Sweepstakes Casinos Vs. Real Money Casinos

Two of the most common online casino gaming options found in the United States today are sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos. Sweepstakes sites offer free play with a chance to win real money prizes. Online casinos provide gamblers with a way to enjoy casino games, but real money must be wagered to do so.

Check out our comparison of each option below to determine if you are more of a real money player or sweepstakes gambler.

Best Sweepstakes Or Real Money Casino To Play In Your Region

What Are Sweepstakes Casinos?

A sweepstakes online casino offers traditional casino games, such as slots, table games, and video poker. However, instead of depositing and playing with real money, most sweepstakes sites utilize Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins.

After signing up for an account, you receive a set number of Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. Gold coins are used for free play; you can win more as you enjoy slots or table games. Sweeps coins can be played with as well, and you earn more Sweeps Coins as you play. The difference is that you can redeem the Sweeps Coins for real prizes.

How Do Sweepstakes Casinos Work?

As mentioned above, you don’t play with real money at a sweepstakes site. You need coins. Once you have an account, you can choose to play in Gold Coin mode or Sweeps Coin mode. Gold coins are used to play for free and have no monetary value. Sweeps coins have a value and can be redeemed for rewards.

Some sweepstakes sites allow you to trade Sweeps Coins for real money or gift cards. The rewards on offer will be based on which site you play with. Slots, table games, video poker, and other game types operate just as they would within a real money casino. The only difference is the currency.

What Are Real Money Casinos?

A real money casino is a site that offers traditional casino games like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, and video poker. As a member, you are required to deposit real money to play games. You cannot play to earn prizes until you have deposited funds.

At sweepstakes sites, you do not have to add funds to play. Simply join and earn free Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins that are used for gaming.

How Do Real Money Casinos Work?

As we explained above, real money casinos work based on a real money model. You are required to deposit funds before gameplay can begin. This means you are risking your money to play slots or table games.

In comparison, a sweepstakes site does not require a deposit. Virtual currency, known as Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins, is used to play games, so there is no need to spend any money.

Win Real Money At Sweepstakes Casinos Vs. Real Money Casinos

Winning real money is vastly different between sweepstakes casinos and real money sites but also similar. Real money gaming uses your funds to play, and the outcome of your reel spins on slots or hands of blackjack wins dictates your bankroll and how much money you have won.

You can still win prizes without risking your money at sweepstakes sites. You must play with Sweeps Coins to earn more of the virtual currency. You can then redeem the coins for real money prizes from the operator.

Real Money Prizes At Sweepstakes Casinos

The main difference between the two gaming options is that sweepstakes casinos do not require real money to win cash prizes. The process of winning and redeeming prizes may take a little longer, but you can claim prizes without an investment.

After joining a sweepstakes casino, Sweeps Coins are added to your account. You must play in Sweeps Coin mode to earn more of the virtual currency from games. Once you have collected enough currency, you can redeem the coins for real money prizes.

Request a withdrawal from the site and follow the instructions provided. It may take a few days before your request is approved and funds are paid. Be patient and know your cash is coming, especially if you play games via one of our recommended sweepstakes sites.

Real Money Prizes At Real Money Casinos

With real money casinos, winning prizes is a bit easier. You join a site, deposit funds, and play. Anything you win is added to your bankroll. You can cash out once you reach the withdrawal limit from playing games.

You must also request a withdrawal at a real money casino, which usually takes up to 24 hours for approval. You will then receive your cash based on the withdrawal method you selected. Some methods offer instant payments, while others may take a few days.

The prize-winning process is similar, but you are betting with your cash at a real money site. This is a risk that can lead to major losses. Sweepstakes sites allow you to play for free by supplying you with Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins upon signup, with no investment needed.

Casino Games At Sweepstakes Casinos Vs. Real Money Casinos

In general, sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos offer similar content. The largest collection of games will be found under the slot category. This is because slots are a player favorite. Some sweepstakes sites offer the same slot games as real money providers but use virtual currency instead.

Table games are more prevalent within real money casinos, along with live dealer, video poker, and other games like bingo or keno. You won’t find many of these games at sweepstakes casinos, but some provide titles like blackjack, roulette, and bingo.

Casino Games At Sweepstakes Casinos

Most every sweepstakes casino site focuses on slot games. You will find fruit-themed games, bars and 7s titles, progressives, jackpot games, and themed options. Slots will be the only category offered or have the most titles for you to enjoy. Most games will be heavily themed with plenty of extra features like free spins, wild symbol substitutions, multipliers, and bonus rounds.

Sweepstakes casinos also have additional gaming options, usually with a handful of table games, keno, or bingo. The extra options will vary based on your provider. This is where the sweepstakes sites vary from real money casinos. More variety within real money sites gives players a wider selection of game types to pick from.

Casino Games At Real Money Casinos

Like sweepstakes sites, real money casinos offer players a large collection of slot games. Reel spinners are player favorites, so expect to find a collection with all sorts of options. Many casinos split up their games based on theme or provider to make it easier for gamers to locate certain titles.

On top of slot games, real money casinos also have table games, live dealer options, video poker, and other games like keno and scratchcards. There is usually an abundance of game categories, which ensures players have access to more content for gaming needs.

Real money casinos and sweepstakes sites hang tight regarding slots, but the other game options are where the difference starts to show through. If you want more table game action or live dealer, you must stick with real money casino sites.

Where Can I Play Sweepstakes Casinos Vs. Real Money Casinos

The big difference between these two gaming options is that sweepstakes sites are available in almost every US state, while real money gaming is limited to a select few. More players have access to sweepstakes gaming than real money online casinos in the country.

Sweepstakes Are Legal in Nearly All States

Players across the U.S. have access to sweepstakes casino gaming. The only exception is for players in Idaho and Washington State. If you live in these areas, you cannot legally access sweepstakes sites like Chumba Casino or Pulsz.

Real Money Casinos Are Only Legal in Some States

For real money casinos, the options are even more limited. Only New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Connecticut, and Michigan offer real money online casino gaming at this time.

These states have laws that allow online casino providers to obtain licensing. Players located within the state borders can access gaming via desktop, laptop, or mobile devices.

Other states are continuing to consider online casino legislation. If more states decide to legalize the activity, then the list of available states will grow, and more players will have access to iGaming.

Sweepstakes Casinos Vs. Real Money Casinos Conclusion

We have discovered that the main differences between sweepstakes casinos and real money casinos are the type of currency used for gaming, the availability of services, and the types of games on offer.

Casino gamblers can easily benefit from both types, as each offers real money prizes and a quality gaming experience. It boils down to whether or not you want to invest funds and what game types you like.

Sweepstakes casinos offer free gaming, a chance to win real money prizes, and a large collection of slot games. Real money casinos require an investment up front but provide players a chance to enjoy slots, table games, and other titles, plus win prizes.

We suggest our readers try both options if available in your state and see what works best. You may find that you enjoy sweepstakes gaming and real money casino play, appreciating the positives of both options!


Sadonna Price

Sadonna Price

For almost two decades, Sadonna has provided quality content for online gambling operators both in the United States and abroad. With a focus on casino gaming and poker, Sadonna has covered the latest legal developments in the industry, including new services as they launch in the US, as well as fun and interesting articles on new games and exciting tournament action.