Sweepstakes Casinos Online California – Legal Gambling Alternatives

Written by:
Alex Windsor
Fact checked by:
Michael Fatouros
October 17, 2023

Sweepstakes Casinos Online in CaliforniaSweepstakes casinos are a new type of free online gambling where players can win cash prizes on various table games, slots, and more. Conventional online casinos in California are illegal due to gambling regulations. Because sweepstakes casinos work using a virtual currency called sweeps coins, they are legal in all US states other than Washington.

As a result, sweepstakes sites like Fortune Coins or WOW Vegas are perfect for Californian players looking to play casino games online. There are countless opportunities to earn free sweepstakes coins on these platforms. It can be as easy as logging into your account daily.

Most sweepstakes casino sites use two types of currency: Gold Coins (GC) and Sweeps Coins (SC). Typically, gold coins don’t hold any real-life value, whereas sweeps coins can be redeemed as real cash prizes. Some of the best platforms for Californians include:

Best Sweepstakes Casinos in California

1.5M WoW Coins + 35 Free SC
630,000 Free Coins + $14 Fortune Coins No Deposit Bonus
10,000 Gold Coins & 1 Free Stake Cash
GET UP TO 367,000 GC + FREE 32.3 SC
Unlock 57,500 GC + 27.5 FREE SC

Is Online Gambling Legal in California?

Online casinos are currently not legal in California. The California Gambling Control Commission restricts gambling in the state, with exceptions made for tribal casinos and some cardrooms. The US is slowly starting to open up to online gambling, with states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania legalizing it in 2017 and 2018.

Online gambling in California is hard to enjoy legally. Players have the option of playing on uncertified, illegal offshore online casinos. We would never advise this, as scammers and online fraudsters are known to use these illegitimate platforms to their advantage. Legal sweeps casinos are a far safer alternative.

Analysts expect California to legalize online gambling and sports betting, although other states are ahead in the runnings. Currently, players must use legal sweepstake casino sites to play casino games in the Gold Rush State. These platforms navigate the legal minefield of rules and regulations through their use of sweeps coins and gold coins.

Are Sweepstakes Casinos Legal in California?

Unlike conventional online casinos, Sweepstakes Casinos are legal in California and all US states other than Washington. These sites get around online gambling legislation by offering free casino gambling using sweeps coins and gold coins. As players purchase coin packages or receive them for free, it isn’t technically classed as gambling.

Although sweeps coins games aren’t the same as conventional real money games, players can still win real cash prizes. All sweepstakes casino games pay prizes in gold coins or sweeps coins, but the latter may typically be redeemed as real money. This promotional sweepstakes mechanic is quickly gaining traction in California for various reasons:

  • CA sweepstakes sites are completely legal
  • Players can enjoy casino games for free
  • There are always numerous free sweeps coins offers
  • Sweeps coins jackpots can be redeemed as real cash prizes

Sweepstakes casinos in California do not require purchasing to play, which is why they are fine to play at Anyone over 18 can play through free coins provided on sign-up when you use our sign up links and bonus codes.

CA Sweepstakes Casinos Online

Luckyland Slots

As with normal online casino sites, the quality of sweeps platforms varies. Players must consider their safety and security at lesser-known sites. Although the leading sweepstakes casinos in California are perfectly safe, other illegitimate platforms pop up from time to time. Always ensure there is transparent information on the sweeps site you choose alongside visible SSL encryption and favorable user reviews.

Countless perfectly legit CA sweepstakes casinos exist currently. Aside from making sure your chosen platform is safe, it’s also a good idea to consider the game selection and bonus promotions.

The best sites offer an abundance of online slots, various casino games, and rarer options like fish table games or keno. Some promotional sweepstakes sites also offer strategy games you cannot find at regular online casino sites.

