The online casino gaming world has developed rapidly over the last few years, but there are always new ideas being developed, and one of the most interesting is the concept of the sweepstakes casino.
Similar in many ways to social casinos, sweepstakes casinos are sites that allow players to play casino games on a social basis, although with the potential to play with real money. While many states in the US do not allow online casinos, social and sweepstakes casinos are legal in 49 states.
Social or sweepstakes: What’s the difference?
There is no clear dividing line between social and sweepstakes casinos, as they share the same technology and the two names are sometimes used interchangeably.
Both involve playing casino games with tokens rather than real money, but in some cases, sweepstakes casinos are more focused on the potential to turn those tokens into real money, while social casinos emphasize the purely social and fun aspects of gaming.
How do sweepstakes casinos work?
Sweepstakes casinos are designed to produce some of the excitement and fun of a real money casino, without any of the risks. You play at sweepstakes or social casinos by using virtual currencies, which you can buy directly from the casino. There are two currencies commonly used: sweep coins and gold coins.
Sweep coins are tokens that you can use to play real money games at the casino, and which you can also withdraw as real cash. Gold coins on the other hand have no monetary value and are simply used to play games at a social casino and are suitable for people who just want to socialize, play the games and enter the various competitions offered at social casinos.
Turning tokens into real money
One thing to be aware of is that you should only ever play at sweepstakes or social casinos that are fully regulated. These sites will be required to follow a range of stringent procedures and rules that keep your financial and personal details safe.
This includes taking care to verify that individuals are whom they say they are, which is essential when you are dealing with financial transactions. The verification process involves uploading copies of certain personal documents to prove your identity.
Once this has been done, you will be able to exchange your sweep coins for real cash and to withdraw them using your chosen payment method.
Payment options at sweepstakes casinos
Generally, you will find that it is easy to make deposits and withdrawals at sweepstakes casinos using most of the common payment methods, including Visa, Mastercard, American Express and the standard bank transfer. Since sweepstakes sites tend to be among the more modern sites around, you will also find it possible to use e-wallet options such as Neteller and Skrill, depending on which site you use.
Remember that gold coins cannot be turned into real cash but sweep coins can, and keep in mind that you should only ever play at fully regulated sites to ensure that all your financial transactions are protected and are fully honored by the casino operator.
What games are available?
Sweepstake and social casinos are, in most important ways, exactly like real money casinos. They offer those who sign up the chance to play a full range of casino games, from retro and video slots to standard table games such as roulette and blackjack, along with many other more obscure games, including keno, craps, Sic Bo and baccarat.
Of course, the key difference is that the games are not played for real money, but otherwise, they offer all the same features, bonuses and mechanics as real money versions.
An additional feature of sweepstakes or social casinos that is not present with real money casinos is the social aspect. This type of casino site usually features competitions, again not for real money, which all users can participate in, and which encourage friendly rivalry and social interaction. It is this social element, rather than the chance to win real money, that is the essence of this type of casino.
Although sweepstake casinos do not feature real money gaming, it is still possible to become addicted to these games and to end up spending real money that you cannot afford to lose. So, if you play at a sweepstakes or social casino, make sure that you set strict limits for yourself in terms of time and money and only ever play at regulated sites. That way you will maximize your enjoyment while staying safe.