The best US sweepstakes and social casino sites 2022
Sweepstakes casinos offer a unique gaming experience that can be tricky for new players to understand. Our guide gives you all the information you need to play safely and make the most of top sweepstakes and social casinos in the US.
In a nutshell, because the games themselves don’t use real money, they aren’t classed as gambling. But sweeps cash and social casinos do offer players the chance to win cash prizes without having to place a real money bet. This is because they use “Sweeps Coins” - a type of virtual currency which can only be won in free games or given as part of a welcome bonus or promotion.
Our top recommended sweepstakes and social casinos
Understanding sweepstakes casinos
What are sweepstakes?
Historically, "sweepstakes" referred to contests in which a prize (or prizes) went to a winner picked at random. The best example of this in the US were the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes. These saw big prizes delivered to people on their doorsteps.
With online sweepstakes casinos, things are a little different. Visitors can play slots, keno, poker, and other table games, using Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins – more on these below – instead of staking their own cash.
How safe are sweepstakes and social casinos?
Sweepstakes and social casinos are just as safe as playing at any real money casino. They are legal and regulated in 49 US states. Washington is the only state where sweepstake games are illegal. This is both due to how they define the games and that gambling in the state is illegal.
While you aren’t paying as you play with sweeps games, you still need to register and buy Gold Coins. You will also have to share financial information with a site or app to claim any prizes you might win.
Before you start playing, you'll want to ensure your chosen site is safe and legitimate. We’ve reviewed some of the biggest sweepstake brands available in the US so you can play with confidence. To help you choose a site where you feel safe, we’ve listed them below.
Why are sweepstake and social casinos popular?
Sweepstakes and social casinos are popular because they let people play casino games in places where gambling is restricted.
Social casinos are, as you can imagine, casinos where having fun is the goal. You don’t need to spend any money to play, and you don’t win real money prizes. Sweepstakes casinos differ from social casinos though, because they do give you the chance to win real money. Using Sweeps Coins, players can play for prizes in sweepstake games in most states.
Social casinos only use Gold Coins or an equivalent, not Sweeps Coins, so don’t give players the chance to win real money or prizes.
What are Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins?
There are two different types of coins available for use at most sweepstakes casinos: Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. Understanding the difference between the two is key to playing online sweepstakes.
Gold Coins - These are usually awarded on signing up and you can buy more at social casinos. These are used to play games for fun.
Sweeps Coins - These can only be collected as a free reward or bonus and can be redeemed for cash prizes.
- Easy to play on mobile devices
- Opportunity to win real cash prizes
- Available to some players who can't use traditional online casinos
- Wide selection of games available
- Not legal to play in some jurisdictions
- Unsuitable for high rollers
The best online sweepstakes and social casinos in the US
We’ve searched high and low to find the best sweepstakes casinos for American players, and the following represent the best that we’ve found on the market in 2022:
While calling themselves a “free to play social casino”, Pulsz is a sweeps casino with a good reputation in the USA and beyond.
You can play more than 300 games on your desktop or mobile devices thanks to their responsive site. The majority of these are different types of slots, but you can also try Texas Hold ‘Em, Roulette or Blackjack.
All new players can get started with a free coins bonus when registering at Pulsz.
Created with US players in mind, Fortune Coins is owned and operated by Social Gaming LLC in New York. They are slots based, with a few table games and specialty titles available.
Fortune Coins has a welcome bonus of 140,000 Gold Coins and 500 free "Fortune Coins" - their name for Sweeps Coins. Casino visitors can play on desktop or mobile devices with their responsive site.
The best sweepstakes slots
One of the unique features of sweepstakes games is that they don't stick to the familiar titles. While there might be some licenses carried over from the biggest slot games, most aren't. If you're not sure where to start, we recommend giving any of the games listed below a try:
Buffalo: Hold and Win
Hold and Win is an interesting feature that video poker or fruit machine players might be familiar with. If not, the idea is that certain symbols remain on the reels during re-spins. Buffalo: Hold and Win is a great example of the concept in action!
- Volatility: 3/3
- Top Prize: 90,000,000 GC
- Min/Max: 50 GC / 75,000 GC
Great Rhino: Megaways
Back in 2015 Big Time Gaming (BTG) created a new way to play with Megaways. Various games now use the feature in different game types, sweepstakes included. The result is games like Great Rhino offer over 200,000 ways to win!
- Volatility: 3/3
- Top Prize: 20,000,000 GC
- Min/Max: 50 GC / 1,000,000 GC
Are sweepstakes legal in the US?
Currently, online sweepstakes casinos with real money prizes are legal in all US states except Washington. That’s great news for players in states with legal restrictions on other types of games. It gives them a way to enjoy safe play at secure sites, for free or for cash prizes.
Wondering how this works? When you play at a social or sweepstakes casino you are using a form of virtual coin known as “Gold Coins.” These are awarded for free, or can be topped up by the player, and let you play games for free with no prizes available. Sweepstakes and social casinos will sometimes include a different type of virtual currency when Gold Coins are given out (usually as a bonus or promotion), called “Sweeps Coins.” These cannot be purchased.
Sweeps Coins allow you to play sweepstakes games for the chance to get prizes. You can even hold on to them and redeem them for cash once you’ve collected a certain amount – this varies with each casino so if this interests you a top tip is to check with the casino before you play. These differences to real money casinos allow sweepstakes and social casinos to operate legally in most states.
You’ll need to meet the minimum age for play at home sweepstakes. Generally, the rule is 18 in the US, but it’s always a good idea to check with the site or app you’re playing with. Some might specify a higher age limit to play with them based on state laws
If you've won a prize, you can claim it much like you would at any other casino. You’ll need to provide proof of identity and payment information to the online sweepstake casino you play in.
Are online sweeps and social casinos safe?
Yes. Sweepstake and social casinos are safe, legal, and regulated in 49 states. As you'll need to share payment information with them it's important to only play at trusted sites such as those we've recommended.
Can you play sweepstakes with real money?
Effectively, no. What we mean by this is that you can’t deposit money and immediately gamble with it. Instead, you must rely on acquiring free Sweeps Coins as you play. This can be done when you’re awarded free bonuses when you purchase some Gold Coin offers, or via social competitions where it is given away.
What are Gold Coins?
Gold Coins differ from Sweeps Coins in that they can only be used to play games for free, and you also have the option of purchasing them. Gold Coins have no monetary or other value – they simply let you play the casino-style games for fun.
What are Sweeps Coins?
Sweeps Coins allow you to play sweepstake games for your chance to win cash prizes or gift cards. You can earn them during play, or they are sometimes included in welcome bonuses with Gold Coins. No purchase is necessary to obtain Sweeps Coins.
Can you win cash playing sweepstakes?
Yes! Although it involves jumping through a few hoops to get the Sweeps Coins needed to play for real money.
How old do I need to be to play at sweepstake casinos?
The lowest legal age limit for playing sweepstakes is 18. Some states may have a higher age limit, so you should double-check this before playing.
Are sweepstake casinos legal in the US?
For the most part, yes. Washington is currently the only state in which sweepstakes casinos are not available. You can play them in every other state.
Are there different types of sweepstake games?
Yes. Slots, casino games, poker and more are all available as sweepstake games. The best sweepstakes casinos usually have a variety of game types on offer.
Can you play sweepstake games on your mobile?
Yes. Sweepstakes and social casino games are often played on smartphones and tablets. Some have dedicated apps to make playing on mobile devices quick and easy.
Are there any sweepstake sportsbooks?
Yes, a few! Sweepstake sportsbooks exist, but they’re not as common as sweepstake casinos. You could also check out DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports), as some have sweeps type offerings.