Some of the best CA sweepstakes sites include:

Sweepstakes Casino Games

Sweepstakes casino games are similar and often identical to regular online casino games. The main difference is that players wager with sweeps coins or gold coins rather than actual money. Additionally, it’s far more likely to find sweeps casino games exclusively developed by the platform that hosts them. You can find a basic overview of the different types of sweepstakes casino games below:

Sweepstakes slots

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Many sweeps platforms have a catalog of their own exclusively designed slot games. These can be an exciting alternative to regular online slots at conventional online casinos. For example, LuckyLand Slots and Fortune Coins players have access to games that include:

  • Neon Valley: A LuckyLand Slots original, Neon Valley is a bright, retro-inspired slot with an enormous Progressive jackpot that can hit over 300,000 sweeps coins.
  • Dia De Los Muertos: Coming courtesy of Fortune Coins, the Day of the Dead-themed Dia De Los Muertos uses a 4×3 grid with 20 paylines. Players love the expanding wild bonus feature that can fill an entire reel to ensure huge payouts.
  • Snow Queen: An icy, winter-themed slot designed by LuckyLand Slots, Snow Queen offers a cascading wins mechanic. This can be extremely lucrative together with the generous free spins bonus round.
  • Cats and Dogs: Fortune Coins pushed the boat out with Cats and Dogs, an inventive slot using a 6×3 reel grid. The wild icon can expand to fill six positions horizontally when triggered, resulting in a 10,000 Fortune Coin jackpot.

Although the examples above are exceptional, many players want to play slots from well-known developers such as NetEnt or Microgaming. It’s slightly rarer to find these at sweeps sites, but some leading brands have a small selection. For example, at sites like Pulsz Casino and BetRivers.net, users can play slots from the likes of NetEnt, Betsoft, and Pragmatic Play. Options include:

  • Great Rhino Megaways
  • Chili Heat Megaways
  • Buffalo Hold and Win
  • Greedy Goblins
  • Gates of Olympus

Table Games

You can play sweepstakes poker and other online table games at sweepstakes casinos, but the selection is more limited compared to conventional online casinos in most cases. Popular options include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker. Real money prizes are possible if you play using sweeps coins, but be aware that prize amounts will be smaller than at online casinos.

Nevertheless, free sweepstakes table games are great fun and can be instrumental in your table game success at real casinos. California sweeps players have access to all the main types, with rarer options like Sic Bo available at sites such as BetRivers.net.

Fish Table Games

Fishing Kingdom

One major reason why players prefer sweepstakes sites to online casinos in California is the increased availability of fish games. They aren’t common at regular casinos, but sites like Fortune Coins have a fantastic selection.

Fish games are unique because they give players a more hands-on gambling experience. Instead of spinning reels or drawing cards, you must kill various marine animals with an underwater cannon. The most exotic/biggest fish uncover the most significant prizes, but they’re also the hardest to catch.

Live Casino

Live casino options at CA sweepstakes casinos are very limited. Most platforms don’t offer live dealer table games, with real-money online casinos being a better option in most cases. Unfortunately, regular online casinos are illegal in California, so players must play at sweepstakes casinos.

BetRivers.net and Rush Casino4Fun are among the only platforms offering live dealer games from Evolution Gaming. Check them out for a free way to engage in real-life casino gaming. It’s the closest you’ll get in the California online gambling sphere, with live hosts and live feed table games on your mobile screen.

Bonuses & Promotions for California Players

fortune coins casino welcome bonus 2023

California sweepstakes casino players can enjoy countless bonuses and promotions. Free sweeps coins and gold coins are plentiful, with most platforms rewarding their users for doing simple things like logging in or sharing their progress on social media.

