Verified by Lee James Gwilliam
Imagine all the advantages of an online casino in a valid and risk-free format, accessible whenever and wherever you want without having to physically be in a legal online casino state like New Jersey or Michigan. Essentially, that sums up a social casino! They are often called “free casinos” and although you can’t win real money in the traditional sense via playing games at these sites, you can’t beat the social fun and excitement of playing these social casinos online.
Suppose you want to play for free but don’t prefer the demo version of online casino games, or just live in a US state where online casino gambling is not yet legal. These cashless varieties are a great alternative, where you’ll use the social casino’s own currency system (“coins”) rather than real money to wager.
Social casinos are meant for online players who are looking for gameplay more geared toward entertainment and free games, not racking up big jackpots. Since online casinos are only legal in six states, social casinos fill the void for most every other state. You can't necessarily win real money at social casinos (which is why they are permitted) but through various legal workarounds, players can play with the coin currencies and eventually cash them out or exchange them for real prizes.
The main thing to know is social casinos are free and meant for entertainment, while a subgenre of these known as sweepstakes casinos are for players more set on winning real money and prizes. These have a whole other set of rules, which we get into on this page.
Different social casinos have contrasting names for their virtual currency, such as G Coins, Virtual Credits, Wow Coins, Gold Coins, and more. There are two different models of obtaining coins when playing at social casino sites. Let’s break a couple of social examples:
While social casinos focus on free gameplay that is meant as entertainment, sweepstakes sites give you the chance to win real cash prizes. You’ll find “coins” at both types of casino, but you can also grab “sweeps coins” at sweepstakes casinos, use them on games, and withdraw your winnings as real money. Sweepstakes casinos are closer to the line of real money gambling, but are still not illegal because of the manner and method of which players play and win. Therefore they are legal in fewer states than social casinos.
Remember, while social and sweeps coins casinos may appear similar on the outside, there are several differences you must be aware of. You can play thrilling mobile slots online and casino games at both types of casinos.
The most significant difference in playing at real money online casinos instead of sweepstakes casinos is the use (or lack) of cash. Effectively, you can’t fund your account and immediately wager your deposited cash at sweepstakes sites like you can at a regular real money casino. Instead, you’ll need to collect free sweeps coins through competitions or bonuses when purchasing virtual coins.
To give you a better idea of what to expect, let’s take a closer look at Caesars Palace online casino in NJ, one of the best online casinos in New Jersey vs. the virtual currency and sweepstakes model:
Caesars Real Money Casino:
Social casino bonuses and sign-up promotions work differently from the real cash casinos you may be accustomed to. Often, sweeps cash casino bonuses comprise an exclusively priced package of virtual currency coins.
Depending on the social casino you sign up to, you might receive coins as a thanks or bonus for just signing up, or you may be required to register and then purchase coins. Also, many sites offer appealing ongoing bonuses (such as discounts on bulk amounts of virtual coins) to keep you coming back for more. These will often include a bundle of free coins, which is the “bonus” or “discount” that you can take advantage of.
You likely won’t find wagering requirements on social casino bonuses, unlike regular real money casinos. That’s because you can’t cash out your winnings. Speaking of “cashing out”, on sweeps casinos where you can exchange coins for real money, make sure you get familiar with your chosen site’s redemption rate. Often sitting at $1:1 coin, virtual currencies are typically straightforward to follow.
However, the number of coins you’ll have to accumulate before making a prize redemption request will vary, so again, be sure to read through your social casino’s terms and conditions thoroughly.
Social casino bonuses aside, there are many alternative ways of collecting that all-important virtual credit, including:
Although there are many social casino brands out there, we have narrowed down your options to just a few of our favorites that offer excellent player experiences.
The gambling giant BetRivers launched its social gaming operation in 2016. Head to “Casino4Fun”, and you’ll discover an array of aptly entertaining social casino games to sink your teeth into at BetRivers.net Casino.
From vibrant slots to table games, this social casino has it all. You’ll enjoy daily competitions, get your coins account refilled every 4 hours, be in on exclusive games, and much more. Better still, if you don’t want to wait for your next Coins installment (even though you get 120 daily), you can purchase a package from the cashier. Coins have a dollar-to-dollar value, so the virtual currency is pretty straightforward to follow.
One of the top social and sweeps casino platforms in the US, High 5 Casino offers tons of variety and games, plus the ability to win real money prizes. There are more than 800 games on the award-winning site, including more than 600 slots. High 5 features gold coins and sweeps coins so you can decide how risky you want to play. High 5 is also known for its generous online casino bonuses.
If you’re looking for a unique platform, B Spot Casino might be the place for you. Since results from playing any of its games are driven by horse racing, the sweepstakes casino shakes up your everyday social gaming experience. Just keep in mind, it’s not legal in as many states as others.
Once you have purchased a “wager pack”, the site will place this into various horse racing bets around the world, and your virtual wagers will be pooled with those of fellow players for the chance of an ultimate prize. As one of the few sweepstakes casinos that could convert your winnings into withdrawable cash, B Spot’s an exciting site to visit.
Featuring a bright and catchy platform with over 150 slot games, free daily gifts, a generous VIP program and exciting events, Gambino Slots Casino knows how to keep you on your toes. As an easy-to-use site, you’ll find your way around in no time. With enormous welcome bonuses up for grabs, you’ll kick-start your casino journey on the right foot.
With over 500 casino games to choose from, which will you play first? Since Pulsz Casino offers popular titles such as Wolf Gold, Money Train 2, The Dog House Megaways, and much more, you will find a game (or several) to keep you winning those Pulsz Gold Coins. Thanks to games delivered by huge software providers such as Pragmatic Play and Booming Games, content is fast-loading and of top-tier quality.
