Are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

Learn about what makes sweepstakes casinos legal along with where you can play at these platforms in US states and Canadian provinces.

ByChav Vasilev

Apr 25, 2024

Sweepstakes casinos are rising in popularity across the US and Canada. One primary reason is that they are legal in almost all US states and Canadian provinces. Sweeps sites have continued to grow because they allow users to play for free without making a purchase.

What’s even better is that while no purchase is necessary, sweepstakes casino players can redeem winnings for cash prizes when they use Sweeps Coins.

On this page, you will find a detailed breakdown of where sweepstakes casinos are legal. After reading, you are going to have a complete understanding of where to play and how to sign up for sweeps sites.

Are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

Yes, sweepstakes casinos are legal in most US states and Canadian provinces. These casinos are not considered gambling sites because they don’t use real cash to make wagers.

Instead, users play at the casino with two virtual currencies: Gold Coins and Sweepstakes Coins.

Can You Legally Win Real Money at a Sweepstakes Casino?

Yes, you can win cash prizes at sweepstakes casinos when you play in Promotional Mode using Sweeps Coins. You are also able to play for fun in Standard Mode, but Gold Coins have no monetary value, so you can’t redeem them for real money. But keep in mind, there is a clear difference between Gold Coins vs Sweeps Coins.

How Are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

Sweepstakes casinos can operate where real money online gambling is illegal because they function under the sweepstakes model, which is legal in most US states and Canadian provinces.

U.S. law states that three factors must be met for what is considered illegal gambling: consideration, chance, and an opportunity to win a prize.

Consideration refers to the cash entry into an activity, which is not present in sweepstakes casinos since they do not utilize real money to place wagers, thus making them legal.

Instead, sweepstakes casinos use two virtual currencies: Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. You can use GCs to play for fun, while SCs can be redeemed for cash prizes.

Sweepstakes laws stipulate that the operator must have a free entry where participants are unable to buy additional entries to improve their chances. That means playing at sweepstakes casinos is always free with no purchase necessary. However, players cannot buy additional Sweeps Coins.

Since participation is free and you can’t buy additional entries, sweepstakes casinos must offer various alternative methods of entry (in this case, awarding Sweeps Coins). That includes a no-purchase bonus, daily rewards, mail-in requests, social media giveaways, leaderboards, and more.

Where Are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal?

If you’re wondering whether you live in a state that allows sweepstakes casinos, we’ve created a helpful chart with additional notes.

United States

Edit
State/District/ProvinceLegal?
AlabamaYes
AlaskaYes
ArizonaYes
ArkansasYes
CaliforniaYes
ColoradoYes
ConnecticutYes
DelawareYes
FloridaYes
GeorgiaYes
HawaiiYes
IdahoNO Sweepstakes Coins, only Gold Coin play
IllinoisYes
IndianaYes
IowaYes
KansasYes
KentuckyYes
LouisianaYes
MaineYes
MarylandYes
MassachusettsYes
MichiganNO
MinnesotaYes
MississippiYes
MissouriYes
MontanaYes
NebraskaYes
NevadaYes
New HampshireYes
New JerseyYes
New MexicoYes
New YorkYes
North CarolinaYes
North DakotaYes
OhioYes
OklahomaYes
OregonYes
PennsylvaniaYes
Rhode IslandYes
South CarolinaYes
South DakotaYes
TennesseeYes
TexasYes
UtahYes
VermontYes
VirginiaYes
WashingtonNO
West VirginiaYes
WisconsinYes
WyomingYes
  • In Idaho, you cannot participate in Promotional Play with Sweeps Coins and no cash prize redemptions are available. However, you can still play for fun using Gold Coins, although most popular sweeps sites do not operate in the state.
  • While technically still legal in Michigan, the Michigan Gaming Control Board views sweepstakes casinos as illegal and started sending cease-and-desist let’s to operators at the end of 2023. The few remaining active operators will likely leave this market soon.
  • Sweepstakes casinos are legal in Nevada, but many sites have opted not to operate in the state.

Canada

  • Sweepstakes casinos are legal in all of Canada except Quebec, but you won’t find as many sweepstakes casinos here as in the US.

