Sweepstakes casinos are gaining popularity in the US as the best alternative to online casinos. At first sight, they might seem like any other gaming site out there, but their business model is fundamentally different. This article will explain what sweepstakes casinos are in more detail. More importantly, it’ll cover their organizational model and discuss why players prefer gaming on these platforms. Read on.
What Are Sweepstakes Casinos?
Sweepstakes casinos are online platforms that offer games similar to those you’d find at standard online casinos. However, one significant difference between the two is that the former doesn’t require players to place real-money bets.
Online gaming sites that operate under the traditional model require you to open an account, deposit, and use your money to place game bets. In contrast, sweepstakes casinos use in-game coins instead of cash, which allows them to operate under the sweepstakes laws in the US. All states except Washington permit sites such as Fortune Coins to run legally. Players are free to join and use in-game money to make bets and win more if they’re lucky.
Does that mean you cannot win prizes via sweepstakes casinos? This is where things get really interesting: it is possible to do so, as sweeps rules allow two types of in-game coins, one of which is usually redeemable for real money.
For example, Fortune Coins features two currencies: Gold Coins (GC) and Fortune Coins (FC), but only the latter can be exchanged for real money at the rate specified on the platform.
Fortune Coins are only available as a bonus to players who buy additional Gold Coins. A toggle button at the top menu lets you choose whether you want to use GCs or FCs for bets. If you play with FCs and win enough, you can convert them into prizes.
Gold Coins are available for free daily — as a player, you only need to log in once a day and claim the coins to enjoy the games on the Fortune Coins site. Other ways to obtain GCs include connecting your FB account or inviting your friends to play. Finally, it’s possible to buy GCs, which is also the only way to receive FCs.
History of Sweepstakes in the US
Old sweepstakes competitions existed in the US long before the emergence of casino sweepstakes. All contests or sweepstakes where no purchase is required to enter are legal in the country and have been for decades.
Publishers Clearing House, a marketing company, has been hosting popular sweepstakes draws since 1953, primarily for magazine subscribers. In other words, people would pay for the product (a subscription for a magazine in this case) and, by default, become included in the contest.
There were no direct payments for taking part in the game. Unfortunately, Publishers Clearing House and other similar organizations at the time, such as American Family Publishers Sweepstakes and Reader’s Digest Sweepstakes, had to pay various fines and penalties. Today, only the Publishers Clearing House remains active.
Many fast-food businesses rely on sweepstakes to improve their operations, with McDonald’s Monopoly game as a prime example.
The Fortune Coins you get as a bonus for purchasing Gold Coins follow the same principle, hence the popularity of sweepstakes casinos to this day.
Sweepstakes Casinos: Available Games
Now that we know how sweepstakes casinos and traditional sweepstakes competitions compare, it’s time to explore the casino aspect. Namely, the game selection on these platforms is mainly available on real-money gaming sites, too.
Slots make up the most significant part of each sweepstakes casino’s portfolio, and Fortune Coins is no exception — most of its 50+ titles are slots of all shapes and sizes.
The games themselves don’t differ much from standard casino options in terms of gameplay, either. The random number generator (RNG) dictates the outcome, which ensures the end result is always arbitrary. In other words, the reels will stop at random, and you’ll get rewarded if you’re lucky enough to form a winning combination.
Essentially, there’s no difference between standard online casino slots and their sweepstakes counterparts when it comes to features and the way the outcome is determined. The only distinction is that you won’t receive real money prizes on sweepstakes casino sites.
Sweepstakes casinos have revolutionized the iGaming landscape of the US. Even though they appear as standard online casinos on the surface, their underlying mechanisms are powered by the sweepstakes model. This qualifies them to be recognized as sweepstakes platforms, allowing them to operate in all US states but Washington. If they seem interesting, you can always become a registered member (or log in via Facebook, if possible) and get started.