The Difference Between Social and Sweepstakes Casinos

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The Difference Between Social and Sweepstakes Casinos

Social casinos are a great way to enjoy the wonders of slots, table games, bingo, and lottery draws without spending a cent. If it’s entertainment you’re after, social casinos are perfect because they’re legal in all US states. However, we can’t pretend there’s not a certain allure to playing for prizes, which is why sweepstakes casinos offer an interesting alternative to real-money gaming sites. 

Not only are they legal in almost all US states, but they also give you a free way to play for something more tangible than entertainment. To see exactly what this means in practice, here’s a deep dive into the differences between social and sweepstakes casinos.

Real-Money Prizes

The biggest difference between social casinos and sweepstakes sites is the fact you can win cash prizes at the latter. Social casinos are free-play platforms. They exist for one purpose only: entertainment. The coins you wager have no value in the real world and the only thing you can win is the respect of your peers. 

Sweepstakes casino sites are different. Like their counterparts, they’re free-play platforms. That means you don’t have to make cash deposits to get coins. It also means the coins you use have no real-world value i.e. you can’t withdraw a Sweeps Coin and spend it in a store. That’s the main difference between sweepstakes casinos and real-money gambling sites. 

The coins you wager at a real-money online casino have an equivalent value in the real world. Put simply, if you wager $1 at a real-money site, it’s the same as handing over a dollar bill at your local casino. The coins you use at a sweepstakes casino don’t have a real-money equivalent. 

Despite this fact, they can still be used to win prizes that are worth something. The best sweepstakes casinos allow you to redeem Sweeps Coins for prizes. Therefore, even though the coins don’t have a direct real-money equivalent in terms of value, they can be exchanged for prizes such as vouchers, cash payments, and, in some cases, cryptocurrency tokens. 

Different Coin Systems

The reason sweepstakes casinos give you the chance to win prizes comes down to the coins you wager. Social casinos have one coin system. You create an account (using our secure registration links) and you’re given Gold Coins. You wager Gold Coins on games you want to play and that’s it. They can’t be withdrawn, and they can’t be exchanged for prizes. 

Sweepstakes casinos also give you Gold Coins. Again, these are free-play tokens that allow you to play casino games and have fun without spending a cent. What you can also get at sweepstakes casinos is Sweeps Coins. These coins can be redeemed for prizes. 

Each sweepstakes casino has its own rules regarding the number of coins you can exchange for prizes and what each coin is worth. However, the important thing to note here is that you can’t buy Sweeps Coins. To comply with US gambling laws, Sweeps Coins are the same as raffle tickets. You earn them through various actions, such as playing certain games, unlocking a bonus, or by winning them. 

You can also get Sweeps when you purchase Gold Coins. There’s no obligation to buy Gold Coins, as you’ll always get some for free. However, if you want to boost your bankroll, there’s the option to buy more coins. Do that and you could earn a few extra Sweeps. Then, once you’ve accumulated enough Sweeps Coins, you’ll have the ability to redeem them for prizes.

Social Aspect

There’s a social aspect to free-play casino gaming that isn’t as prominent in the real-money sector. Social casino games are often multiplayer, which means you can chat to people as you play. You can also take part in leaderboard challenges and share your results on social media platforms with a single tap. 

These features are available at social and sweepstakes casinos because, as we want to stress, entertainment is the priority. That doesn’t mean real-money casinos aren’t fun, they are. However, there’s more focus on creating a sense of community and shared experiences at social casinos.

Game Focus

The developers at social casino sites have more license to express their creativity. That’s because sweepstakes casinos don’t stray too far from what their real-money counterparts offer. Although sweepstakes gaming isn’t real-money gambling, it’s the closest thing some people in the US have right now. Therefore, the developers try to make the experience as authentic as possible. 

Social casinos don’t have any ambition to replicate what real-money gambling sites offer. They do, of course, have classic casino games, including slots, blackjack, roulette, and poker. However, they’ve also got the freedom to play with conventions, add quirky elements to games, and create something completely new. 

Legal Status

Social casinos are available across the US. They’re 100% free to use and don’t offer any prizes. Therefore, they aren’t bound by US gambling laws or restrictions. Sweepstakes casinos are subject to US gambling laws. Specifically, they have to abide by federal and state laws that govern how sweepstakes competitions are offered, including rules on how games are offered, who can play, and the way prizes are claimed. 

The good news is that they’re legal in the US. In fact, they’re legal in virtually every US state. The only states where sweepstakes casinos aren’t legal right now are Washington, Idaho, and Nevada. What’s more, the minimum age for sweepstakes casinos is 18. So, as long as you’re in a state where these casinos are legal, you can play games and win prizes without breaking the law.


So, there you have it, those are the differences between social casinos and sweepstakes casinos. Both offer free-play casino gaming, but sweepstakes sites have the ability to offer prizes. As long as you’re 18+ and in a state where sweepstakes casinos are legal, you can try sites such as 

Not only can you try them and have some fun, but you can also win cash prizes!

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