Online casinos are soon to be a reality in Michigan. However, Michiganders have had an option to play some of their favorite casino games for many years now. Sweepstakes casinos are open for business in Michigan, and across the United States, and they can be an excellent option for bettors.
Although it may seem hard to believe, you can win real cash through these sites. They operate with specific rules, but most of the time, you won’t be able to tell you aren’t at a real-money online casino.
There are also sweepstakes poker sites available for those of you who want to bet, raise, and win huge pots. You can play against other competitors from across the US, as sweepstakes sites are available in most states.
If you’re interested in giving these sites a try, keep reading. We have all the information you could want about how sweepstakes casinos work, how to play on them, and any kind of bonuses you can use to get started or bolster your bankroll.
You might be thinking that there’s no way sweepstakes casinos and poker are legal. However, they are accepted in almost every state, thanks to their very specific business practices.
Sweepstakes themselves are perfectly legal. You’ve probably played in quite a few of them during your time. From the Monopoly games at McDonald’s to the Publishers Clearing House giveaways, there are usually sweepstakes that can be found where you live.
However, it’s important to understand what makes them legal sweepstakes. The first thing is probably pretty obvious, but they must give away the prizes they are advertising. So, even though it may seem far-fetched that a site would give away $5,000 a week for life, it absolutely can and must do so if the sweepstake advertises such a prize. Otherwise, it’s committing fraud.
The second attribute is the classic hallmark of all sweepstakes giveaways. Namely, it must be possible to win the prize without making any type of purchase. So, when McDonald’s advertises its Monopoly drawings, there is always a disclaimer saying you can receive game pieces for free. This disclaimer is neither false nor window dressing and is required so you can win without paying, or else the giveaway is a lottery and is gambling.
A site can have an indirect way to purchase entries. However, it has to be careful these entries do not allow a gateway into greater chances to win. In sweepstakes law, you have to be able to play without giving up anything in return.
So, sweepstakes casinos and poker sites are usually legal. Most of them use a dual-currency system to stay within the confines of the law.
The biggest and best-known sweepstakes casino sites are owned and operated by VGW Holdings. The company runs Chumba Casino, Global Poker, Luckyland Slots, and FendOff Sports.
All four sites use a system with two different types of currency: Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins.
Both Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins are usable on each site’s games. They operate in tandem with each other but rarely cross paths in games.
Gold Coins can be purchased in various increments onsite. You can acquire some playable money for as little as $1, and it’s even possible to get a few Gold Coins just for logging onto the site each day.
However, Gold Coins are only good for playing on the site’s games. You cannot withdraw them for any kind of actual currency.
By contrast, it is not possible to purchase Sweeps Coins. Instead, you receive them for free as you purchase Gold Coins.
Sweeps Coins are available to be exchanged for actual dollars. There are a few methods that allow you to convert your Sweeps Coins into real money.
Since you can’t buy Sweeps Coins directly, these sites avoid the implication they are simply gambling websites. However, they must make it possible to acquire redeemable prizes for free.
There are three ways you can get your hands on some Sweeps Coins without paying.
The first way you can get Sweeps Coins is simply by signing up for an account. Global Poker, Chumba, and the other major sites have a standing bonus for any new accounts to receive a small amount of Sweeps Coins as part of their welcoming package. These gifts are perfectly valid for play onsite.
It can also pay to connect with the Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages for many of the sweepstakes casinos. Those social media platforms are known to hold drawings for significant chunks of Sweeps Coins.
The contests typically involve the site posing a simple question to its connected members. If you answer the question correctly (which should be easy to do), you will be in the running for a random drawing. There are usually 10 winners in each contest, and you can find yourself the recipient of up to 5,000 Sweeps Coins if you can get lucky.
These first two options are decent enough, but there has to be a more definite and deliberate way to get Sweeps Coins than random drawings and bonuses. So, although it may seem odd, you can send a handwritten request to Chumba, Global, Luckyland, or Fendoff for some Sweeps Coins. They are required by law to honor it and will issue you a small amount of the currency.
