What are Sweepstakes Casinos?
At first glance, a sweepstakes casino is no different to a regular online casino. They come stacked with slots, table games, poker, crash games, bingo, and more. Sometimes, sweepstakes might specialize in one kind of game, perhaps just slots or just poker. Instead of registering, making a deposit and playing for real money as you would at a traditional online casino, a sweepstakes site will allow you to play for free or play with purchased virtual coins or tokens.
As well as playing all the games available, you’ll also be able to join tournaments and competitions, which is where players have the chance to win real prizes – including cash. Many sweepstakes sites also have a ‘shop’, which sells merchandise and other goods you can claim in exchange for your coins. You’ll often come across references to either social casinos or sweepstakes casinos. In fact, the two terms are used interchangeably because they’re referring to the same concept.
Sweeps Coins (SC) come in different shapes and forms, depending on the casinos they belong to. These are essentially just tokens that players use to access the games and contests hosted on the site. Sweeps Coins specifically is the term given to coins that have the potential to be redeemed for real cash prizes. The site gives out free SC when players sign up to the site, and also periodically as random rewards.
Players can also use Gold Coins to enter competitions that give out Sweeps Coins as prizes. Keep in mind that there are many sweepstakes casinos, and while they might not offer Sweeps Coins by name, they always have their own version of the same concept.
How do I play without Purchasing Coins?
All sweepstakes casinos allow players to sign up for free. Doing this gives you full access to the site so you can browse all the games. Many of the slots are available to play in demo mode, so you can play for fun without spending a penny. What’s more, the majority of these social gambling sites also give away free coins on a weekly or even daily basis.
With these coins, you’ll have the ability to build up your coin balance for free, and even enter tournaments and competitions that offer real cash and other gifts as prizes.
How to get Free Sweeps Coins offers
The easiest way to get free sweeps coins is by signing up to a new sweepstakes casino. The welcome package is usually always free and very generous. Many sweepstakes casinos will also reward players just for signing in. These daily free coins will be added to your account automatically or can be manually claimed from the account section.
The reality is that these sites operate on a dual currency/token system. One coin you can purchase on demand, but it holds no monetary value, and the other you can only obtain when it’s gifted to you by the casino. The latter is the only one that can be exchanged for gifts or cash. You can get these valuable coins and tokens for free when you make other purchases, or by winning them in contests and tournaments.
The sweepstakes concept isn’t new anymore. Many operators have caught on to its popularity, particularly the way these pseudo online casinos fill the void in places where online gambling is illegal. Unfortunately, this surge in popularity brings with it both quality sites, as well as disreputable ones which you’re best-off avoiding. Based on our experience and research these are some of the best sweepstakes casinos out there right now.
As one of the leading sweepstakes casinos across the US and Canada, Fortune Coins Casino is a goldmine of slots and card games. The brightly coloured social casino even hosts a range of progressive jackpots, instant win games and fish games. The site runs on both Gold Coins and Fortune Coins, which allow players to engage with all the games on the website, as well as events and competitions. There are always ways to boost your coin balance for free. Start with the huge welcome offer, and proceed to refer friends for a constant upgrade to your coin stash.
Slots aren’t for everyone, and players who prefer online poker will be thrilled by what is on offer at Global Poker. It’s particularly exciting for poker fans who live in countries or states that place a ban on online gambling. Due to its ‘no-purchase necessary’ structure, Global Poker is completely legal across Canada (except for in Québec). It’s a sleek sweepstakes website that hosts games and tournaments for Texas Hold’Em, Omaha, Omaha High/Low, Bounty Poker, Jackpot Sit N Go, Crazy Pineapple, and Surge Poker. You can even download the Global Poker app from the App Store for iOS devices, or Google Play for any android phones.
Probably one of the most famous sweepstakes casinos of all, Chumba Casino is a great place to get your online casino fix in Canada. This social casino is completely unique, and all the games on the site are designed by and for Chumba Casino. But don’t worry about feeling confused, most of the entertainment on offer runs on a traditional casino model, so you’ll have access to online slot games, jackpots, table games, slingo, and a few other options. You can get started with a very generous welcome coin package to start exploring the site instantly, for free. After that, you can pick up more Sweeps Coins in free giveaway contests, or as a free bonus when purchasing Gold Coins.
The main distinction is clear. At real money online casinos, everything you win on slot spin or any other bet translates into real cash or bonus cash that can be withdrawn back into your bank balance. With sweepstakes casinos, you can win virtual prizes, which can be redeemed for real money. Here’s a summary of the differences between sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos:
- You place bets using valueless tokens or coins
- You can only win prizes via competitions, and redeem them for real money
- You’ll find piles of unique games designed especially for social casinos
Real money casinos:
- You place bets using real money directly
- You can win cash on winning bets and spins
- You’ll get to play live dealer games which aren’t available at social casinos
For the most part, a sweepstakes casino looks almost exactly like a regular online casino. And while the game content tends to be very similar, there are some differences. Notably absent will be live dealer games (live casinos), which aren’t yet available at sweepstakes sites.
