Casinos for you
Complete Guide to Social and Sweepstake CasinosBy Shane Addinall Mar 31, 2023If you are interested in the entertaining world of social and sweepstake casinos, this is the guide for you. We dive into game selection, legality, industry value, various in-game currency options and how it supports safer gambling.
Social casinos have increased in popularity in recent years, with even real money casinos branching into this entertainment-focused vertical. It is not, however, a new gaming vertical at all, with early social casino games being available on sites like Facebook, where fans would play free games and use their points to compete with their friends to gain higher placements on a leaderboard.
Initially, social casino games were only available on social media platforms, but since 2019 there has been a growing number of standalone casino sites dedicated to this unique gambling vertical.
In this guide to social and sweepstake casinos, we will discuss the differences between the two types of casinos, their legality, popularity, the available games, how they are monetised and their impact on safer gambling.
What is a Social Casino?
Social casinos are online gambling sites dedicated to bringing international players the best games and casino entertainment for free. The focal point of a social casino is to allow fans of casino games to extract as much fun and entertainment from the pastime as possible without spending money.
These sites offer the full online casino experience with a comprehensive library of games in various categories, access to casino support staff and even a promotional section where additional coins can be purchased once the daily gaming coins have been played.
What is a Sweepstake Casino?
A sweepstake follows the same template the social casino uses. One notable difference is that they offer players access to lucky prize draws where products, items, and cash prizes are up for grabs.
These sites offer players free daily coins used to play their available selection of games. They also have engagements where players can win special tokens that allow them to participate in Sweepstakes, also known as lucky draws.
What Are The Various Coins and Tokens For?
When playing at a social or sweepstake casino, it is handy to know what the various tokens you will encounter are used for.
These two primary tokens are:
- Gold Coins: These are the daily free coins given to players. Once they run out, additional bundles can be purchased.
- Sweep Coins: These coins cannot be purchased. They can only be won or given as rewards for participating in the casinos.
It is important to note that there is no financial return in terms of wins or any option to convert these casino coins into real money once they have been purchased. The only utility of these coins is to play the available fun casino games.
Regarding promotions linked to these fun play tokens, bundles are offered with increased bonus tokens, access to VIP games, and even point boosters which will help a player climb the leaderboard more easily. Again, there is no cash value to this, only bragging rights.
These coins cannot be purchased because they are used to enter prize draws where players can win real money rewards. To further distance the money, they may have spent in pursuit of gaining these Sweep Coins, the value of the money spent bears no direct correlation to the cash value of any prizes that can be won.
Are Social and Sweepstake Casinos Legal?
It is a common misconception that playing blackjack, roulette, slots, or other casino games is gambling. The term “casino game” does mean gambling. However, it becomes gambling as soon as a player can place a real money wager that has the potential to result in a cash-value win commensurate with the value of the bet.
Social and sweepstake casinos are legal in most of the world thanks to this small but significant legal distinction. It is such as important distinction that these types of casinos are legal across the United States, with the only exceptions being New York, Nevada, Idaho, and Washington.
It is interesting to note in Washington that these gaming sites are not illegal but have not explicitly been made legal. Their legislation disallows any gambling activities that have not specifically been written into law as legal.
Are These Types of Free Casinos Popular?
Despite increasing online gambling regulation in the US and longstanding regulation in the UK and much of Europe, social casinos are gaining in popularity rather than decreasing.
This growth in interest and participation will naturally result in growing revenue, as seen in the market valuation and growth projections provided by the Research and Markets Group. They place the current market value at $7.26 billion, projected at $9.25 billion by 2027.
We double-checked these values, pulling a report from the Stratview Research company. They are not as bullish as their peers on the current value, valuing the market at $6.7 billion but their projection scales in line with theirs, with an $8.2 billion market cap in 2026.
In a world where customers vote with their wallets, the current income generated by free-to-play social and sweepstake casinos proves they are meeting a necessary demand.
Do These Sites Offer High-Quality Games?
Poor “Facebook” game quality is one of the factors that dissuaded many slot fans from engaging with early social media free games. However, as the financial value of the sector became apparent and real money casinos looked to enter unregulated markets with a legal casino product, award-winning developers began retooling their titles for this purpose.
Joining a renowned social casino will mean being able to play instantly recognisable Online Slots like Great Rhino Megaways by Pragmatic Play, Starburst XXXtreme by NetEnt, Imperial Fruits: 5 lines by Playson, 15 Dragon Pearls by Booongo and hundreds more.
Playing at a social casino with a robust blockchain infrastructure, like Stake.us, also means accessing various provably fair games, including Crash, Limbo, Plinko, and many others.
Fans of social and sweepstake casinos often have access to more game variety than players at regulated real money casinos, as there are no restrictions on licensed versus unlicensed providers, given that social casino games are not gambling.
How Do These Casinos Support Responsible Gambling?
Social casinos are valuable tools for players who need to play casino games but do not have the cash to play for real money. This option allows them to enjoy their favourite games in a low-risk environment without exceeding their allotted budgets.
As licensed software developers and brands become more involved in this space, they have also begun implementing the same responsible gambling measures they offer real money players.
These safer gambling features include:
- The ability to self-exclude from the social casino.
- Setting loss and spending limits.
- Providing help links and educational information packets.
As with any real money casino, all social casinos offer 24/7 customer support via live chat, which ensures that players who need assistance can reach out day or night when in need.
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