Will Sweepstakes Casinos Be Allowed In More States In the Future?

There is no indication whether any of the three states where sweepstakes casinos are illegal — Michigan, Idaho, and Washington — will make any changes to their sweepstakes laws.

Given how recently Michigan started ordering sites to leave the state, it is unlikely the state will change its stance. The Michigan Gaming Control Board is among the most active regulatory bodies in protecting legal online casinos and sportsbooks.

The good news is that if you live in the Great Lakes State, you have access to legal online gambling options.

The next one, Idaho, is among the most conservative states, making them reluctant to allow any form of gaming. In 1992, the state changed its constitution to prohibit gambling besides the lottery, charitable bingo, and pari-mutuel betting.

That means passing gambling expansion laws is likely an uphill battle and would require a constitutional amendment.

Meanwhile, Washington is an interesting case as the state is known as one of the most liberal in the US. However, it’s stance on sweepstakes casinos is a bit more conservative, which is out of character.

Last year, a Washington federal judge signed off on a $415 million class-action settlement by DoubleDown Interactive and its former parent company, International Game Technology (IGT).

In the case, two Washington plaintiffs argued that DoubleDown’s four sweepstakes casinos fell under the state’s illegal gambling definition.

How Do Sweepstakes Casinos Verify Your Location?

By law, sweepstakes casinos must ensure you are over the legal age to play and that you are residing in a legal state. That’s why these sites use geolocation technology to verify your location.

The most common way to verify your location is through your IP address, a numeric label your internet service provider assigns to you. The IP address recognizes your device and tracks its location. If you are using a mobile device, additional means of tracking include GPS and Bluetooth.

If a sweepstakes casino cannot determine your location, you will be blocked. That is also the case if you use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which can be identified through tracking technology. Even if your VPN can bypass that, you won’t be able to redeem prizes.

Note that you could be subject to criminal prosecution if you are caught playing via VPN. When you sign up, one of the first things you agree with is that you are over the legal age and a resident of a legal jurisdiction.

Know Your Customer Verification Process

Sweepstakes casinos use the Know Your Customer (KYC) verification process for redemptions and sometimes purchases. KYC confirms your identity and age, acting as a safety and regulation tool against financial crimes and money laundering.

Before redeeming (and sometimes purchasing), you must complete the KYC process by uploading certain documents, including the following:

  • Proof of Identity: You must upload a valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. Some casinos will then require that you upload a selfie to match the document.
  • Proof of Address: Another common requirement is to prove your address, where you will have to upload a recent utility bill that includes your legal name and address.
  • Bank Statement: You might also have to upload a bank statement, where your name must match your account. This is another way that they safeguard against financial crimes.

How To Sign Up For a Sweepstakes Casino

The easiest way to sign up for a sweepstakes casino is through our exclusive links, which will take you to the registration page.

The signup process is easy and only takes minutes — just follow this step-by-step guide:

  1. Click “Get Bonus" to visit the sweepstakes casino page.
  2. Select “Register" or “Sign Up" to start the registration process.
  3. You can sign up using your e-mail or with your Facebook or Google account.
  4. Provide your personal information.
  5. Type in the promo code if required to unlock the welcome bonus.
  6. Agree to the terms and conditions to confirm that you reside in an eligible state and are over the legal age.
  7. If you signed up through e-mail, you should receive a verification code to activate your account.
  8. You may also need to confirm your phone number for additional security.
  9. Once the verification process is complete, you are all set to play at the sweepstakes casino.

Please note that some casinos may require additional steps to unlock the full welcome bonus, including connecting your Facebook account if you signed up through e-mail. You might also have to provide more personal information like your address, date of birth, and more.

Since sweepstakes casinos are always free to play, we suggest signing up for as many operators as possible. That way, you can earn a no-purchase bonus at each site, providing you with more opportunities to win additional coins. Don’t miss out on these valuable on all the ways to get free SC coins.

Author

Chav Vasilev

After covering various topics, Chav found his calling with iGaming and has covered the industry since 2022. Chav holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Florida International University, and before writing, he spent over a decade managing fast-casual restaurant chains. When not writing, you will find him trying his luck on slots or watching and betting on soccer.

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