Expert Social Casino Writer
With new operators launching to an appreciative audience across the US almost every month, it’s reasonable to question whether sweepstakes casinos are legit.
Online scams are everywhere, and con artists are more than happy to prey on people’s hopes of a prize payout, especially when there’s no real money gameplay involved.
You’ll find sweepstake casinos available throughout the US, since no real money gambling is ever involved. Gambling laws are exclusively concerned with wagering something of value on a random outcome, so removing dollars from the equation makes social casino gameplay legal almost everywhere.
It’s only really the Evergreen State that resists the allure of free gameplay potentially leading to real-life prizes. But even Washington happily accepts Golden Hearts Games, making it available everywhere across the entire US. Players make a donation to their favorite IRS-approved charity, receiving double the amount in free virtual Coins. These are used for playing slots and instant win scratchers alongside round-the-clock bingo games offering real cash prizes.
So far, the concept of charitable donations linked to free games offering real prizes is exclusive to Golden Hearts Games. The majority of sweepstakes casinos can be accessed in every state other than Washington, but this varies according to the games and features offered by specific operators.
Over at Stake.us social casino, for example, the gaming experience is almost identical to playing at a real money online casino – except, of course, no real money is used for any gameplay. Gold Coins are used just for fun to spin up high-quality slots, play Stake Originals, and even participate in live dealer games. Switching to using Stake Cash, as the operator calls its sweeps coins, opens up the possibility of real prizes. These include gift cards and merchandise.
Of course, Stake.us isn’t available in Washington, but right now it’s also not accessible to gaming fans in New York, Nevada, Idaho, Michigan, or Kentucky either. State laws are constantly undergoing changes though, which is why it’s important to check that an operator is available in your state before considering it as an option.
Sweepstakes fans with a long memory might recall a long-running scam back in the 1980s involving hundreds of fake prize winners. Winning tickets were awarded to players who were in on the scam, in an operation that spread across the US and formed the subject of a major article in The New Yorker.
It was partly a result of the far-reaching scandal that sweepstakes regulations were tightened. All legit sweepstakes casinos go to great lengths to put new clients at ease by offering plenty of reassurance regarding safety and security. A reputable operator will provide clear links to its terms and conditions and sweepstakes rules, all of which are worth a closer look.
Scammers are always coming up with new ideas to part the unwary from their cash, but there’s one important sign that every player needs to be aware of. No legitimate sweepstake operator will ever ask for any money to release a prize.
If you receive any request to send or transfer cash or gift cards to any third party claiming to offer a sweepstakes prize, it’s bound to be a scam. No genuine operator would ever ask for money, so this is a sure sign that it’s not legitimate.
Although there are certainly some scam operators to look out for, it’s easy to ensure a safe and legitimate sweeps gaming experience. And it all starts with checking out reliable sweepstake casino reviews that give you the full picture of what to expect.
With all due diligence checks already conducted on your behalf, all you need to do is browse the options, pick out your favorites, and choose the one you like the most. You can be confident your new sweepstake casino is safe, so you can claim your free Coins and get straight down to gameplay. Help yourself to an exclusive promo code, if there’s one available, and you’ll have even more gaming opportunities, without it costing so much as a single dollar.
Players must be 21 years of age or older or reach the minimum age for gambling in their respective state and located in jurisdictions where online gambling is legal. Please play responsibly. Bet with your head, not over it. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, and wants help, call or visit: (a) the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey at 1-800-Gambler or www.800gambler.org; or (b) Gamblers Anonymous at 855-2-CALL-GA or www.gamblersanonymous.org.
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