Enter Winstar Social Casino, and you’ll find a sleek platform offering a selection of table games, slots, and even a Loyalty Lounge, where you’ll get private access to exclusive games, promotions, and bonuses. Sure to keep you winning and feeling like a star, this sweepstakes casino has your gaming preferences covered.
As one of the most popular social casinos on the market, the WOW Vegas online casino offers hundreds of classic slots and many exclusive titles to test your luck, alongside giant welcome packages. Right now, you can claim 5,000 free coins just for registering! Also, thanks to its diverse and accessible platform, you can try your hand at Wilds of Fortune, Sugar Rush, and Big Bass Bonanza from your favorite device, be it your desktop or mobile browser.
Social/sweepstakes casinos are ideal if you’re keen to play online casino games but are not located in a state with legal online casino gambling, but there are a few exceptions. Generally speaking, social casinos are legally active in almost every country globally. However, due to its conservative stance on gambling activities, they’re still banned in Washington. Also, though social casinos are permitted in Nevada and Idaho, sweepstakes casinos are still banned.
Just like online casinos, you’ll find a massive range of all sorts of games in an array of types and genres, such as slots, table games, and live dealer experiences. You name it, and you can likely play it at our top-rated social and sweepstakes casinos! Let’s get you started on what to look forward to:
A classic casino game staple, free online slots earn top rank amongst social gaming fans thanks to easy win capabilities. After all, all you need to do is match up rows of symbols on the reels in exchange for wins. If this popular genre is your go-to, Gambino Slots might be the best place for you to start.
However, regardless of what social or sweepstakes casinos you test out, you’ll have access to hundreds of options in every theme imaginable, from TV and movie to animal and classic machine titles. Here are a few of our experts’ favorites:
Although most social/sweepstakes casinos offer an eclectic variety, Winstar might be your best bet if seeking traditional table games. With blackjack, roulette, poker, craps, and other exciting table game tournaments to enjoy, you’ll be entertained for hours.
For that authentic experience, what could be better than reaping all the benefits of visiting a casino floor from the comfort of your own home and in a risk-free format? While much more uncommon than online slots and table games, many social sites feature live versions of traditional table games and game shows. Via live video stream, you can play real social/sweepstake casino games with real dealers and experience a sort of simulated atmosphere of live casinos.
Why not hit B Spot to shake up your social/sweepstakes casino routine for a bit of variety? There you can reap the benefits of tournaments, “spinners”, and many more unique games. Again, as with our list of recommended casinos, you’ll find an array of exciting gaming options like bingo and arcade games.
When playing social or sweepstakes games, you’re going to want the same innovative quality that is standard at real cash online casinos. Luckily, all our recommended casino slots, table games, and live dealer options are by reputable software providers. Though there are occasionally fewer titles available on social casinos, you’ll likely still have hundreds of options to pick from.
Here are some of the top software developer names you can expect to find in our recommended social casino lobbies:
Before you start spinning the reels of thrilling slots, you’ll need to register at a social casino. Fortunately, that process is super straightforward at our top-rated sites. To help get you started, follow our simple step-by-step guide below:
Even though you aren’t playing games for real cash, you still may wish to purchase social coin bundles to boost your playing bankroll. This is why having your preferred payment method handy is best for quick and effortless deposits. Fortunately, our recommended social and sweepstakes casinos accept payments through numerous secure and popular banking options, like:
You’ll occasionally find that social casinos offer apps that condense and tailor your favorite games to your preferred device. Apps also allow you to opt-in to push notifications, keeping in the loop on casino updates, such as new games, promotions, and successful wins.
However, if your social casino doesn’t offer a native app, that doesn’t mean that you can’t gamble on the go! All our recommended sweepstakes sites are built on HTML5 technology, meaning they’re optimized and responsive on mobile devices like all of the best mobile casinos.
Any of our recommended social casinos have passed our experts’ criteria on safety and security. This means that they maintain the following standards:
Efficient customer support is usually pretty easy to come by on social casinos via a number of contact methods. Usually, you’ll have access to comprehensive FAQ sections and a live chat function, allowing you to talk with a customer service representative in real-time. Some social casinos also offer online forms to submit, email addresses, and telephone lines.
As with any casino, it’s always worth checking out each site’s customer support section to see if its support system suits you.
Emma Trotter is a Senior Editor at Casinos.com. Emma has worked as a staff writer and editor for nearly two decades, extensively covering celebrity news and the Las Vegas entertainment, casino and tourism scenes. She spent several years in in-house roles at Caesars Entertainment and Wynn Las Vegas before stepping into iGaming affiliate site content.
By visiting our top-rated social/sweepstakes casinos. Use our list of recommendations to get started and play risk-free games. Register an account, grab your welcome bonus, and start playing for free today!
Absolutely! As with real cash online casinos, you’ll still find a large selection of exciting slots to play in an array of themes of genres. From games based on films and TV shows to classic virtual fruit machines and everything in between, the possibilities are endless.
No. Some casino sites may allow you to link your social media profile to your casino account, and you can even grab exclusive bonuses by doing so. However, other social and sweepstakes casinos may just require a valid email address.
In many US states, you only have to be 18 to start playing at social casino sites. However, in others, you’ll need to be 21 to register and start playing for real money. Always double-check before you start playing to ensure you abide by your state’s laws.
Sweepstakes allow you to exchange the site’s own currency for real prizes, whereas social casinos will only enable you to win virtual currency prizes that cannot be withdrawn as cash.
Yes. You can grab virtual currency when registering an account at most of our top-rated social casinos, meaning you can start playing casino games for free without spending a cent!