Are sweepstakes legal everywhere in the US? 

Are sweepstakes legal everywhere in the US

Sweepstakes casinos offer you the chance to play for free and win real cash prizes. This prize promotion strategy is a major tool used in the online gaming industry, but sweepstakes casinos work around it in such a way that they are not considered gambling sites like traditional online casinos. Sweepstakes casinos in the US abide by their own laws.

Online casino gambling remains largely prohibited in the US. Here is a look at the unique laws for sweepstakes and their current legal status across the country.

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Who can play at sweepstakes casinos? 

“Unlike traditional casinos, sweepstakes platforms are mostly legal in the US,” says’s Loren Oller. “Generally, state laws in the US prohibit online casino gambling, with the activity legalized in only six states at the moment.”

“Sweepstakes function based on sweepstakes rules whereby players are not obligated to make a deposit or purchase before playing,” adds Mr Oller, a lead reviewer on the website. “Instead of real bets, you use virtual currencies to play. Sweepstakes offer a social gaming experience with the added perk of redeeming virtual currencies for cash prizes.”

Many players who reside in the US can participate in sweepstakes games freely as long as they are of legal gambling age. However, even sweepstakes casinos do not have blanket legality across the country. Washington is the most notable state that restricts access to sweepstakes casinos. Here are some others that have some restrictions on sweepstakes gaming:

  • Nevada 
  • Idaho
  • Kentucky

Depending on the sweepstakes casino, these states may permit or restrict access.

What makes sweepstakes casinos legal?

Here are some of the reasons sweepstakes are legal to play even though regular online casinos are prohibited.

Free to play

Every sweepstakes casino allows players to play social casino games without making a deposit. These platforms primarily aim to create fun, so your fiat money has no value during gameplay. Nevertheless, in keeping with the sweepstake model, these websites allow you to make purchases if you want to enjoy more playing time. 


The introduction of virtual gaming currencies in these social casinos makes these platforms less money-dependent. Most sweepstakes platforms come with two currencies.

  • Gold coins: This currency is used to play regular games that have no monetary rewards, otherwise known as free games. Players get several of these as a free bonus after registering. Gold coins can also be purchased at the rate stipulated by the casino. However, this isn’t necessary as there are multiple ways to claim these coins as bonuses and promotions. 
  • Sweeps coins: This virtual currency offers players much more real-money value than their gold coin counterpart. Sweeps coins can also be used to fund games at these casinos, and any Sweeps coins winnings from gameplay will be redeemable for cash prizes. Unlike gold coins, they cannot be purchased.


 Games are another critical ingredient in sweepstakes casinos that make them even more acceptable than online casinos. Here, the games are just as exciting as the ones in regular casinos. However, there is a slight difference as these casino offerings do not accept real money, only the virtual currencies mentioned earlier. Below are some of the popular game categories players will find at these sites: 

  • Slots: This makes up the majority of most sweepstakes casino game libraries. As with regular online casinos, players can win by landing matching symbols on active paylines. Sweepstakes slots are also RNG-based, and every outcome is perfectly random. You can play classic slots, video slots and jackpot progressives. There is often a large variety to choose from.
  • Table games: This is another popular game category at the best sweepstakes casinos. Table games spice up the experience because they often require a combination of luck and skill, as opposed to slots that are just luck-based. Sweepstakes casinos will usually provide interesting titles like baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. The best sweepstakes casinos also feature live table games with real dealers.

How to play at sweepstakes casinos 

Like any online casino, playing at these no-purchase sites is always a lot of fun. However, due to the free nature of these games, there is a slightly different experience. 

  1. Sign up – Players must register by providing the required personal information to participate in these casinos. Registration is usually very swift and easy.
  2. Get a bonus – In most cases, you get significant amounts of coin tokens immediately. You can obtain as many as hundreds of thousands of gold coins and a few sweeps coins. With these virtual currencies, you can enjoy the length and breadth of the casinos’ catalog without making any form of deposit. Sweepstakes casinos also offer a lot of contests and promotions for players to win virtual currencies. You’ll also receive a daily login bonus for free every day you sign in. 
  3. Win sweeps coins – This is the premium currency as far as sweepstakes casinos are concerned. They are not up for purchase and can only be obtained through bonuses. Unlike gold coins, this currency has monetary value, and upon meeting the necessary requirements, players can redeem them for cash prizes. 
  4. Redeem sweepstakes – Players can redeem their sweeps coins as either cash prizes or gift cards. The former is the most popular option, and you’ll find dedicated payment options to enable redemption. For gift-card redemption, you simply have to supply your email address to receive the coupon. 


For many casino lovers in the States, sweepstakes casinos are the only way to enjoy online gambling. The fact that they are free to play with a lot of bonuses and the chance to win for real makes them highly popular among players. Sweepstakes casinos are generally legal in most states in the US, with a few exceptions like Washington. You should be able to learn which states are restricted under the terms and conditions of the site where you choose to play.

What do you think?

Written by Joshua White

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