When it comes to the ever-evolving world of online casinos, sweepstakes casinos are certainly the new kids on the block. Unlike traditional online casinos, games on sweepstakes casinos can only be played with virtual coins and are typically referred to as free-to-play. This is great for people who live in areas where traditional online casinos are illegal to play due to real money gambling restrictions because it gives them access to a huge variety of entertaining games.
However, are sweepstakes casinos free-to-play, or is this just a phrase used as a marketing slogan? In this post, we’ll look at the ins and outs of sweepstakes casinos, so you’ll be up to date with what they are, how they work, why they’re growing in popularity, and – most importantly – whether they’re genuinely free to play.
What Is a Sweepstake Casino?
A sweepstake casino is an alternative to traditional online casinos. They offer many of the same gaming experiences, such as card games and slot machines with various entertaining themes.
However, a sweepstake casino only allows its users to play games with virtual tokens that don’t have any monetary value – never real cash. These tokens can be obtained via direct purchase, signup bonuses, daily login rewards, social media giveaways, and many other creative methods.
How Do Sweepstakes Casinos Work?
Although sweepstakes casinos might seem complicated at first glance, they’re simple to use once you’re familiar with their model.
To get involved, users must register for an account with their details. This will include things like their name, address, and email address.
After a user signs up, they’ll need virtual tokens to play games. There are typically two types of these used at all sweepstakes casinos:
The first virtual tokens that can be used to play games are Gold Coins (this name can vary). Gold Coins can be purchased directly with real money, although they do not hold any monetary value, cannot be redeemed for real withdrawable cash, and are only used to play games.
The second virtual token used to play games is Sweeps Coins (this name can vary). Unlike Gold Coins, they cannot be purchased with real money. However, they also do not hold any monetary value. Sweep coins can be awarded as a bonus when buying Gold Coins and can also be given to users for signing in regularly, giveaways, and so on.
Where Sweep Coins differ is that, although they cannot be withdrawn, they can be exchanged for prizes, including real money. This money can then be withdrawn.
Why Are Sweepstakes Casinos Growing in Popularity?
Sweepstakes casinos have become very popular in the USA for several reasons, including the games users can play. However, one of their biggest attractions is that they are often legal to play (although not always) in places where traditional online casinos are restricted.
If this sounds complicated, don’t worry. In simple terms, sweepstakes casinos can often be played in such places because they don’t use traditional gambling models where players use real money to play games and gamble. Free virtual tokens with no monetary value mean that prizes claimed are part of a sweepstakes model and, therefore, are allowed in many states with online gambling restrictions.
Remember to check that any sweep casino you use is legitimate before you sign up to avoid handing your details over to scammers.
Are Sweepstakes Casinos Free to Play?
One issue that sweepstakes casinos have faced is a debate about whether they should be considered free-to-play platforms. Let’s look at the arguments for and against this definition:
Free to Play
The most convincing argument that sweepstakes casinos are free-to-play platforms is that users can play games without spending money.
This is because there is no requirement to buy Gold Coins to earn free Sweeps Coins. Indeed, Sweeps Coins can be earned by completing free tasks – signing up, logging in regularly, givingaways, etc.
Purchasing Gold Coins to play with is optional; therefore, sweepstakes casinos offer free-to-play games.
Not Free to Play
The argument against sweepstakes casinos being free-to-play platforms is somewhat more subjective. Some people believe that, although sweepstakes casinos do offer some free-to-play tokens, it is far too restrictive to provide full enjoyment of the platforms.
For example, if users are only provided with a small number of Sweep Coins for free, it could be argued that they are encouraged to purchase Gold Coins and then obtain a larger amount of Sweep Coins. The argument here is that, without making purchases, players have less chance of earning Sweeps Coins to exchange for prizes. Therefore, the idea of a free-to-play sweepstakes casino becomes a gray area within which those who may have an advantage over those who don’t.
So, should we consider sweepstakes casinos to be free-to-play platforms? The simple answer is yes. To arrive at this result, you only need to consider the fact that, typically, users can indeed play games without making any real money deposit. To do this, they must obtain Sweeps Coins through other means, such as giveaways, login bonuses, etc.
Of course, this is the simplest way of looking at the argument. On the other hand, an argument could be made that although users can play for free, playtime is likely to be limited without obtaining larger Sweeps Coins deposit bonuses.
The Future of Sweepstakes Casinos
Sweepstakes casinos have brought a lot of joy to people in certain places where traditional online casinos are restricted due to gambling regulations. Therefore, these platforms’ popularity is likely to grow as more people learn about them.
However, it is important to note that sweepstakes casinos are not legal in all states. Washington State, for example, considers sweepstakes casinos to combine raffles and promotional contests, which it then argues creates a new form of contest that is still prohibited for people in the state to use. Therefore, it’s important to check that sweepstakes casinos are legal where you live before you take part, as regulations can change over time.