Where are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

Where are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

Sweepstakes casinos are legal in 48 US states. The only states where they are explicitly banned are Washington and Michigan, while players in Idaho can’t win cash prizes. Despite being legal across virtually all of the US, some sweepstakes casinos geo-block players from additional states like Nevada.

There are also restrictions when it comes to prizes in Florida and New York. In both of these states, the max prize you can win at sweepstakes casinos is $5,000. Any prize won above $5,000 is considered void. To legally play at a sweepstakes casino, you must be 18 years or older and reside in a legal state. Social casinos do conduct KYC (Know Your Customer) checks and will request your ID and documents showing proof of address.

Alrighty, now you understand the basic legal situation surrounding sweepstakes casinos, join me as I take you deeper into the world of sweepstakes regulations and demystify the industry. I will explain exactly how sweepstakes casinos can operate legally and show you the best sites to win real cash prizes legally!

SweepsKings treats readers like royalty. Our team works around-the-clock to source you with honest and in-depth information on sweepstakes casinos. Our reviews, guides, bonuses, and coverage are based on hands-on testing and 100+ years of combined industry experience.

We may receive financial compensation if you play at the legal sweepstakes gaming sites we advertise. Still, our content remains impartial to financial or outside influence and is guided solely by our ethos, research, and industry knowledge.

Top Sweepstakes Casinos and Their Legal States

100k Crown Coins and 2 Sweeps Cash
  • Pragmatic Play games
  • Available in 47 states
  • iOS app
7,500 Gold Coins on Registration + 2.5 Sweepstakes Coins
  • Amazing slots
  • Sign up bonus
  • Daily promos
250,000 Wow Coins + 5 SC on Signup
  • Paris Hilton ambassador
  • 10 free spins awarded regularly
  • VIP Transfer
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.9 Sweeps Coins
  • Excellent reputation
  • Android & iOS apps
  • 700+ slots
10,000 Gold Coins + 1 Stake Cash
  • Instant redemptions
  • Best VIP scheme
  • Live dealer games
30,000 Lucky Coins + 4 Sweeps Coins
  • Crypto & USD
  • 1000+ games
  • Novomatic slots
5 Sweeps Coins, 250 Game Coins and 600 Diamonds
  • Authentic brand, Made in the USA
  • 1200+ Games, Slots & Live Dealer Games!
  • FREE Daily Rewards
630,000 Gold Coins + 1400 Fortune Coins
  • 10+ fish games
  • Progressive jackpots
  • Best welcome bonus

Luckily, I reside in a state where all sweepstakes casinos operate, which has put me in the perfect position to test out different gaming sites. Based on my research, these sweepstakes casinos operate legally in the most states and have hundreds of online casino games from licensed providers like Pragmatic Play, BGaming, and NetEnt. They also offer daily free sweeps coins (SC) and pay out real cash prizes within 48 hours!

Sweepstakes CasinoIllegal StatesMinimum AgeTop Features
WOW VegasWashington, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Michigan18+- 1,000+ games from Pragmatic Play, 3 Oaks and Habanero
- 24/7 customer support
- Slot tournaments
Fortune CoinsWashington, Idaho, and Michigan18+- 200+ slots and fish games
- Great referral bonus
- $12 no deposit bonus
McLuckAlabama, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and Washington18+- 400+ slots
- Daily login bonus
- Regular social media giveaways
Stake.usWashington, Nevada, Idaho, New York, Kentucky, Michigan, and Vermont21+- Live dealer games
- Rakeback
- Crypto prizes
High 5 GamesWashington, Idaho, Washington DC, and Michigan18+- 800+ slots
- Leaderboards and contents
- Mobile app
SweepstasticWashington, Nevada, Idaho, and Michigan18+- 1,000+ games, including slots and blackjack
- 100% first purchase bonus
- Great loyalty program
PulszWashington, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, and Michigan18+- $2.3 no deposit bonus
- Weekly tournaments
- Games from 10+ licensed providers
LuckyBird.ioWashington, Idaho, and Michigan18+- Crypto prizes Massive referral bonus
- Up to 20% rakeback
SweepSlotsWashington, Idaho, Delaware, Kentucky, and Michigan18+- 300+ slots and table games
- 10 SC mail-in bonus
- Slot tournaments
TaoFortuneWashington, D.C., Idaho, Wyoming, Michigan, and Utah18+- 85+ slots and fish games
- Daily free sweeps coins
- 24/7 customer support

Use my special links to sign up at any of the above sweepstake casinos in less than two minutes and get a no deposit bonus, which you can redeem for a cash prize. Video slots, table games, and even fish games are just one click away!