All leading CA sweepstakes casino sites offer enticing incentives to first-time customers. In most cases, all you have to do is register to take advantage. You can find a roundup of the best welcome offers below:

🎰Sweepstakes Online Casino🎁No Deposit Welcome Bonus
Fortune Coins360,000 Gold Coins or $12 Fortune Coins
High 5 Casino10,000,000 Sweeps Coins ($9.99 deposit bonus)
BetRivers.Net Social Casino250 free virtual coins
LuckyLand Slots7,777 Gold Coins + $10 Sweeps Coins
Chumba Casino2,000,000 Gold Coins + 2 Sweeps Coins

Players can also access several ongoing promotions after their initial registration. Most sites offer ample opportunities to pick up extra gold coins and sweeps coins. If you play your cards right, you could feasibly play sweepstakes games without ever having to make a coin purchase. Here are a few of the most common ongoing promotions for California players at sweeps casinos:

  • Daily Login Bonus
  • Referral Scheme
  • Social Media Competitions
  • Weekly Prize Tournaments
  • First Purchase Offers
  • Prize Wheel
  • Daily Raffles
  • Social Media Sharing Promotions

Purchases & Cash Redemptions

Online casinos have a slightly more straightforward approach to deposits and withdrawals. In order to stay legal in California, sweepstakes casinos cannot offer simple deposits and withdrawals. Instead, players must purchase gold coins and get free sweep coins. They use these to gamble with and can redeem the sweeps coins as real cash prizes.

Coin Purchases

Coin purchases at CA sweepstakes casino sites are very straightforward. Due to the abundance of free gold coins and sweeps coins ongoing promotions, you may not need to make coin purchases very often. Generally, players will need to choose a coin package out of the options available.

For example, here is the coin package breakdown at Fortune Coins:

  • $20 Initial Purchase: $40 worth of Fortune Coins and 20,000 Gold Coins.
  • $50 Initial Purchase: $70 worth of Fortune Coins and 1,000,000 Gold Coins.
  • $100 Initial Purchase: $200 worth of Fortune Coins and 1,000,000 Gold Coins.

Cash Redemptions

It’s crucial to remember that gold coins cannot be traded for real money and hold no intrinsic real-world value. On the other hand, sweeps coins may be redeemed as real money. Typically, one sweep coin equals one dollar, but this can change from platform to platform.

Online casinos in California are still illegal, but CA players can enjoy casino games and real cash jackpots at several sweepstakes platforms. Here is a quick rundown of how to make cash redemptions at most sweeps sites:

  1. Play sweeps games using sweeps coins or in Premium Mode
  2. Follow an online gambling strategy to maximize your chances of winning
  3. Wait until you have won over the minimum number of redeemable sweeps coins
  4. Head to “My Account” and then “Cash Redemptions”
  5. Enter the amount you wish to convert into real money
  6. Choose a payment method and wait for the money to reach your account

Payment Methods

California Casino Banking Methods

Players at legal California sweepstakes casinos have a lot of choices regarding payment methods. Some sites have slightly fewer options than conventional online casinos. In most cases, though, you’ll find exactly what you need.

These are the most common methods to deposit/withdraw at CA sweeps cash casinos:

  • Debit Cards
  • MasterCard
  • Visa
  • Skrill
  • PayPal

Getting Started with Online Sweepstakes Casinos in California

Fortune Coins Casino Create Account

Registering at sweepstakes sites in California is straightforward. These platforms are legal and safe, so the process to sign up is simple. Follow the steps to get started at CA social casinos:

  1. Head to a sweepstakes platform site like Fortune Coins
  2. Press “Register” or “Sign Up”
  3. Some sweeps casinos offer the option to register with your Facebook account
  4. If not, you’ll need to enter your email address and date of birth
  5. Press the verification link in your email inbox
  6. Finishing setting up your account and make an initial coin purchase if necessary

Sweepstakes Casinos vs CA Online Casinos

California online casinos are at a significant disadvantage to sweepstakes casinos currently because they are illegal in the state. With the number of legal online gambling states quickly increasing across the US, this will probably change at some point in the future.

Regardless, many people still prefer playing at sweepstakes casinos due to the extensive free play possibilities and the abundance of ongoing promotions. Platforms like McLuck Casino or Pulsz Casino, in particular, offer many of the same games you can find at leading real-money online casinos. As a result, the gap between both types of online gambling platforms is getting smaller and smaller.

