Most iGaming players are familiar with traditional online casinos. Licensed online gaming platforms require real money deposits for real money gaming, with real money rewards. However, there are alternative options available to players in the form of sweepstakes casinos and social casinos. There are clear distinctions between various online casinos, which we will examine in this blog post.

Introducing Sweepstakes Casinos 

Many folks use the terms sweepstakes, lotteries and contests interchangeably. There are nuanced differences between them. Traditionally, sweepstakes refer to a giveaway with a randomly selected winner. With sweepstakes, no money needs to be spent directly upfront – no purchase is necessary for winning – and no skills or strategies are needed to win sweepstakes. But that's the traditional sense of the word, and it's slightly different with sweepstakes casinos.

Think of things like the Publishers Clearinghouse Sweepstakes – a case in point. Randomly selected winners have their prizes delivered to their homes. With sweepstakes casinos online, players participate in classic slots, video slots, jackpot slots, card games, table games, live casino games, keno and poker games using in-game currency known as sweeps coins or gold coins (GC).

This is an important distinction. For one thing, you're not using £, $ or € to gamble with. Your stake – your bet – is usually in Gold Coins. Sometimes, sweepstakes casinos use Sweeps Coins.

Owing to the non-gambling style nature of sweepstakes casinos – no real money is used for gambling games – they enjoy widespread legal status across the United States, except for Washington state. However, players must register and purchase Gold Coins to play sweepstakes casino games.

You simply wager with a different type of in-game currency. It's not necessary to provide banking information to the sweepstakes casino online during registration. That's why it is vital to carefully screen sweepstakes casinos and pick only credible operators from the list.

Why Sweepstakes Casinos over Traditional Online Casinos?

Sweepstakes casinos are popping up all over the place, which cuts both ways. For one thing, it makes online casino games accessible to many more players worldwide.

On the other hand, they are not all created equal. The proliferation of sweepstakes casinos is because no expensive gambling licensing and regulation is required – these are readily available in gambling-restricted enclaves. That's because they are defined differently. Sweepstakes casinos are known as social casinos, where the point is to have fun – not to gamble. No real money is required to play, and no real prizes are up for grabs.

It's worth noting that sweepstakes casinos are different to social casinos in one important way: sweeps casinos online offer players a chance to win real money, while social casinos are all about fun-play entertainment.

While playing free sweeps casino games, you can win real money using sweep or gold coins during sweepstakes sessions. You don't bet your money on the uncertain outcomes of card games, table games, dice games, or live casino games. With social casinos, only GC's are used – gold coins. No sweeps coins are at stake because you can't win real money or real prizes with social casinos.

Let's clarify this a little better:

  • Sweeps Coins are only available as bonuses or free rewards, but here's the kicker – they can be redeemed for real money. That's why sweeps casinos are preferred by people who want to play casino games online and win real money. It's a roundabout way of playing for real cash and winning real money, much like the pachinko parlors across Japan. Sweeps coins cannot be purchased but can be held until a sufficient number is available for exchange.
  • Gold Coins are typically gifted to players as part of a signup package or a welcome bonus stop. You can always purchase additional gold coins through the shop at the social casino. You can use these gold coins to play social casino games.

Naturally, there are advantages and disadvantages to sweeps casinos and social casinos. Whether you're playing with sweeps coins or gold coins, it's important to pick wisely. There are loads of Vegas-style online casino games to enjoy, with real cash prizes up for grabs.

Suppose you cannot register at a traditional online casino due to licensing and regulations in your country, territory, or jurisdiction. In that case, you can try to register and play at a sweepstakes casino, but not in all areas.

Sweepstakes casinos

What Sort of Deals Are Available to Players with Sweepstakes Casinos?

One operator differs from the next, so weighing your options is important. Welcome bonuses include GCs and free sweepstakes coins in varying amounts. You can also enjoy crypto-style free chance attractions, free spin offers, free sweeps coins, and more. You can typically play various online casino games, such as classic slots, video slots (Megaways, Hold & Win), card games, table games, live dealer games, keno, and others.

Pick a reputable sweepstakes casino. Your next point of call is a quick & easy registration. Think about your preferred casino games, the welcome bonus package, and mobile access. These are important considerations for a sweeps casino.

Now, claim your welcome bonus. Remember, GCs and sweeps coins are available – you may need to use a promotional code to stock up. While most games tend to be slots, you can use your welcome package on various casino games.

Here's where things get interesting – you must purchase additional gold coins. This can be done through an online mail request or by getting them through the online store. Daily challenges, offers, and rewards may be available to boost your stash of gold coin cash. Now, with sweeps coins, you can redeem them for a cash value if you choose not to play sweepstakes casino games. That's the kicker.

Since these are social casino sites, you will find many available options to choose from. It's best to connect through social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram,, etc., to stock up on gold coins. That's part of the social gaming experience. When you buy gold coin packages, you get a set value with the gold coins you purchased. Use these gold coins to play sweeps games.

Collecting Your Sweepstakes Prizes Online

Recall that games played with gold coins don't yield redeemable prizes, but sweep coins do. The best part is that sweeps coins can be exchanged for cash. Like a traditional online casino process for depositing and withdrawing in financial transactions, sweeps withdrawals require verification.

That's because KYC (know your customer) policies, antifraud measures, and secure banking are sacrosanct. You will need three critical pieces of verification to process a sweepstakes withdrawal (redeem sweeps coins) of your winnings via bank transfer, PayPal, Skrill or NETELLER.

  • Verified ID document (driver's license, passport, ID)
  • Proof of Address (utility bill, phone bill, bank statement)
  • Financial Service Information (credit card, check, bank details)

Mobile casino players are an increasingly important segment of the iGaming scene. HTML5-compatible sites are a must for players. Various sweeps casinos feature proprietary gaming platforms and native (dedicated) apps for players on Android smartphones and tablets, iPhone and iPad devices.


What are Sweepstakes Casinos?

Sweepstakes casinos are online gaming platforms where players can enjoy casino-style games without using real money to gamble. Instead, they use in-game currencies like Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins, with the latter offering the chance to win real cash prizes through sweepstakes mechanics.

How do Sweepstakes Casinos differ from traditional online casinos?

Unlike traditional online casinos that require real money deposits for gambling, Sweepstakes Casinos operate on a no-purchase-necessary basis using virtual currencies. This model allows them to offer legal casino-style gaming across most of the United States, excluding a few jurisdictions like Washington state.

Can you win real money at Sweepstakes Casinos?

Yes, players can win real money at Sweepstakes Casinos using Sweeps Coins, which can be obtained as bonuses or rewards and then redeemed for cash. This provides a unique way to participate in casino games and potentially win real prizes without directly gambling with real money.

What types of games can you play at Sweepstakes Casinos?

Sweepstakes Casinos offer a wide range of casino-style games, including classic slots, video slots, jackpot slots, card games, table games, and sometimes even live dealer games. These games use Gold Coins for regular play and Sweeps Coins for the chance to win real money.

How do you collect winnings from Sweepstakes Casinos?

To collect winnings (redeem Sweeps Coins for cash), players must undergo a verification process similar to traditional online casinos, including providing a verified ID, proof of address, and financial service information. This ensures adherence to KYC (Know Your Customer) policies and secures the transaction process for redeeming cash prizes.

With digital marketing strategies in his blood Louis Wheeler has traveled around the world, exploring gambling cultures and gaining experience in casino games from 2003. If you are in a casino anywhere around the planet, you may find him right next to you, playing blackjack, roulette or texas hold'em.