How Do Sweepstakes Casinos Operate?

How Do Sweepstakes Casinos Operate?

Everyone’s talking about sweepstakes casinos these days. As a legal alternative for online gambling in most states, the spotlight has been on these social casinos for a while, and they’re constantly growing in popularity. Playing at sweepstakes casino sites is easy and doesn’t require much of a learning curve. You’ll be playing with virtual currencies, which you’ll often receive as bonuses. Ultimately, you can receive real money prizes when you win Sweeps Coins.

Sweepstakes are not much different from how traditional online casinos work. You only need to keep in mind a few distinctive aspects, like the use of virtual currencies instead of real money and the concept of prize redemption instead of winning cash. This guide aims to provide a comprehensive breakdown of sweepstakes sites, how they work, their advantages, and any downsides.

Sweepstakes Casinos 101

WOW Vegas Free Coins

The starting point is, of course, an introduction to sweepstakes casinos or a refresher course if you have prior experience with social casino gaming.

Sweepstakes casinos are social casinos where you can play online casino games for free with a chance to win real money prizes. Like cogs in a wheel, there are some fundamental aspects to the way sweepstakes operate.

Virtual Currencies

Sweeps casinos use two virtual currencies. One is specifically for gameplay, called Gold Coins. The other, Sweeps Coins, can be used to play games and can also enable prize redemption. Some other operators may rename one or both of these currencies, but the purpose and usage remain the same. WOW Vegas for instance, uses WOW Coins instead of Gold Coins.

Casino Style Games

You can play sweepstakes casino games using these virtual coins. The games include slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, and live dealer games. Scratchcards, keno, and some arcade-style games may also be offered depending on the casino.


Bonuses are a common denominator when you play at a sweepstakes online casino. The reason why you can play for free at these sites is because you’ll receive bonus coins when you join in. Most sweepstakes casinos offer bonuses that include free Gold Coins and free Sweeps Coins. Besides the welcome bonus or sign up bonus, these casinos also offer daily login bonuses, social media contests, mail bonuses, referral bonuses, loyalty rewards, etc.


Gold Coins are available for purchase at sweepstakes casinos. There’ll usually be a range of Gold Coin bundles that you can buy for as little as $1 or less. Naturally, the higher the cost, the more Gold Coins you’ll receive. Many bundles come with bonus sweepstakes coins.


Sweepstake casinos often allow you to redeem Sweeps Coins for real cash prizes. You can receive prizes as cash to your bank account, as gift cards via email, or merchandise via snail mail. Depending on the casino, one or more of these prize redemption channels will be available.

Important Sweepstakes Casino Rules

Sweepstakes rules guide how these casinos operate. And any legit sweepstakes site in the US must abide by these regulations. Below are the most important ones:

No Purchase Necessary

The number one rule of sweepstakes casinos is that players are not required to spend money to participate. These casinos will regularly provide free coins for you to play with, hence a wide range of bonuses are offered. If you choose to purchase extra Gold Coins, that’s totally optional. Sweepstakes coins are not up for purchase at all and are only offered as bonuses. So, you technically redeem cash prizes for free.

Alternative Mode of Entry (AMOE)

The AMOE rule is another one that solidifies the sweepstakes concept. This is basically a free method of participation at these casinos and usually involves requesting sweepstakes coins via postal mail. After correctly receiving your mail request, the casino will credit your account with some free Sweeps Coins so you can start playing sweepstakes games.

Transparency of Casino Terms

Another rule sweepstakes casinos must adhere to is transparency. This fundamental principle ensures users get a straightforward understanding of how the games operate and how winnings are determined. By openly sharing information about the mechanics, odds, and redemption processes, sweepstakes casinos empower players to make informed decisions. This also guarantees fairness and builds trust among players. Transparency encompasses the terms and conditions of promotions, bonuses, and any other offerings.

