Sweepstakes casinos and poker sites have an unusual business model compared to traditional real money casinos, but when all is said and done, the end result is much the same.
Sweepstakes sites give gamers an opportunity to claim real cash prizes online while playing high caliber and exciting casino slots and table games. There doesn’t have to be a regulated gambling market in your state in order for you to sign up, and you’ll likely qualify for a welcome bonus, as well.
Legal across most of the United States, sweepstakes gaming sites let you play on the go from the convenience of your smartphone or tablet via mobile browser without having to worry about geolocation software.
The sweepstakes system will likely seem foreign when you first begin, but you’ll catch on in no time. To get a quick start, read on for more details about how the system works, what games are available and top sweepstakes casinos.
|Online Casino||Join Bonus||Welcome Bonus|
|Chumba||2,000,000 GC plus 2 free SC||$30 GC package for $10|
|LuckyLand Slots||7,777 GC plus 10 free SC||$10 GC package for $4.99|
|Funzpoints||$2.50||100% up to $20 on deposit|
|Global Poker||Free $20 GC package||$40 GC package for $20|
The major difference between sweepstakes casinos and real money sites is that sweepstakes operators use a dual currency system. While both virtual currencies have no monetary value in and of themselves, one type of currency works as a sweepstakes entry for the purposes of sweepstakes law. You can redeem any prizes that you win playing games with sweepstakes coins for cash prizes.
The sites always give sweepstakes coins away for free. To match two of the three sites that we review here, we’ll call this type of virtual currency Sweeps Coins. The second virtual currency (which we’ll call Gold Coins, again matching two of the three sites) is play money that lets you play casino games for fun.
Sweepstakes sites make money by selling Gold Coins. And when you buy them, you’ll receive a set amount of free Sweeps Coins. For instance, if you buy a $10 package of Gold Coins, you might get 10 free Sweeps Coins, too.
While different sites will call the two currencies different names, and the amount of free sweepstakes currency you’ll receive with each purchase of play money will vary, this is the basic principle of sweepstakes casinos and poker sites.
To put it a different way, while you can’t make a deposit or withdrawal from a sweepstakes casino, you can purchase Gold Coins and receive free Sweeps Coins, and then redeem any Sweeps Coins gameplay winnings for cash prizes.
You also don’t have to buy anything to claim cash prizes from a sweepstakes casino. The sites give away free sweeps coins and play money coins in a number of ways. But if you run out of either currency, you can make a purchase to jump start your game play.
These dual currency sites follow sweepstakes laws regulated by individual states. This means that online sweepstakes sites are legal across the entire United States, with one exception.
Washington state law specifically prohibits for-profit sweepstakes businesses. The Evergreen State allows only nonprofit and religious organizations to host sweepstakes contests. In much the same way, sweepstakes casinos are legal across all of Canada, except in Quebec.
The only other qualification is that you must be at least 18 years old to sign up for an account with a sweepstakes casino.
This review will introduce you to three popular sweepstakes casinos and a poker site: Chumba Casino, Funzpoints Casino, LuckyLand Slots and Global Poker.
Chumba, LuckyLand and Global Poker are all owned by the same sweepstakes gaming operator, Virtual Gaming Worlds. Australian Laurence Escalante formed VGW in 2010 for the sole purpose of offering online casino gaming in the United States and Canada.
VGW launched Chumba in 2012, Global Poker in 2016 and LuckyLand Slots in 2019. VGW also runs a sweepstakes sports prediction site, FendOff Sports, launched in 2020 in partnership with Inspired Entertainment.
VGW uses the same dual-currency sweepstakes system, now fully patented, on all four of its sites. Otherwise there are a number of differences between them, including available games, welcome bonuses, promotions, giveaways and tournaments.
Funzpoints Casino is owned by Woopla Inc., based in Nova Scotia, Canada. The site launched in 2018. This sweepstakes casino calls its play money Standard funzpoints, instead of Gold Coins. It calls its sweepstakes coins as Premium funzpoints, instead of Sweeps Coins.
Funzpoints has its own take on the sweepstakes casino system, as do the other two sites, but in the end, they all have one thing — the most important thing — in common: You can end up with real cash prizes by playing casino games on all of them.
While there are a number of other sweepstakes casinos out there in various stages of development, you definitely can’t go wrong when choosing any of the three sites reviewed here. Read on for more details.
With about 80 games, Chumba has the largest library of the three casinos that we review here. It also is the only site to include table game titles. Chumba started out offering exclusively in-house developed games, but it now offers a dozen or so select, licensed titles from other studios, such as Reel Play and Golden Rock Studios.
In addition to Sweeps Coins that you receive for free when you buy Gold Coins, Chumba will give you small amounts of both forms of currency once a day when you log in to your account.
The operator also hosts free giveaways on a regular basis on Facebook, usually gifting winning entries SC 5 for correctly answering a trivia question about one of the site’s casino games or for reposting the contest on your Facebook wall.
Also, when you register for a new account, you’ll receive 2,000,000 GC plus 2 Sweeps Coins as a welcome bonus just for signing up. The second part of Chumba’s new player bonus includes a discount purchase price of $10 for a $30-value Gold Coin package, which includes 3,000,000 GC plus 30 Sweeps Coins for free.
Funzpoints offers two ways to claim cash prizes: game wins when spinning with the site’s legal sweepstakes currency (Premium funzpoints) and a daily $350 real money lottery-style jackpot drawing.
