This guide will arm you with the knowledge you need before signing up for a sweepstake casino. Included is a checklist on what to look out for to ensure the casino is safe, and if the sweepstakes is legit. It also discusses three of the most popular social casinos available on the market; two of which give the player the ability to win prizes and cash prizes, and the front-runner being Stake.us.
The three casinos discussed in this article are summarized in the table below. All are safe and legit casinos with great game selections, and both Stake.us and Golden Hearts Games give players the chance to exchange their virtual coins for actual prizes including cash prizes.
- Stake.us – Offers the best daily reloads and promotions
- Wow Vegas – Great selection of slots, with many coming from Pragmatic Games
- Golden Hearts Games – A charitable focus that is unique in its offering
|Site||Best For||Bonus Offer||Casino Games Offered|
|Stake.us||Daily reload promotions||5% Rakeback offer for new members with code MIKBONUS||390 slots plus Stake Original games, 3 live dealer experiences, and various table games|
|Wow Vegas||Slot selection||5,000 Wow Coins for new members||Over 300 slots, but limited selection of table games|
|Golden Hearts Games||Charitable focus||New players who spend $10 get an extra $10 in play||Mainly bingo with a new game starting every 10 minutes. A small selection of slots and table games.|
As online gambling is outlawed in most US states, it’s not possible to win straight-up dollars. However in some social casinos, including Stake.us and Golden Hearts Games, it is possible to win in these sweepstake casinos by exchanging their virtual currency instead. These are known as Sweeps Coins, and can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and cash prizes, so long as wagering requirements and minimal amounts have been met. So the best way of winning in a sweepstake casino is to build your pot of Sweeps Coins, which are discussed in more detail below.
Social casinos operate using three distinct currencies: Gold Coins, Sweeps Coins or real money. It’s the use of these virtual coins that allows the casinos to operate within the law. The system is fairly straightforward; below are more specific details about each currency and its value.
- Gold Coins – These are used by casinos for free gameplay and hold no cash value. They cannot be exchanged, refunded, or redeemed. Often, they are provided as part of a Welcome Offer, or through ongoing promotional events. If you exhaust your supply of Gold Coins, you can purchase more. There are frequently special offers available, particularly for first-time buyers, so it’s a good idea to browse what’s around.
- Sweeps Coins – Sweeps Coins or Cash are the golden goose of online currencies within sweepstakes casinos, as they can be exchanged for prizes including cash. You cannot buy Sweeps Coins; instead, they are acquired through promotional events, giveaways, Welcome Offers, won in promotional tournaments or sometimes included as part of a bundle when purchasing Gold Coins. The value of Sweeps Coins varies among different casinos. For instance, Stake.us has an exchange rate of 1 Sweeps Coin to 1 US dollar.
- Cash – Barring a handful of states, the only scenario where you will be using actual cash in a sweepstakes casino is to purchase more Gold Coins, or when sweeps coins are converted back to cash if the casino provides this option.
Hopefully, you will now have a better understanding of the currency system, and putting it into action is an even easier task. Simply deposit funds into your account using your preferred payment method that the casino accepts, and you’re ready to buy some gold. Remember, first-time buyers of gold will often be able to purchase enhanced bundles, so be sure to have a good look at all that is on offer.
All social casinos must offer a way to play for free. The table below outlines the various methods that can be used.
|Welcome Offer||These vary between the different providers. For instance, Stake.us offers a 5% Rakeback bonus whereas Wow Vegas offers 5,000 Gold Coins aka Wow Coins|
|Reload Offers||Reload offers are ongoing offers that casinos send out to their existing customers.|
|Refer a friend||Some social casinos offer a refer-a-friend promotion, where if they sign up, you both receive some gold coins.|
|Social media competitions||Some social competitions only require a like and share for a chance to win gold|
|Loyalty Programs||Some social casinos offer loyalty or VIP programs, where members are rewarded with exclusive offers and bonuses.|
So you want to win more than just bragging rights. You want the chance to win prizes or actual dollars. Then you need sweeps. Armed with the knowledge that these cannot be purchased, the question of how you get more arises.