Look below for some of the main pros and cons of California sweepstakes casinos compared to conventional online casino sites:

✅CA Sweepstakes Casino Pros❌CA Sweepstakes Casino Cons
Can play casino games without spending real moneyLess game selection than real money casinos
Legal in states without legal online gambling like CaliforniaHigh-profile developers like NetEnt are rare to find
Interesting games like fish are available you cannot find on conventional sitesPrize money is generally much smaller
Several ongoing promotions for free sweepstakes coins and gold coins

California Online Gambling Laws 

While some states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey have opened up to online gambling in recent years, California takes a much stricter approach. Online casinos and sportsbooks are illegal in the state and there are no concrete plans to open things up anytime soon. Players can legally access online sweepstakes casinos as these sites don’t offer conventional real-money gambling. 

Unlike neighboring Nevada, brick-and-mortar casinos are mostly illegal in California. Players can enjoy card games like blackjack or baccarat at dedicated cardrooms, although no other casino games are offered. New cardrooms haven’t been allowed to open since 1995 either, so they probably won’t be around for too much longer.  

There are also 65 tribal casinos situated on Native American reservations. This is currently the only way for Californian gamblers to play at real-life casinos. The ratification of the Tribal-State Gaming Compacts in 1999 paved the way for legal tribal casinos. The La Jolla Trading Post-Casino and Cahuilla Casino are two examples. 

Online CA gambling is hard to come by. Sweepstakes casinos are legal alongside Daily Fantasy Sports, but everything else is severely limited. 

Internet Sweepstakes Cafes California 

California players have access to several online sweepstakes cafes across the state. These places are great for players looking to enjoy a brick-and-mortar sweepstakes experience. A few examples include: 

  • Gizmos Cyber Cafe (Manteca, CA) 
  • Handyworld (West Sacramento, CA) 
  • Riversweeps (Modesto, CA) 

Although the experience can be enhanced in these real-life CA sweepstakes cafes, online alternatives are better. Sites like Chumba Casino, Pulsz, or WOW Vegas Casino typically offer a lower house edge, a better variety of games, and ample opportunity to play internet cafe sweepstakes games from home


  • How old do I need to be to play sweepstakes casino games in CA?

    You must be 18 or above to play sweepstakes casino games in the US. These are available in all states but Washington. In contrast, players must be over 21 to engage in real money gambling at conventional online casinos or sports betting platforms.

  • Can I win real money at sweepstakes casinos in California?

    Yes. In most cases, players can win real money at sweepstakes casinos in California. The way you do so is different from conventional online casinos. Instead of directly winning cash, players win sweeps coins at sweepstakes sites. These are then redeemed as real money. This mechanic is necessary for Californian sweeps casinos to stay legal in the eyes of the California Gambling Control Commission.

  • Which are the best sweepstakes casinos in California?

    There are several top-tier California Sweepstakes casinos. The best options have a fantastic game selection, secure payment methods, generous welcome bonuses, and lucrative ongoing promotions. The examples below tick all these boxes and more:

    • WOW Vegas Casino
    • Fortune Coins
    • Pulsz Casino
    • Chumba Casino
    • McLuck Casino
    • High 5 Casino
  • Yes. Sweepstakes casinos are legal in California because they technically fall outside of the gambling sphere. Players must buy sweeps coins or gold coins and then use these virtual currencies to gamble. This is currently the only way to enjoy online gambling in California. The state will legalize online casinos at some point in the future, but it still isn’t clear when.

  • Can I play at sweepstakes casinos for free?

    Yes. Sweepstakes sites offer numerous ways to get free gold coins and sweeps coins. As a result, you can play sweeps games for free. Players can also purchase more virtual currency if they run out. However, with the number of ways to obtain coins for free, you might never have to make an actual purchase.

Alex Windsor

Enthusiast of the online gaming world, I have a particular fondness for sweepstakes casinos. With a passion for slots, table games, and the unique mechanics of the sweepstakes model, I’m always eager to explore and share insights on the latest in digital casino trends. Las Vegas might be the traditional hub, but the virtual realm is where my heart truly lies.

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