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Sweepstakes Casinos / Casino Guide / What's the difference between Sweepstakes and Real Money Casinos?

What's the difference between Sweepstakes and Real Money Casinos?

Mike Osbourne
Mike Osbourne
Publish Date: 31/07/2023

Difference Between Sweepstakes and Real Money Casinos

Whether you're a casino enthusiast already or a newcomer looking to explore the online casino world, you’ll encounter various types of casinos, including sweepstakes and real-money casinos. While both offer excitement and the potential for rewards, they operate in distinct ways.

Understanding the difference between sweepstakes and real money casinos is crucial for making informed decisions about your online gambling experience. In this article, we’ll explore the contrasting features of these casino types, examining their legalities and potential rewards. By the end, you'll have a comprehensive understanding of sweepstakes and real money casinos, empowering you to choose the right option for your gaming preferences.

Sweepstakes Casinos

A sweepstakes casino is an online gambling platform that offers a unique way to enjoy casino-style games without using real money. These casinos operate under a different legal structure in contrast to traditional real money casinos, allowing you to participate in games and contests while complying with sweepstakes laws.

Sweepstakes casinos combine elements of casino gaming and popular contests like those hosted by Publishers Clearing House (PCH) or the McDonald's Monopoly. In a sweepstakes casino, you use virtual currency or tokens instead of real money to play games. This virtual currency cannot be directly purchased with real money but can be acquired through various methods such as signing up, receiving free daily bonuses, or mail-in entries. You can then use this virtual currency to place bets and participate in the casino's games.

The main focus of sweepstakes casinos is on winning prizes rather than directly winning real money. While playing, you accumulate virtual currency that can be exchanged for entries into prize drawings or redeemed for non-cash rewards such as merchandise or gift cards. The thrill of the games comes from the chance to win these prizes rather than from gambling with real money.

How Do Sweepstakes Casinos Work?

A sweepstakes casino offers a unique experience, allowing you to participate in games and contests while complying with sweepstakes laws. Here's a step-by-step overview of how a sweepstakes casino typically works:

Step 1: Sign-Up and Account Creation

To get started with a sweepstakes casino, sign up and create an account on the platform. Here you will be required to provide your biodata and verify your age by attaching a copy of a legal document such as your ID or driving license to ensure you meet the minimum gambling age requirement. Always check out some social casino reviews before creating an account to ensure you choose the best.

Step 2: Acquiring Virtual Currency

Once you have created your account, you will typically receive a starting balance of Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins, which are used for placing bets and playing games. Additionally, some sweepstakes casinos offer free daily bonuses or other promotions that provide additional virtual currency.

Step 3: Exploring the Game Selection

Sweepstakes casinos offer a variety of games that resemble traditional casino games, such as slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, and more. You can browse through the game selection and choose the ones that appeal to you. Each game will have its rules and mechanics, usually similar to their real money counterparts.

Step 4: Placing Bets and Playing Games

You can start placing bets and playing the games using the coins in your account. The coins act as a substitute for real money, allowing you to experience the excitement and thrill of gambling without the financial risk. You can adjust your bet amounts based on your virtual currency balance and the game's minimum and maximum bet limits.

Step 5: Accumulating Virtual Currency and Prizes

As you play the games, you can accumulate more coins through winnings or bonuses. You can use the coins earned to continue playing or exchange them for entries into prize drawings. Alternatively, depending on the sweepstakes casino's specific rules and offerings, you can redeem the coins for non-cash rewards such as merchandise or gift cards.

Real Money Casinos

Real-money online casinos have been around since the mid-1990s, revolutionizing how people experience the excitement of casino gaming. These platforms provide players with a wide variety of casino games where winnings are paid in real money. Whether you visit a physical casino or play at an online site, the process is similar.

In these casinos, you deposit some funds and use them to place bets on casino games with the opportunity to win real money in return. From thrilling slots to captivating table games like blackjack and roulette, there are a variety of games to play. The allure of these platforms lies in the potential to win actual cash while enjoying the delight of your favorite casino games. But how do real money casinos actually work?

How Do Real Money Casinos Work?

Real-money casinos work by providing a platform for you to gamble with real money on various games of chance or skill. Here's an overview of how real money casinos typically operate:

Step 1: Account Creation

The first step is to create an account with the casino. This involves providing verifiable personal information, such as your name, age, email address, and permanent residential address to ensure you meet the minimum gambling age requirement.

