all spins are determined by random number generators, independent testing laboratories have certified as fair.
Top sweepstakes casinos
While other sweepstakes casinos are out there, we’ve picked three for this review based on players’ top picks, operator experience and reliability, caliber of casino games and overall appeal of each individual site.
Read on to find out what makes each of these sites — Chumba Casino, Funzpoints Casino and LuckyLand Slots — stand out from the competition.
Chumba has been around since 2012, and offers the largest game library of all sweepstakes casinos, with about 80 titles available. Owned by Virtual Gaming Worlds, Chumba also stands out as it’s the only sweepstakes casino that has table games.
Sign up for a new Chumba account to get 2,000,000 Gold Coins and 2 free Sweeps Coins to try games out in both modes for free.
Any Sweeps Coins winnings are yours to do with as you like. You can redeem them for cash prizes (minimum redemption limits apply) or use them to play more games for the chance to increase the size of your prize. You’ll also qualify for a first purchase bonus of a $30 package for just $10. That includes 3,000,000 Gold Coins with 30 free Sweeps Coins.
As the only sweepstakes casino mentioned here that isn’t owned by VGW, Funzpoints has a number of differences that make it stand out.
For starters, not only can you win cash prizes when playing with sweepstakes coins, called Premium funzpoints, but you’ll earn free entry tickets into the daily $350 jackpot draw while playing games.
You can’t buy entry tickets, but you will earn them pretty fast while playing games. At the same time, you’ll be getting points in the site’s loyalty program, which helps you earn discounts on purchases of Standard funzpoints (the Gold Coins equivalent) that come packaged with free Premium funzpoints.
Points also are important because that will unlock games as you climb higher in the program. All but three games are locked to new players, until you start earning points and leveling up. As you level up, you also get to play special mini games with guaranteed prizes.
You’ll be able to play all regular games when you spin using Premium funzpoints. Games are also all unlocked in Standard mode when you play with Standard funzpoints you’ve bought, for up to 30 days past your purchase date.
You’ll receive a welcome bonus of $2.50, or 250 Premium funzpoints, to try all the games for free. You can spin the Funzwheel prize wheel every three hours to add free Standard funzpoints to your balance, along with the chance to win jackpot draw tickets.
On your first purchase of up to $20, you’ll also get double the usual number of packaged Standard and Premium funzpoints.
Another VGW sweepstakes site, LuckyLand Slots debuted in 2019. This online casino uses a proprietary platform and about 40 in-house games that feature opulent graphics and the most up-to-date features and bonus games.
Enter one of LuckyLand’s daily tournaments to win a share of the seeded tournament prize pool. All you have to do is play the game to enter. Tournaments run daily in both Gold Coin and Sweeps Coin modes.
More opportunities to play for free are in store for players with LuckyLand’s 50 free spin program. Tied in with Facebook, this program allows you and your friends to exchange up to 50 free gift spins every day.
Just for signing up, LuckyLand will give you 7,777 Gold Coins and 10 free Sweeps Coins. When you’re ready to make your first purchase, you’ll get a chance to buy the $10 value Gold Coin package for $4.99. LuckyLand Slots’ loyalty program will pay off with discounts on Gold Coin packages, as well.
Want more Sweeps Coins?
All sweepstakes casinos will credit your account with free sweepstakes coins when you write to the company to ask for them. Formatting must be exact, so be sure to check the rules for mail-in requests on each site.
Both Chumba and LuckyLand will give you free Sweeps and Gold Coins once a day just for logging in. In addition, both sites host Sweeps Coins giveaway contests on Facebook and Instagram. See page footers for links.
Funzpoints offers a loyalty program that pays off with discounts on Standard funzpoints packages that come with free Premium funzpoints.
What games will I find on a sweepstakes casino?
The first rule to remember on sweepstakes casinos is that you can play any of the games using either virtual currency. The second rule to remember is that you have to manually switch between the two. Sweepstakes sites make it easy to do this, generally via a prominently displayed toggle switch at the top of the home screen or inside any open game window.
For instance, if you want to try a game out before risking your sweepstakes coins to spin (similar to playing a game in demo mode at a real money online casino), you can set the site to Gold Coin (or Standard funzpoints mode) and then load the game by clicking on the graphic.
Alternatively, you can enter the game while the site is set to Sweeps Coins (or Premium funzpoints mode), then switch to Gold Coins (or Standard funzpoints) play money from within the game.
If you decide you’d like to play that same game for a chance at cash prizes using sweepstakes coins, you don’t have to close the game window. Just click the toggle switch inside the game to switch between virtual currencies.
