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Social Sweepstakes Casinos: How they work & make money?

Social Sweepstakes Casinos: How they work & make money?


UPDATED: 17 July, 2023. In the "Fishing in the Muddy Waters" series we're talking about what is Social Casino? How can we explain its activity? What you, as a player, must know? So, first of all Social Casino is something that takes words social and often takes words to sweepstakes casino. What is the connection between social and sweepstakes? How does the whole scheme work?


Social Sweepstakes casino: exploring the term

First of all, social is about being able to share things, and being able to participate in some competition. So social is all about playing not alone. So the whole idea of being social is there is more interactivity than in the gambling experience itself. 

So much for the sweepstakes we talk about the old good scheme that's called Lottery. And sweepstakes is a lottery where you don't participate for money so it means a kind of free Lottery. The crucial point about sweepstakes is that they are free, the entry is not for money or no "pay-to-enter". The very idea of sweepstakes has been explored in the United States by different companies starting from PepsiCo to McDonald. There's a very fine connection between not paying to enter or pay-to-win and otherwise. And, therefore, the whole idea of this competition is realised even in such a strange way that to participate in the sweepstake from McDonalds or Pepsico you have to write them a letter and they'll give you a scan code. Because otherwise, if you bought something and it's only because of the item that you bought that you can participate in it, it's a pay-to-enter competition and the holders of it must acquire a licence.

So it's a very thin line but obviously this thin line is only imaginary. These guys (or companies in a gambling business) are very shrewd, very active and they use it  - the whole idea of sweepstakes or Social Casino - in order to overcome the impediments, and exploit the legal difficulties (or illegal holes) to make a walk around and enable you to play where it is actually forbidden to play for other casinos and other gambling operators. I'm talking foremost about Canada (or some geographies in Canada) and most of the geographies in the United States. 

Takeaways from the sweepstakes legacy:

  • Sweepstakes term means a trade promotion lottery (work lotteries, residents' lotteries, or private society lotteries)
  • In US enterprises are very careful to disassociate themselves from any suggestion that players must "pay to enter", or "pay to win", since this would constitute gambling. Example: McDonald's Monopoly "instant-win" game-piece promotion
  • To satisfy the "no purchase necessary" requirement, free game pieces are made available on request through the US mail

Is a social sweepstakes casino the same real money casino but the other way around? 

All right,  so what is the social sweepstakes casino? I claim this is a casino the other way around. So in a particular real money casino you play to get a chance to win more (than you spent), here, in a social casino, you pay to be able to get more playing time. Maybe, you would say this is more frank or more honest because in a real money casino you also pay to be able to spend time playing but it is only enveloped as an ability to win something. In the real world it is more honest to say like the Social Casino guys do: 

    "pay us to be able to enjoy these slot machines".

It's not that simple because actually yes, you pay for time, but how does it work in practice? So, when you get to enter the Social Casino you'll be able to acquire some free chips (free stuff, free coins) and when they are done you must pay for the other types of coins, which works as an intermediary, because you cannot obviously withdraw something that you paid for, so these are paid things that only work your way into for you in the world of imaginary gambling. 

There are two types of coins:

  1. one that are free and that can be withdrawn or exchanged to prizes and 
  2. other - the most important ones - that are paid for, but they cannot be withdrawn or changed into real money prizes

The latter have to be exchanged in the imaginary coins and that, in its turn, have to be or can be withdrawn. So the whole idea is that without paying the money you cannot actually last within the game. The free chips will come to an end by day, they most of the time are renewed by day or by other occasions, I will talk about later. 

Summing it up, 
1) you pay for time, 
2) you can be able to play with local laws prohibits and 
3) you got a higher win frequency, because Social Casino is all about retention, all about making you play more and more.

The whole mechanics here is different in many regards from a real money casino because it only will last as long as you come by day. And as I was saying, this is because it is a casino the other way around, so it's in their interest that you  play more and more, because this is how you get rid of your free trips / free coins and you must pay money for other types of coins. 

One thing that's important to know is that it's very dangerous to switch from Social Casino to real money Casino, which is the case with most people because you cannot stop us playing social, at some point you will be prompted to join real money casino. 