Step 2: Make a deposit

Once your account is set up, you can deposit using various payment methods offered by the casino. Some of the most common methods include credit/debit cards, e-wallets and online bank transfers. The deposited funds are added to your casino account balance, which you can use to place bets on the available games.

Step 3: Browse through the game selection

Real-money casinos offer a wide selection of games, from slot machines and live dealer games to table games. You can browse through the game lobby and choose the games that interest you. Each game has its own rules, betting options, and payout rates.

Step 4: Place bets

Once you've selected a game, you can place bets using your deposited funds. Each game's minimum and maximum bet limits can vary, allowing you to tailor your wager to your budget and preferences. Some games may also offer different betting options or side bets to enhance the gameplay.

Step 5: Winning and Payouts

If you win a bet or game, you will receive a payout based on the specific odds or payout rates associated with that game. The winnings are typically added to your casino account balance. You can choose to continue playing with the winnings or withdraw them to your chosen payment method.

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Sweepstakes vs Real Money Casinos: How Do They Differ?

Sweepstakes and real money casinos are two distinct gambling experiences with notable differences. Here are the main differences between the two:

Legal status

Sweepstakes casinos have a broader legal reach than real money casinos. Sweepstakes casinos operate under a unique model that allows them to avoid strict gambling regulations in many states. They use a free-play model where you receive and wager virtual coins. On the other hand, real money casinos are subject to gambling laws and regulations and are only legally available in specific states or countries.

Wagering and winnings

In sweepstakes casinos, you cannot directly wager or win real money. Instead, you use virtual currencies or tokens to participate in games. You can accumulate these virtual currencies or tokens and redeem them for non-cash prizes, such as merchandise or gift cards, or in some cases, convert them into real money. In real money casinos, you deposit and wager with actual money, allowing you to win real money directly. Winnings can be cashed out or used for further gambling.

Game selection

Real money casinos typically offer a wider variety and larger number of games than sweepstakes casinos. Real-money casinos collaborate with various software providers to provide a diverse range of games, including slots, table games, live dealer games, and more. Sweepstakes casinos usually have a more limited selection, with fewer games available, including slots and a few table games. The visual appearance and graphics of games can also differ between the two types of casinos.

Prizes and rewards

Sweepstakes casinos focus on offering prizes other than real money. These prizes can include merchandise, gift cards, or experiences. When you accumulate virtual currency through gameplay, you can exchange it for entries into prize drawings or redeem it for non-cash rewards. As the name suggests, real money casinos offer the chance to win and withdraw winnings as cash.

Licensing and regulation

Real money casinos are subject to licensing and regulation in their respective states to ensure fair play, player protection, and adherence to responsible gambling practises. Sweepstakes casinos operate under different legal frameworks, utilizing sweepstakes laws, so their regulatory oversight differs from traditional gambling operations, making them more widely available in the US.

Which is Better?

Determining which type of casino is better, real money or sweepstakes, depends on your preferences and circumstances. If you enjoy the thrill of wagering with real money and the potential for significant winnings, then a real money casino will be the ultimate choice.

But if you prefer reduced financial risk and the chance to have fun and win non-monetary prizes, go for a sweepstakes casino. However, both options offer unique experiences, and choosing a reputable and licensed casino is essential, regardless of the type you prefer. For more insights, check for guides to online sweepstakes and real money casinos to make an informed decision.

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Summary

In summary, the choice between real money casinos and sweepstakes casinos ultimately depends on your preferences and personality. If you are primarily focused on gambling and playing for big jackpots, traditional online casinos with real-money gaming are the way to go. These casinos offer a wide selection of games, including numerous slots and table games, and provide the opportunity to bet and win money directly.

On the other hand, sweepstakes casinos offer a unique alternative, operating within legal frameworks that allow for the chance to win prizes or non-monetary rewards without directly wagering real money. Sweepstakes casinos can be a good fit if you want lower financial risk or reside in a region with stricter gambling regulations.

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Our Team
Mike OsbourneAnnie Callahan
Mike Osbourne
Mike Osbourne
Expert Social Casino Writer
Annie Callahan
Annie Callahan
Expert Social Casino Writer

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