Global Poker, Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots are set to load in Gold Coin mode by default when you log in. A pop-up window will give you the choice between Standard or Premium mode every time you log in to your Funzpoints Casino account.
The three sweepstakes casinos on this page offer mostly in-house developed games. At least one sweeps casino that plans to offer third-party, licensed games from well-known game studios, such as NetEnt and IGT, is still in development.
Chumba Casino started off with strictly in-house games, but has augmented its collection in recent years with a number of licensed titles from third-party developers, such as Golden Rock Studios and Reel Play Games.
With about 80 titles, Chumba has the largest game library of these three sites. At this time, LuckyLand offers about 40 slots and instant win games, while Funzpoints offers about 20 slots, along with two versions of keno.
Chumba is the only sweepstakes casino to offer table games, at least at this time. You’ll find five table games offered on Chumba: Back American Roulette and Back Blackjack from Golden Rock Studios, and Chumba’s Jacks or Better video poker, blackjack and American roulette games.
As far as slots, Chumba likely has a game to tempt you, whatever your taste. Choose from among Chumba’s collection of favorites, as well as a number of recently added titles, like Reel Play’s Buster Hammer’s Carnival, Chumba’s Golden Oz, and Lucky Show, a classic three-reel proprietary slot.
Funzpoints Casino doesn’t have the largest collection of games or feature the most bells and whistles, but the site’s 20 or so games are augmented by a steady parade of booster mini games and Funzone puzzles. A new window will pop up during regular gameplay when you earn enough points to trigger the special side games, which come with guaranteed prizes.
All Funzpoints games are rated low volatility and have an excellent return-to-player ratio, so you can expect to see a lot of low to medium payoffs during gameplay.
Also, be sure to check out Funzpoints’ Four Seasons or Paintball Keno games. These colorful slots offer an exciting twist on keno games in land-based casinos. Or try BonBon Bash, a sweet game chock full of delicious candy fun.
LuckyLand’s proprietary games and web-based platform feature intricate, bandwidth-heavy graphics, including 3D animations, along with a number of the latest technological advances in online casino software. While it takes some time to load the site, as well as the games, it’s definitely worth your while.
Global Poker sweepstakes games
VGW acquired a poker platform from Cubeia Sweden in 2016 and launched Global Poker later the same year. The site is the perfect place to learn how to play Texas Hold’em, along with two variations, Omaha and Crazy Pineapple, as well as practice what you’ve learned and keep developing your skills.
Gold Coin games account for about 10% of all site traffic at any given time, seven days a week, around the clock. You’ll find ring games, sit and go tournaments, jackpot sit and go tournaments and multi-table tournaments around the clock.
When you’re ready to play for cash prizes, you’ll find plenty of experienced competition to help you continue your education.
HUDs and other poker programs allowed on other sites are prohibited by Global Poker, but the site’s multi-tabling function allows you to play unlimited ring games simultaneously.
Games tend to be on the soft side due to a large contingent of novice and inexperienced players drawn by Global Poker’s prominent Facebook presence, but it’s quite possible for experienced players to pound out a profit on the site.
At any given time, anywhere from 60% to 75% of total site traffic will be participating in Sweeps Coin MTTs with buy-ins ranging from micro to high stakes. Remember that you’ll be in Gold Coin mode by default when you log in, so be aware that you’ll need to manually set the virtual currency mode to Sweeps Coin games.
Global Poker welcomes new players with a free $20 Gold Coin package, which includes 100,000 Gold Coins bundled with 20 free Sweeps Coins. You’ll also qualify for a $40 Gold Coin package for $20 on first purchase. The $40 package comes with 200,000 Gold Coins bundled with 40 free Sweeps Coins.
It’s worth noting that you have to be especially aware of the mode you’re in while looking over poker games on Global Poker. Available tables are displayed in a long list in the poker lobby, but only play-money tables will be visible when you’re in Gold Coins mode, and only Sweep Coins tables will be visible in sweepstakes mode.
Generally, about 90% of Global Poker’s traffic will be seated at Sweeps Coins tables. While you might think that a difference that big would make it easy to spot what mode you’re set to with just a quick glance, that won’t always be the case. During peak hours, 10% of site traffic might be 1,000 or more players, making for a pretty busy lobby.
That’s not to say that there aren’t any other clues to let you know what mode you’re set to. Blinds and buy-ins will appear in the applicable virtual currency, for one thing. Even so, it’s fairly easy to spend 10 minutes checking out the ring game cash prize action before you catch on to the fact that you’re looking at Gold Coin tables.