Sweepstakes Casinos VS Gambling

Sweepstakes Casinos VS Gambling

In the entertainment realm, two gaming forms have captured the hearts of millions: sweepstakes casino sites and regular casino gambling. Both appeal with the allure of real cash prizes but differ significantly in many ways.

Sweepstakes casinos are your go-to for gaming without having to spend real money unless you want to. You can still claim cash prizes, though. Regular gaming sites, more often than not, require a deposit for you to play. The one you choose boils down to personal preference.

Sweepstakes CasinoRegular Casino
Uses Gold Coins and Sweeps CoinsUses real money
Purchase of Gold Coin packages not required to playReal money deposit needed to play
Can redeem Sweeps Coins for cash prizesCan withdraw real money winnings
Relaxed regulationsStrict licensing
Social media interactionPlayers interact at live tables

How Sweepstakes Casinos Are Not Considered Gambling Sites?

Sweepstakes casino sites run on a model different from traditional online casinos. There’s no potential loss of funds in a sweepstakes casino. A participant can enter and win real money without spending any. Why?

Instead of real money, sweeps casinos use virtual currencies like Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins to play. Let’s take a deep dive into the fundamental distinctions that differentiate sweeps casinos from gambling sites.

No purchase to enter or win

You can purchase coins to extend your play at a sweepstakes casino, but these sites are always open to players without requiring a purchase fee to enter or win cash prizes. You can gain entry to social casinos by completing entry forms online to receive free Gold Coins. On the other hand, regular casinos mostly need a deposit upfront. That’s unless the casino explicitly offers a no deposit bonus which rules out initial spend to play online casino games.

Virtual currencies

Sweepstakes casinos have carved out exceptions to most gambling laws because real cash doesn’t change hands. Instead of real money, social casinos use virtual currencies like Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins to transact and play online casino games.

For example, a new player signing up to enjoy sweepstakes casino games can receive 250,000 Gold Coins and free Sweeps Coins as a welcome bonus to kickstart playing. You can later redeem Sweeps Coins for real cash.

No direct deposits or withdrawals

Unlike regular casinos, direct deposits are out of the question at sweepstakes casinos. You can purchase Gold Coins but Sweeps Coins are only available via promotions and other giveaways. You can’t redeem Gold Coins for real money prizes, though, so there’s no direct link between what you spend and what you can win. Sweeps coins, on the other hand, are exchanged for cash prizes, which is not technically a direct money withdrawal.

Sweepstakes Similarities to Online Casinos

If you’ve played at real money online casinos, you’ll pick up on some glaring similarities with sweepstakes casinos.

Game Selection

Sweepstakes casino games are similar to what you’ll find at real money online casinos. You’ll often find in-house slot games, and a few from popular developers like NetEnt, Relax Gaming, and Pragmatic Play. Newer sweeps casinos also sport table games and live dealer games. The best sweepstakes casinos even have specialty online casino games like keno and dice.

Potential to win real money

Both sweepstakes casinos and regular sites provide the potential to win real money rewards. How you get the real cash prizes may be a little different. In conventional casinos, you withdraw cash winnings directly. At Sweeps casinos, you redeem Sweeps Coins obtained from promotions for cash prizes.

Easy access

You won’t be wracking your brain trying to figure out how to get your foot inside the virtual door of a sweepstakes casino. To access the best sweepstakes casino, it’s as simple as filling out a registration form with a few details like your name, address, and date of birth.

Purchase bonuses

We all love freebies. You’ll get a few from both a sweepstakes casino and a real money casino site. If you purchase Gold Coins, for example, you get Sweeps Coins as a bonus. And you know how free Sweeps Coins are your ticket to redeeming real money wins. As for conventional casinos, you can receive extra cash or free spins as a bonus when you deposit funds.

Payment options

The payment platforms at a sweepstakes casino and normal gambling sites are pretty much the same. We’re talking about your usual credit cards, eWallets, bank transfers, and, in some instances, crypto.


A sweepstake casino won’t leave you out in the cold when you need assistance, nor will a traditional casino. Whether you need help signing up, transacting, or accessing games, help is only an email, live chat message, or phone call away.


The Know Your Customer (KYC) concept is a common policy across online sweepstakes casinos and regular gaming sites. Players joining these platforms must confirm their identity to sniff out fake customers, fake accounts, and bonus abusers.

Sweepstakes Differences from Online Casinos

Now for a rundown of the notable differences between a sweepstakes casino and an online gaming site.


Are sweepstakes casinos legal? The short answer is yes. Online sweepstakes casinos offer risk-free gaming, so they’re allowed to operate without a license. Regular gambling sites, on the other hand, must work under the purview of state regulators.


With that same licensing loophole, sweepstakes casino sites can be found in all states, even those where gambling is prohibited. The same can’t be said about traditional gaming platforms. Online casinos are currently allowed in 6 states, while sweeps casinos in 47.

Free to play

The best sweepstakes casinos promote free gaming. Players who join the site must do so for entertainment purposes because games are free to play. However, you mostly need to deposit funds to play online casino games at regular gaming sites.

Regular bonuses

Where you get regular bonuses like match deposit and free spins at traditional casinos, sweeps casinos typically offer free Sweeps Coins through daily login bonuses, mail ins, referrals, and social media raffles.

International games

The best sweepstakes casinos usually have in-house games and international games powered by offshore companies like Relax Gaming and Pragmatic Play. Real money casinos, on the other hand, feature only-professionally created games from US-licensed software developers.

What’s Better?

Sweepstakes casinos vs gambling: What’s it going to be? Online gaming sites are great if you’re located in states like NJ, PA, and MI, where gambling is allowed. Sweeps aren’t governed by tight restrictions, and that’s one of their most significant advantages. They are great alternatives elsewhere since they can operate in legal gray areas and provide a decent overall gaming experience and cash prizes.


At the end of the day, whether you choose to go with a sweepstakes casino or a traditional online casino is a matter of access and preference. Each gaming form has its own appeal and caters to different motivations. If your state allows online casino gaming, you can choose either option.

If staking real money and hopefully winning cash is your idea of fun, go for real money casino sites. But if you’d rather play casino-style games without having to spend real cash, pick sweepstakes. Either way, responsible gaming is key to maintaining enjoyment and fun at all casino gaming platforms.

Bogdan Lunkan

Author: Bogdan Lunkan


Bogdan Lunkan has been playing sweepstakes casino games before it was cool! He has achieved top VIP status on a number of sweepstakes casinos and regularly bets the max when playing his favorite slots. Bogdan takes you inside the mind of a high-stakes player, and following his tips, you too can redeem lots of sweeps coins.
Bogdan Lunkan has been playing sweepstakes casino games before it was cool! He has achieved top VIP status on a number of sweepstakes casinos and regularly bets the max when playing his favorite slots. Bogdan takes you inside the mind of a high-stakes player, and following his tips, you too can redeem lots of sweeps coins.