It's very dangerous because you get used to this ever-going game and you get used to paying only little and winning some. In the real money casinos the whole thing looks much different, it looks like that: you will make deposits and you may lose it all in no time. So I'm talking about the whole idea in Social and real money is very much different and you'll be feeling this drastic contrast when you switch (and you'll be prompted so). This is a very big vulnerability here and you have to take note of it. 

All right, and finally social casinos are actually double play. So, in the first place you play them and they make money on in-game purchases (this is coins that they will try to sell you in order for you to be able to play more). And the other thing that they try to do is to refer you to their own (or partner) real money Casino, for example, as Slotomania famous social social slots game application for Ceasar Casino for Playtech company. 


  1. You pay for time
  2. Social casinos used where local laws prohibit
  3. Have higher win frequency
  4. Are very dangerous to switch to real casinos from social
  5. They are a double play: make money on in-game purchases + referrals to [their] real money casino (ex: Slotomania & Ceasar Casino)


How does the overall social sweepstakes casino scheme work?

A social casino maker decided that you must be able to play for free, so you'd come into the game and you'd start playing without making any deposits. Within the game you get two types of coins: 

  1. first is to satisfy the legal requirements let's say they call them Sweep coins (Super coins, etc)
  2. another is for you to buy, say it is Gold coins. 

Redemption of the prizes is only done by Sweep coins. The Gold coins (the paid ones) cannot participate but they are just extending your playtime  and can be exchanged and some rate to the sweep coins.

How do you ever get the Sweep coins?

First, is you get this you know bonuses every time you go 

1) for setting up your accounts, 
2) for connecting your Facebook, 
3) your telephone number and everything. 

There are types of action based bonuses, this, for example, is 

4) refer friends, 
5) some marketing promo bonus and finally these are 
6) daily bonuses, which are given to you if you stick and get to play with them day by day. And also their 
7) mystery or "for no reason" bonuses. 

Social casinos are not made for you to win real money

The most important thing which I would like to mention is that social cases are not actually made for you to win and withdraw any money. If you'd say what is the proof? Take a look at the balance of power that's given to you by the terms and conditions. I I have looked through Terms and conditions of the several biggest ones like Chumba, Wow Vegas, Fortune Coins and have found these clauses: 

1. POWER TO RETROSPECTIVELY VOID COINS: “We reserve the right to retrospectively void any Fortune Coins or Prizes for any or no reason.”
2. POWER TO DETERMINE WHAT'S IRREGULAR PLAY & WITHHOLD WITHDRAWALS: “We reserve the right to determine, in our sole discretion, which activities constitute “irregular play”.”
3. ACCOUNT TERMINATION: “In the attempt they believe a player has abused Fortune Coins they may close the account and confiscate funds in your Account.”
4. NO RIGHT to DISPUTE: “All decisions are final.”
5. THEIR RULES are NO RULES: “We reserve the right to alter the Prize win rates and odds of any of the games at any time.”

This is a disastrous imparity of balance of power between you, the player, and the casino, a Social Casino. So, I strongly disagree that these are funny things for a company or a social activity, it is actually not. 10s or even 100s of millions of play sweepstakes casinos on the globe. Yet, the overall attitude to these kinds of games is more relaxed because they are not for money but it is actually not the case. People get used to it, people get to switch and there's no proper consumer protection with users in this case and so in a particular regard they can be even more dangerous than the real money casino games. 

If you have your observations or your ideas or comments on how Social Casino Works, what are the mechanics that you’ve seen, you may want to share with me please drop me an email, my address can be found in the Contacts section of this website. 

Popular Social Casinos Online

Several of the major performing operators in the worldwide social casino industry include:

Chumba Casino, Zynga, Caesars Slots, DoubleDown, Pulsz etc. 

Zynga Social Casino logoChumba Social Casino logoDouble Down social casinoCaesars slots Social Casino logoPulsz Social Casino logo

Other notes: 

The worldwide social gaming industry has grown steadily in recent years, and growth is expected to accelerate in 2022-2025. The report Global Social Casino Market: Size and Forecasts with Impact Analysis of Covid-19 (2021-2025 Edition) predicts that the global social gambling market will reach a total of $210,9 billion in 2025.

As per 2021 research from GameRefinery, social casino applications have become much more popular than ever before among mobile users. This has coincided with the COVID-19 epidemic when they spent about $1 billion on social casinos.

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