States Where Can You Legally Play Sweepstakes Casinos

You can play at sweeps cash casinos in the following states:

StateLegalNumber of Sweepstakes Casinos
AlabamaYes30+
AlaskaYes30+
ArizonaYes30+
ArkansasYes30+
CaliforniaYes30+
ColoradoYes30+
ConnecticutYes30+
DelawareYes30+
FloridaYes30+
GeorgiaYes30+
HawaiiYes30+
IdahoYes (only gold coins play)30+
IllinoisYes30+
IndianaYes30+
IowaYes30+
KansasYes30+
KentuckyYes30+
LouisianaYes30+
MaineYes30+
MarylandYes30+
MassachusettsYes30+
MichiganNoN/A
MinnesotaYes30+
MississippiYes30+
MissouriYes30+
MontanaYes10+
NebraskaYes30+
NevadaYes30+
New HampshireYes30+
New JerseyYes30+
New MexicoYes30+
New YorkYes30+
North CarolinaYes30+
North DakotaYes30+
OhioYes30+
OklahomaYes30+
OregonYes30+
PennsylvaniaYes30+
Rhode IslandYes30+
South CarolinaYes30+
South DakotaYes30+
TennesseeYes30+
TexasYes30+
UtahYes30+
VermontYes30+
VirginiaYes30+
WashingtonNoN/A
West VirginiaYes30+
WisconsinYes30+
WyomingYes30+

Sweepstakes casinos are also legal in Canada. Tap on the link to discover which social casinos operate in your province.

What States Have Banned Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes casinos are illegal in Washington and Michigan. The Washington Gambling Commission states, “No Washington law or rule uses “sweepstakes” to reference a raffle or promotional contest of chance, as this type of activity is not authorized.”

Washington State Gambling

Michigan is the latest state to come after sweepstakes casinos. In October 2023, following a two-year investigation, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel ordered Golden Hearts Games to shut down its operations in the state. Michigan’s authorities are going after all unregulated gaming. After the crackdown, most legit sweepstakes casinos exited the Wolverine state, fearing similar legal action.

While sweepstakes casinos are not illegal, Idaho players are prohibited from receiving cash prizes. Players from the Gem State can only play using gold coins, which kind of defeats the purpose of sweepstakes casinos, whose major selling point is real money prizes.

States Where Certain Sweepstakes Casinos Don’t Operate

The legal situation about sweepstakes casinos is a bit fuzzy in some states. This is why certain US sweepstakes casinos have decided to play it safe and avoid states like Nevada, Idaho, Kentucky, New York, and Wyoming. VGW brands and Pulsz also exited Montana, though no legal changes have occurred in that state yet.

You can still find sweepstakes casinos that operate in the above states. However, don’t be surprised if those states clamp down on social casinos and straight-up ban them in the not-too-distant future.

How Can Sweepstakes Casinos Operate Legally?

Sweepstakes casinos are legal because they follow sweepstakes regulations, which state that social casinos can offer games of chance and real money prizes if there is no purchase necessary to enter.

But then, you might wonder how online sweepstakes casinos make money if entry must be free. Well, sweepstakes casinos came up with a loophole by using two virtual currencies, sweeps coins (can be redeemed for cash prizes) and gold coins (no monetary, can’t be redeemed).

How it works is you get sweeps coins via free bonuses, but often, only a small amount. If you want more sweeps coins, you can purchase a gold coins package and receive sweeps coins for free. Any sweepstakes casino where you can purchase sweeps coins or which does not give enough ample free play can draw the attention of the FTC and get shut down for running an illegal online casino.

Another key sweepstakes regulation that social casinos have to abide by is they must offer players an alternate method of entry. This is so the sweepstakes promotion is inclusive. That’s why you’ll see a unique mail-in bonus at sweepstakes casinos.

Sweeptastic Legal Terms

With this bonus, you handwrite a letter asking the sweepstakes casino for free sweeps coins, pop it into a stamped envelope, and send it off to the social casino’s HQ, and then SC magically appears in your account. The standard mail-in bonus is 5 SC, and there are players writing 50 + letters a day.

US sweepstakes casinos have to be very careful about the language they use. For example, you don’t deposit, instead, you purchase a gold coins package. You don’t withdraw cash, instead, you redeem your sweeps coins and receive a real money prize. Also, you aren’t betting or wagering, you are playing using gold or sweeps coins. Again, any use of inappropriate language can get a social casino classed as an unlicensed online casino.

Online Casinos vs Sweepstakes Availability in the US

Real money online casinos are legal in just 6 states, including Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. In contrast, sweepstakes casinos are legal in 48 US states.

The ability of sweepstakes casinos to operate across the US while still offering a similar gaming experience to online casinos has made them incredibly popular. At sweepstakes gaming sites, you can play the latest slots and classic table games, win real money prizes, and even receive more bonuses with better terms and conditions than you typically would at an online casino.

It will be interesting to see what happens in the future as more states legalize real money online casinos and potentially crack down on sweepstakes casinos. Will online sweepstakes casinos continue to thrive? I think so because the no purchase necessary requirement will always be a huge draw for players who are looking for free play.

Finding a Sweepstakes Casino Near You

Local Sweepstakes

Sweepstakes casinos aren’t only online, there are also internet gaming cafes where you can play casino-style games and win prizes. These sweepstakes cafes typically have computer monitors where you can play, some physical slot machines, and fish game tabletops. How it works is you purchase credits, and then the cafe staff loads up the machine with sweeps coins. You can then redeem sweeps coins for cash.