On the flip side, you’ll be able to try out a whole range of sweepstakes games and sweepstakes slots for free that you’ve never heard of, many of which are exclusive to each social casino brand. That being said, if you’re familiar with traditional casino games, you’ll definitely spot a lot of familiar options. Slots and jackpots from leading providers, table games like blackjack and roulette, and even a full range of exciting crash games.
How to Play Sweepstakes Casinos in Canada
Once you’ve chosen your preferred sweepstakes casino, registering is the easy part. You can sign up for free, without any obligation to buy the virtual coins or tokens on offer to play casino sweepstakes. In fact, the registration process is very similar to that of a traditional online casino.
- Choose the best sweepstakes casino (we make some great recommendations in this article)
- Sign up as a player by registering an account for free
- Collect your free coins and explore the casino games on-site
- Decide if you’d like to purchase coins or tokens, or continue to play for free
- Use your free or purchased coins to enter contests and tournaments
- Exchange your coin or token balance for prizes, extra coins, or even cash
One of the main draws to playing casino games online is the opportunity to cash in on frequent bonuses and promotions. This is no different at sweepstakes casinos. As with traditional sites, you’ll usually find a promotions section that’s loaded with offers and freebies. You’ll even be offered the option to add a welcome offer when signing up to the site for the very first time. But while promotions are always available at sweepstakes casinos, they do look a little different to what you might expect.
Social casino promos revolve around free coins or tokens. For example, at Chumba Casino you can collect 2,000,000 Gold Coins and 2 free Sweeps Coins with no purchase required, just for signing up. In this case, Gold Coins are there to facilitate free play, but Sweeps Coins have the potential to be transformed into real cash prizes.
Can I win Real Money playing at a Sweeps Cash Casino?
Sweepstakes casinos market themselves as a risk-free alternative to regular online casinos, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be in with a chance to win real cash prizes. This might sound a little contradictory, but it makes total sense once you understand how these sites operate. While a casino game win won’t translate into withdrawable cash, you can use your tokens to enter contests and be in with a chance of winning a real prize, which can be redeemed for cash.
Here’s a practical example: You sign up to a sweeps cash casino and collect a welcome stash of free coins or tokens. These are usually given out as a gift, but sometimes you can supplement your gameplay by making a purchase at a heavy discount. You use your coins to play any of the games on the site, and even to join leaderboard contests or tournaments. Once your coin balance reaches a certain level (keep in mind that it might go down as well as up), you’ll be eligible to visit the site’s exchange store and swap your coins for various prizes. More often than not, one of these options is to redeem the coins for real, withdrawable cash.
How do I know a Sweepstakes Casino is Safe?
Since players are required to use a payment method in order to purchase virtual coins and tokens, it’s extremely important that the site you choose is completely safe and secured with top of the line encryption. All the sweepstakes casinos we recommend are fully vetted and completely safe.
If you decide to try out another site, make sure you check out its credentials and scan player forums to see whether other players had a positive experience. To really ramp up security, we recommend a site that allows you to add two factor authentication (2FA) to your login process, and using e-wallets like Skrill, Neteller and PayPal to make purchases – as these shield your banking information from the site.
Do Sweepstakes Casinos offer Customer Support?
The customer support available will vary from site to site. As with online casinos, this could include email, phone or live chat support. In recent years, casino sites are meeting the demand for new points of connection and community, and sweepstakes casinos are no exception. Many sites will offer social media support alongside traditional support, allowing players to build touch base with one another on channels like Discord and Telegram.
It might even be possible to interact with the site publicly on platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Always try to choose a sweepstakes casino that offers 24-hour support, that way you’re always guaranteed an audience if you need to reach out for help.
Canadian players located in parts of CA that make regular online casinos difficult to access will find sweepstakes casinos to be a great alternative. In fact, they’re pretty much as close as you can get to the real thing. Players in Canada can always choose to continue to play completely risk-free, never making any purchases and only playing with free coins or tokens.
One thing to point out would be that for those who enjoy the thrill of instant cash wins, sweepstakes casinos might feel slightly anti-climactic. There’s no guarantee of a cash prize win and there’s no way to turn your spins or table bets into instant withdrawable cash. Instead, players should approach sweepstakes casinos as a social, safe and fun environment to play casino games in Canada, with the added benefit of being in with a chance to win some very rewarding prizes.