What are online sweepstakes casinos and sweepstakes poker?
Online sweepstakes casinos and sweepstakes poker offer an alternative for people not located near a regulated casino or poker room.
These innovative sites have adapted old sweepstakes laws to provide a legal option for recreational gamblers to play for free with a virtual currency called “Gold Coins.”
Players have the chance to win real prizes with “Sweepstakes Cash.”
Online sweepstakes sites, such as Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots and Global Poker, are available through their websites. They’re hugely popular and convenient social networking sites. There’s also sports contest sites that use the sweepstakes model, like FendOff Sports.
The classic sweepstakes model was made popular with well-known promotion strategies like Publishers Clearing House and the ever-popular McDonald’s Monopoly game. Today, industries use wide varieties of the sweepstakes model.
Online sweepstakes casinos became popular in the US in early 2005 and have continued to grow steadily in popularity.
Are sweepstakes casinos and sweepstakes poker legal?
Sweepstakes are legal in most states.
To be considered a legitimate casino, there has to be a contest or game where anything of value is distributed by lot or chance.
Each time you play a hand of poker or take a spin at the slot machine, it is considered a contest of skill or chance with real prizes. Because you are not actually playing with real money–you are using Sweeps coins that you can actually acquire for free–it is considered a sweepstakes game and is therefore legal in many states.
How Sweepstakes Cash works at Chumba Casino and Global Poker
When you purchase Gold Coin packages, you will also receive Sweepstakes Cash. You cannot buy Sweepstakes Cash directly.
You use the Gold Coins to play for fun as they have no exchangeable value so you cannot redeem them for cash. Only Sweeps Coins is convertible to actual withdrawable US dollars.
In most cases, the exchange rate is 100 Sweeps for one US dollar.
Upon registering with Chumba Casino or Global Poker, you will get free Gold Coins for play. Chumba Casino also offers free Sweepstakes Cash when you sign up.
Unlike offshore gambling sites, you can use your credit card to buy packages of Gold Coins and will receive Sweepstakes Cash in proportion to your package.
Can you play sweepstakes games for free?
Let’s talk about the ways you can get Sweeps Coins to play sweepstakes games for free.
How to get free Sweeps Coins in Chumba Casino
There is more than one way to get Sweeps Coins absolutely free. The simplest sign-up gets you 2 Sweeps Coins to play with right away, and additional methods below can earn you even more Sweeps Coins.
New players receive Sweepstakes Cash free for signing up and verifying their email. Chumba Casino gives you $2 in Sweeps Coins to start playing right away.
Take part in social media contests on Facebook or Twitter to earn extra Sweepstakes Cash. These daily contests require participants to answer an easy question. Each contest usually has 10 winners who are picked at random to receive up to 5,000 Sweepstakes Cash.
As a legal sweepstakes casino, consumers have the opportunity of “no purchase necessary” participation. American and Canadian players can send a letter requesting complimentary Sweeps Coins. Make sure your handwriting is legible, so they can read where to send the free Sweeps Coins.
The amounts may be small, but it’s free cash that you can use to turn into something big with a hot streak.
Take note: If you are using free cash, you will have to make more wagers, i.e., around 20, before you can cash out.
Depositing at a sweepstakes casino, sports or poker site
You cannot win real cash prizes with Gold Coins. You need to play with Sweepstakes Cash, which you cannot purchase directly. There is a minimum amount to cash your Sweepstakes Cash.
You can currently get Sweeps Coins via two methods:
- Credit Card
For Global Poker, you need a minimum of $50 Sweeps Coins and $100 Sweeps Coins for Chumba Casino. Withdrawals through the Facebook app require a higher limit to cash out.
When you order your first withdrawal of Sweepstakes Cash, you must go through an ID verification. You will have to submit a scan of two documents to confirm your personal information.
- A valid, government-issued ID, such as a passport or driver’s license.
- Proof of residence, such as a utility bill, bank statement or notarized agreement lease form.
Once your identity is confirmed, you can change your Sweepstakes Cash for US dollars to be deposited into your bank account.
Chumba Casino overview
You can play all games with virtual Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins.
Signing up to Chumba Casino is super easy. Players sign up through the Facebook account or on the site directly.
There is no ID verification required; just an email confirmation link.
New players receive 2 million Gold Coins for free and 2 free Sweeps Coins to start playing.
There is an option to purchase 900,000 Gold Coins for $5. That’s a 50% discount off regular price, and you get 1,000 Sweeps Coins, equal to $10 in real money.
Players from around the world can play, but only US and Canada residents (excluding Quebec and Washington state) can cash out Sweeps Coins for US dollars.
Although the initial registration is quick and easy, you will be asked for identification to withdraw converted Sweeps Coins. The minimum balance required to withdraw is 10,000 Sweeps Coins or $100.
For withdrawals through the Facebook app, there is a $400 minimum withdrawal limit.
Chumba’s desktop site is user-friendly with all games in a single place. It does not offer a dedicated mobile casino app, but its mobile website resizes to fit most smartphone screens.
With the number of available games, it doesn’t take long to scroll through and find a particular game as eight are listed at a time.
To the left of the main lobby page, you can see the list of recent winners. You also see the winning amounts of Sweeps Coins in real time. In the highlighted middle section features slot games.
Chumba regularly promotes the casino through competitions on its Facebook page, awarding Sweeps Coins.
Global Poker overview
Available to players in the US and Canada, Global Poker offers a viable option to traditional poker rooms. Players have the chance to play and win prizes that can be cashed out for actual US dollars.
Like Chumba Casino, Global Poker uses a sweepstakes model with every hand or tournament being a mini-sweepstakes. You cannot buy Sweeps Coins directly to play; instead, you receive them as a gift when you purchase Gold Coins.
Global Poker offers a straightforward sign-up process. You get a bonus of 5,000 free Gold Coins once you verify your email address.
You can use Visa or Mastercard to buy coins, and you need a minimum of $50 to redeem Sweeps Coins. To redeem your Sweeps Coins, you have to go through an ID verification process. Cashing out can be processed via local bank transfer.
The amount of poker variations at Global Poker is low. Options are limited to No-Limit Texas Hold ’em and Pot-Limit Omaha cash games with blinds starting at 1 to 2 cents with a maximum $2 Sweeps Coins buy-in. Stakes can go up to $10 or $20.
Global Poker offers daily multi-table tournaments for no-limit hold ’em, Pot-Limit Omaha and Fixed-Limit Omaha.
On weekends, it hosts recurring Sunday Scrimmage ($50,000 guaranteed) and Sunday Teaser ($20,000 guaranteed) tournaments. It also offers Sit ‘n Go and lottery-style SNG tournaments for hold ’em and Pot-Limit Omaha.
Global Poker’s functionality
Global Poker software is browser-based and works with most modern devices and operating systems. It does not offer a dedicated mobile app but can work in any mobile web browser. It’s not as polished as more established poker rooms but is stable.
Once you log into your account, the homepage will show you the seats available for a variety of games. For each game, you can see the blinds, hands player per hour, average pot size and percent flop stats.
Because of the sweepstakes model, Global Poker does not offer VIP rewards, bonuses or promotions common to other poker rooms. It does, however, showcase leaderboards and awards its more active players with Sweepstakes Cash.
High traffic ensures you can always find a populated table 24/7. There are more players at the lower-stakes tables, so if you are looking for higher-stakes games, table selection may be limited.