Quick Facts

Looking for a simple breakdown of sweepstakes casinos? Here are some significant points that you need to know to kickstart your gameplay at top sweepstakes sites:

  • No purchase is necessary
  • Sweeps Coins are only available as bonuses
  • Gold Coins can be gotten through bonuses or purchases
  • Players must bet 21+ (or 18+ at some sites)
  • Players in Florida and New York can only win a maximum of $5000 in prizes per session
  • Washington doesn’t allow sweepstakes casinos at all
  • Idaho, Michigan, and Nevada players are often excluded at most sweepstakes casinos
  • Players must verify personal and banking information before redeeming cash prizes
  • Sweepstakes prizes may be offered as cash, gift cards, or merchandise

Popularity of Sweepstakes Casinos Explained

The appeal of sweepstakes casinos isn’t a mystery. In fact, there are several reasons why these sites are popular.

Quality Entertainment

When I review sweepstakes casinos, the range of games offered is always a thrilling aspect. Many sweepstakes casino apps focus on slot games, but table games, live dealers, and specialty games are often available too. The best sweepstakes casinos will feature games from leading providers like Pragmatic Play, NetEnt, Betsoft, and more, so you can expect top-tier graphics, animations, sounds, and in-game features. Plenty of casinos also have their own proprietary titles, meaning you can play games you won’t find anywhere else.

Real Money Prizes

Sweepstakes sites are giving real money online casinos tough competition since they also provide chances to win real world prizes. The winning potential may not be as large, but in their advantage, sweepstakes casinos offer a chance to win money without spending any of your own.

Lots of Bonuses

Traditional online casinos have nothing on sweepstakes casinos when it comes to bonuses. This is because the latter offers free coins almost every day. There are plenty of challenges, giveaways, and social media competitions, too, which add to the interactivity and engagement level.

Dangers with Sweepstakes Gaming

Sweepstakes gaming certainly soft-pedals the dangers of real money gambling, but there are still some drawbacks that you’ll want to keep in mind.

Overspending on Purchases

Purchases are not compulsory on sweepstakes casinos, but if you want to enjoy more of your favorite casino-style games, you’ll likely have to buy Gold Coins. These purchases can add up over time and reach significant amounts. Without a bankroll management plan, you may find yourself spending too much on buying these virtual tokens.

Lack of Responsible Gaming Measures

Sweepstakes and social casinos can be just as addictive as traditional casinos. Whether you’re after cash prizes or are chasing real money wins, you may find yourself becoming obsessed with playing casino games. Unfortunately, social casino sites do not always have responsible gaming measures like deposit limits, time-outs, and self-exclusion.


Online sweepstakes casinos are no longer just an alternative or second fiddle to traditional casinos. It’s clear from how sweepstakes casinos operate that they’re a unique gaming option offering a distinct experience. Playing games at your favorite sweeps casinos is just as fun as real money gaming, and the virtual coins, free bonuses, and social approach make it uniquely appealing. Not everyone wants to spend real money to play casino games, and the potential for cash prizes, even while playing for free, is the icing on the cake.

Overspending on purchases and potential addiction due to a lack of responsible gaming measures are the significant drawbacks of playing at a sweepstakes casino. You’ll need to remember to play responsibly to overcome these risks. Sweepstakes are currently the best way to play casino style games in most parts of the US. So understanding how they work will allow you to maximize your gaming fun whenever you’re in the mood for a round of slots gameplay or a hand on your favorite table games.

Damjan Jugovicspajic

Author: Damjan Jugovicspajic


Damjan puts his SEO skills and excellent writing abilities on show day in and day out at SweepsKings. He produces impressive strategy content that significantly increases your win rate and turns even the unluckiest sweepstakes casino player into a winner. Damjan also plays a key role in coming up with fresh content ideas and keeps SweepsKings powering along.
Damjan puts his SEO skills and excellent writing abilities on show day in and day out at SweepsKings. He produces impressive strategy content that significantly increases your win rate and turns even the unluckiest sweepstakes casino player into a winner. Damjan also plays a key role in coming up with fresh content ideas and keeps SweepsKings powering along.