- Emails – Keep your eye on your inbox, as that is usually the number 1 way your casino will communicate with you
- Onsite promotions – Most of the social casino sites have a promotions tab where all the current offers that they are running will be listed. These often change week to week, so check back regularly.
- Tournaments – You can win redeemable Sweep Coins by playing in Promotional Mode with your original Sweep Coins. There is no guarantee of winning though, so only play with what you are willing to lose.
- Postal request – An unconventional method is to send a postcard requesting free Sweeps Coins to the sweepstakes casino. Legally, they are obliged to give some for free. Check the site for details on what to send and where to send it.
- Gold Bundles – These can be purchased and often contain a handful of Sweeps Coins, which varies depending on the bundle.
Now for a greater look into three of the best social casinos available. Wow Vegas is still in its infancy, but it packs a punch all the same. Stake.us which continually storms it; is a professional experience in pretty much every aspect. Finally, Golden Heart Games is breaking new ground when it comes to offering worthwhile rewards and entertainment to small donors.
Stake.us is the real deal when it comes to social casinos, with its only real downfall being the lack of an app. However, its mobile site is fully optimized, so gameplay isn’t affected. It has all of the slots that you could hope to see, 390 at the point of writing, with new releases being added regularly. It has 18 Stake Original slots that all use the provably fair method. Plus, it has several table games and 3 live dealer experiences to choose from; honestly, the game selection alone would make it a top social casino.
Stake.us is a regulated and licensed casino. It has numerous sponsors from big household names including Drake, UFC, and for 2023, a new title partnership with Sauber Motorsport’s Alfa Romeo F1 Team. Coupled with the number of members and positive online reviews, you can rest assured Stake.us is a legit and safe casino.
Stake.us also allows its members to exchange Stake Cash for actual prizes and US dollars albeit via Crypto. Every 1SC is worth $1. Remember, Stake Cash cannot be bought, it is obtained either through promotions and giveaways, won in promotional tournaments, or via the postal method. There is also a wagering requirement of 3x, so any Stake cash you have must be wagered 3x before it can be redeemed. So, concentrate on building that pot if you want to win at this sweepstakes casino.
Remember Stake.us offers all new members a 5% Rakeback Bonus when they first sign up using the exclusive code MIKBONUS.
- Huge game selection
- Trusted, legit sweepstake casino
- Ability to win prizes
- 5% Rakeback bonus for new customers with code MIKBONUS
Wow Vegas is relatively new to the world of online casinos. It has over 300 slots to choose from, with the bulk coming from the epic gaming studio Pragmatic Play and new releases are added every week! However, it does fall down when it comes to table games as currently, it doesn’t offer more than a dozen or so of these.
Wow Vegas is licensed and regulated by the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission, and it possesses some of the highest levels of data encryption; in fact, it boasts that its security measures are as good as those used by the top financial institutions.
Wow Vegas does offer its new members a generous Welcome Offer, giving you 5,000 Wow Coins once you have completed your user profile in full. However, these coins can only be used to play for fun. Wow Vegas does not offer the option of exchanging for any prizes or cash prizes.
- Large selection of slots
- New Games regularly added
- A very secure encrypted site
- Generous Welcome Offer
Golden Hearts Games casino is a little different from most other social casinos. Its main focus is on charitable donations. This is done through you, the player. You choose which charity from the list you wish to donate to, and then the amount you wish to donate. In return, you will receive gold coins to enable you to play the games.
The game selection on Golden Hearts Games is also where it differs. Instead of its focus on slots and table games, its main focus is on bingo games. These start every 10 minutes, and players can purchase up to 100 cards per game. If bingo isn’t ‘your game’, then there are other games to choose from, however, the selection isn’t as varied or well-known as the offerings from the other social casinos.
Golden Hearts Games give its members the chance to win real cash prizes along with gift cards and merchandise. A player will need to have at least 2,500 gold coins and all wagering requirements must have been met.