In true sweepstakes tradition, you can’t buy tickets to enter the daily drawing. Tickets are always free. You can earn free entry tickets by playing games. You can win them as prizes in some of Funzpoints’ bonus mini games, called booster and Funzone games, and you can win them by spinning the Standard mode prize wheel every three hours.
Spinning the prize wheel will also help replenish your supply of play money currency, as well. You can win anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 Standard funzpoints every three hours.
The site is also the only sweepstakes casino reviewed here that locks some of its games in Standard mode. This is true if you are playing with Standard funzpoints that you received for free. You will unlock more games as you play.
If you are playing with purchased Standard funzpoints, all games will be available for 30 days from your last purchase. If you are playing with Premium funzpoints, all games are unlocked all the time.
Funzpoints’ loyalty program is a good way to earn discounts on purchases of Standard funzpoints bundled with free Premium funzpoints.
The operator’s sign-up bonus includes $2.50 Premium funzpoints that will unlock all the games and give you a free trial run. In addition, on first purchase, you’ll get double the number of Standard and free Premium funzpoints in regularly priced packages, up to the $20 bundle.
LuckyLand Slots offers the most detailed and opulent games of these three sites.
A result of the acquisition of San Francisco-based game studio Open Wager, LuckyLand’s slots are all completely exclusive to the site and often feature visually intensive features such as 3D animations and the latest advancements in bonus game rounds.
Players can get anywhere from 0.3 to one Sweeps Coin for free, along with complimentary Gold Coins, just for logging in to the site once a day. You’ll get one Sweeps Coin on the seventh day if you log in to your account every day for a full week.
Like Chumba, LuckyLand hosts regular Sweeps Coin giveaways on social media. Generally entrants will need to share the post or answer a trivia question about one of the site’s games.
You also can send a free slots spin to up to 50 Facebook friends a day, and receive up to 50 free spins in return. In addition, LuckyLand’s VIP program grants purchase discounts to frequent buyers.
Another way to win extra free Sweeps Coins and Gold Coins is to enter one or more of LuckyLand’s daily tournaments. About six games for each virtual currency are slated to run seeded tournaments every day, with the top players on the leaderboard sharing the pot.
New players will get a free sign-up bonus of 7,777 Gold Coins and 10 free Sweeps Coins. The second part of the site’s welcome bonus grants you a first purchase deal of a $10 Gold Coin package for $4.99. The package comes with 50K Gold Coins and 10 free Sweeps Coins.
Just like all sweepstakes enterprises, you can write directly to Chumba, Funzpoints and LuckyLand to request free sweepstakes coins directly. Funzpoints’ mail-in request requirements are quite a bit more relaxed than the two VGW sites (three, counting Global Poker).
Both Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots have very precise requirements, including the words you use to make your request, so you’ll want to review the details on the sites. Once you have your request formatted properly, you can send it to one or all of the sweepstakes casinos. See addresses below.
For Chumba Casino, mail your request for five free Sweeps Coins to:
For LuckyLand Slots, send your request for five free Sweeps Coins to:
For 1,000 free Standard funzpoints and 500 free Premium funzpoints, send your request to:
Registering for a sweepstakes casino is simple and will take just a few minutes. You must be at least 18 years old and not a resident of Washington state in order to open an account on any of these sites.
Just use one of our links to visit the site (or sites) of your choice and click the sign up icon once the page loads. You will need to manually switch between the two virtual currencies on the sites. Generally, you’ll be able to flip a toggle switch at the top of the page, or within each game, to make the change.
Chumba Casino and LuckyLand Slots both offer progressive jackpot series, with Chumba having paid out multiple seven-figure pots.
Chumba’s exclusive network of progressive slots includes a dozen or more games, each with a chance to win one of four jackpots: the mini, minor, major and grand prize. Spinning a certain number of symbols representing the four jackpots will trigger a chance to play for the big money.
All three of these popular sweepstakes casinos add new games often, so don’t expect these numbers to hold true for long, but currently Chumba has about 80 games in its library, including table games like blackjack, video poker and two variants of American roulette.
LuckyLand currently offers about 40 slots, including instant win games such as keno and scratch-offs.
The relatively new Funzpoints offers about 20 titles in its game library, which doesn’t take into account the many boosters and Funzone mini games (which come with a guarantee of prizes).
As mentioned above, LuckyLand offers intricately detailed games that feature modern bonuses and animation. If the games load too slowly for your taste, either Funzpoints or Chumba may suit you more.
Funzpoints games all have a 96.5% return-to-player rate and are rated low variance, which means you’ll be well on your way to earning more jackpot drawing tickets and unlocking new games in Standard mode.
VGW’s Global Poker is a favorite with Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker players. The site runs similarly to Chumba and LuckyLand, with a daily login bonus (for verified accounts) and active Sweeps Coin giveaways on Global Poker’s social media pages.
While no HUDs are allowed during play, serious poker players can run multiple ring game tables at the same time and grind out a decent profit over the long haul.
Depending on the day and time, more than 10,000 players will be seated at Global’s tables for micro to high stakes, particularly hold’em multi-table tournaments.
Just for signing up for a new account, you’ll get a $20 Gold Coin package for free. The welcome bonus will give you 100,000 Gold Coins with 20 free Sweeps Coins to try games out for free. Then, when you make your first purchase on the site, you’ll qualify to buy a $40 Gold Coin package for $20. This package will have 200,000 Gold Coins and 40 free Sweeps Coins.