Sweepstakes gaming cafes are littered all around the US and are especially popular in states where land-based casinos are banned, like Texas. Some of the most popular land-based sweepstakes casinos near me are:

  • JLTD Sweepstakes – 3355 N Yarbrough Dr Suite H, El Paso, TX 79925, United States
  • Grand Sweeps Casino – 911 Fayetteville St, Durham, NC, USA
  • King’s Sweepstakes – 1802 W Anderson Ln., Austin, TX 78757, United States
  • Sam’s Search Sweepstakes – 2814 Buckner Blvd, Dallas, TX 75227, United States
  • Internet Cafe Games – 1712 Pioneer Ave STE. 7000, Cheyenne, WY 82001, United States

Sweepstakes internet cafes are unlicensed and are typically shady operations. Often, the games aren’t tested, and there have been lots of horror stories about owners refusing to pay out winnings. I really believe it’s much safer to play online at a sweepstakes casino with games from licensed providers and secure payment methods covered by chargeback.

What Age Can You Play at Sweepstakes Casinos?

The minimum age to play at sweepstakes casino sites is 18, whereas the minimum age to play at traditional online casinos in the US is 21. Gaming sites conduct KYC checks on all players, and you have to upload your ID to confirm your age. Some operators might choose to set the minimum age at 21, like Stake.us.

How to Find The Best Legal Sweepstakes Casinos in the US

7,500 Gold Coins on Registration + 2.5 Sweepstakes Coins
  • Amazing slots
  • Sign up bonus
  • Daily promos
250,000 Wow Coins + 5 SC on Signup
  • Paris Hilton ambassador
  • 10 free spins awarded regularly
  • VIP Transfer
5,000 Gold Coins + 2.9 Sweeps Coins
  • Excellent reputation
  • Android & iOS apps
  • 700+ slots
10,000 Gold Coins + 1 Stake Cash
  • Instant redemptions
  • Best VIP scheme
  • Live dealer games
Up to 1000 Gems No Deposit + 50% Bonus
  • Crypto and fiat
  • Massive bonuses
  • Highest user ratings

Sweepstakes casinos are unregulated, which means you have to be careful when choosing a site. When looking for a new social casino to try, I look at these characteristics:

  • Operated by a registered US-based company – Legal sweepstakes casinos must be owned and operated by a company registered in the US. This also gives you some protection because if something goes wrong, you can sue the company in the US. For example, Chumba Casino was recently successfully sued in Kentucky and ended up paying out 10 million + in a settlement.
  • Games from licensed providers – Even though sweepstakes casinos aren’t licensed, the top sites have games from licensed providers like Pragmatic Play, BGaming, 3 Oaks, and NetEnt. I personally refuse to play sweepstakes games that haven’t been tested;  otherwise, you could find yourself being scammed by rigged games.

Online Games

  • Using compliant sweepstakes language – Avoid any sweepstakes casino that talks about betting, deposits, and winning cash. This a classic sign that the site is actually an illegal online casino masquerading as a social casino.
  • Conducts KYC – Even though KYC is annoying, all legit sweepstakes casinos are mandated by law to check you are 18 + and don’t reside in a restricted state.
  • Satisfactory amount of free sweeps coins – Sweepstakes casino sites are legally obligated to give away free sweeps coins. The site should have no deposit bonus, first purchase offer, daily login promo, referral bonus, and mail-in bonus.

WOW Vegas Free Coins

  • Follows responsible gaming practices – Sweepstakes casinos that actually care about their players conduct regular player checks, connect players with free gambling counseling if they need it, and have the latest responsible gaming tools like deposit, time and loss limits, and self-exclusion.
  • Secure payment methods – Shady sweepstakes casinos only accept crypto or Cash App, while legit sites accept Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Skrill, and online bank transfers. Also, check if redemption speeds, at top-rated sweepstakes casinos, you can receive your cash prize within 48 hours.

Secure Payment Methods

Summary

Now you know that you can play the latest casino-style games and redeem cash prizes at sweepstakes casinos in all US states, excluding Michigan, Washington, and Idaho. These gaming sites have been operating legally for 10+ years, and there are now millions of players across the US playing everything from progressives to fish games to blackjack.

Basically, sweepstakes casinos are able to operate legally because they take a loose interpretation of sweepstakes regulations, which state you can offer games of chance and cash prizes if there is no purchase necessary to participate. This loose interpretation has recently been put to the test in Michigan, which has declared sweepstakes casinos illegal.

The legal status of sweepstakes casinos is not stable, as states crack down on unregulated gambling as they don’t want to miss out on valuable tax revenue. I will keep you updated on the latest legal changes, but as of now, you are free to play at sweepstakes casinos in 47 US states.

Mike F.

Author: Mike F.

Updated:

Mike is SweepsKings’ SEO wizard and uses his skills to produce content that answers questions you haven’t even thought of yet! He personally fact-checks all articles posted on SweepsKings and leverages his vast iGaming marketing experience to keep the site feeling fresh.
Mike is SweepsKings’ SEO wizard and uses his skills to produce content that answers questions you haven’t even thought of yet! He personally fact-checks all articles posted on SweepsKings and leverages his vast iGaming marketing experience to keep the site feeling fresh.