Due to its charitable focus, Golden Hearts Games is legal in all 50 states, plus Washington D.C. This fact coupled, with its encryption, you can rest assured that this sweepstakes casino is legitimate and safe to use.
- Charitable focus
- Big bingo offering
- Ability to win real prizes
- Legal in all states of the US
There are now numerous sweepstakes casinos available to sign up with, and unless you plan on signing up to them all, it helps to have a checklist of important areas to consider to help narrow down your selection. Some of the things to take into account should be:
Usually, the driving force for signing up for a social casino is that you want to play the games. You want to enjoy the thrills of the spinning slots or feel the virtual felt. Therefore, looking at the games and the game providers available is an absolute must. It’s also worth noting how often new titles are added.
Offers and Free Sweeps
Most people enjoy being rewarded, and the casinos know this and use it to their advantage; which actually in turn becomes your advantage. They will use offers and promotions as a way of signing you up and keeping your loyalty. So have a look at the Welcome Offer, but more importantly, have a look at the reload offers, because once that Welcome Offer has expired, it’s still nice to be rewarded.
This will only impact you if you are looking to win prizes in a sweepstakes casino. The casinos are very transparent on whether they offer the option of redemption for prizes or cash. So, it’s worth looking at their policies surrounding this including, any wagering requirements and the exchange rate of Sweeps Coins to dollars.
Is an app available?
Some casinos have them, while others don’t. In fact, none of the casinos in this review have an app, however, they do all have mobile-optimized sites which have all the functionality of the regular site.
It may not be needed right away, however, it’s always good to find a casino that offers a decent level of customer support. The best is live chat, but otherwise, the option to get in touch with a real person should always be there.
The quality of casino sites can vary significantly, with some having subpar websites, ridiculous account verification requests, or unfair bonus terms. And as frustrating as these things may seem, they’re only a patch on the damage and upset that an unregulated casino can cause. Therefore it’s imperative that you know how to tell if a sweepstake casino is legitimate.
Normally, you can find information on who the casino is owned and operated by on their terms page. From this, you can check whether they are regulated and have a license. Another good indicator for discovering how safe a casino is are review sites and the casino’s social pages.
Decent sites, run by honest companies should work well. The sites shouldn’t feel as though they’ve been thrown together. Instead, the site should feel intuitive and easy to use.
Legitimate sites won’t peddle bonus offers that either seem too good to be true, or with 101 clauses when it comes to the redemption of the bonuses on offer.
There should always be a method for contacting a real person within the company. If it’s not via live chat, then there should be an email or contact form. If none of these options exist, then take it as a red flag and move on.
Ensure that payment methods are secure and that no hidden fees are added. Also, turnaround times should be acceptable.
Casinos that are less than fair won’t have any of the big studios in their offering, nor would an offering have a great depth.
Finally, review the terms and conditions to ensure they are fair. Look for wagering requirements, payout fees, payout turnaround times, and capped winnings, and be wary of anything that doesn’t seem right.
After exploring three leading social casinos and looking at how to decide whether a sweepstake casino is legit, it can be inferred that research is key.
That old fable of prior planning and preparation really comes to life here. A simple checklist on what to look out for when signing up ensures that not only do you scope out the legitimacy of the casino, but also that the casino has on offer all the things you want from your gameplay. Including the chance to win some actual prizes or cash prizes!
FAQs For how to win in Sweepstakes Casinos
What is a Sweepstakes casino?
Sweepstakes casinos are a social gaming model that allow members to play online casino-style games. Members can play for free and use virtual currencies known as Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins.
How do I know if a sweepstake casino is legitimate?
Legitimate casinos will be licensed and regulated. They will follow the gambling laws of the state they are in. Other factors to look out for include fair terms and bonus rules, simple account registration and verification.
Can I win real money at a sweepstakes casino?
Although real money cannot be won directly, some sweepstakes casinos do allow for sweeps coins to be exchanged for prizes or cash. There are often wagering requirements and minimal amounts that need to be met first.