None of these sites highly publicize the fact you can play for free. To that end, even though it is possible to get Sweeps Coins without paying, the sites are perfectly within their rights to make it fairly annoying to do so, hence, having to handwrite the request and send it via snail mail.
But, after you run out of those bonus sweeps you received for registering, this method is the most reliable way to play for free that you have. So warm up those pens, and make sure to write legibly.
Other sweepstakes casinos have similar schemes to the processes listed above. To remain classified as sweepstakes sites and not gambling ones, they cannot get too creative about the application of their model.
On sweepstakes casino Funzpoints, you have the choice of playing either standard funzpoints or premium funzpoints. As you may imagine, only premium funzpoints are redeemable for cash, and you receive them for free if you purchase standard funzpoints.
The dual currency system, though popular, is not the only way sites award players. Publishers Clearing House and ZitoBox Slots use a gift card redemption model instead.
In this instance, you earn points for your play on the site. It is also possible to receive points for signing up and when you sign into the site each day.
These points are, in turn, redeemable in the site’s store for gift cards to various merchants. Companies like Lowe’s, Celebrity Cruises, and Callaway Golf each have gift cards for sale for points in the store, and you can redeem these gift cards at retailers or directly onsite with the merchant.
Even though you can play for free, there is still money involved on a sweepstakes site. Where there’s money, there is banking, so here are the things to do if you want to transfer funds into and out of your site of choice.
Although it’s terrific you don’t have to use any of your own money, you may find yourself wanting to do so to speed up the process.
In most cases, your first option is going to be a credit or debit card.
You may also be able to use an electronic wallet like Skrill to process your transaction. You will have to set up an account beforehand, of course, but Skrill can work as a way station for your online transactions if you’d prefer to keep some separation between the sites and your financial information.
You clearly want to have a way to pull your money out of the site too. Presumably, you’ll want to withdraw once you hit that big prize.
In general, the methods for withdrawing are going to mirror those you have for depositing. However you put money into the site, you’ll have a pretty good chance of getting it out in the same fashion.
You will have to provide the site with a few forms of identification to allow the vendor to verify your request, however. Most sites will require the following:
Once you’ve confirmed your identity, it should be no problem to withdraw funds. There are usually some withdrawal limits you’ll have to meet, but that’s likely the only hurdle you’ll face going forward.
Now that you’ve had a solid primer on how sweepstakes casinos work, let’s talk about some of the best options that you have available to you in Michigan. We’ll also break down the welcome bonuses that you will encounter on each site.
Here are the top sweepstakes casinos that you will find.
Getting started with Chumba is no problem. All you have to do is either use an email address and a password or link your existing Facebook account. There is no major verification process that has to take place.
New players who register on Chumba will receive 2,000,000 Gold Coins and Bonus 2 Sweeps Coins FREE on sign up and by registering through our link above you will have the ability to gain a $30 Gold Coin package, including 3,000,000 Gold Coins and Bonus 30 Sweeps Coins, for just $10 on your first purchase!
What’s more, is these coins are immediately available for play on any of Chumba’s games.
Chumba operates entirely as a browser-based site. There are no dedicated Michigan online sportsbook apps for Android or Apple users.
However, the site is clean and easy to navigate. Each screen on the site displays eight different games, which makes it easy to find the one that you want.
Remember that every single game is available for both Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. So, if you want to try out a game before committing any of your Sweeps Coins to it, it is no problem to do so. Simply click the “switch currency” button at the top of your screen.
Luckyland Slots is a sister site to Chumba Casino and is owned and operated by the same company. However, as its name implies, Luckyland is far more concerned with providing excellent slots experiences to its players.
So, there are no table games on Luckyland at all. There are fewer slot titles than on Chumba too. However, every single game on Luckyland is fully-realized and rendered with as much detail and color as you can jam into the program.
Luckyland Slots is a browser-based game only. There are no mobile apps to support the site.
New players who sign up on Luckyland will receive 7,777 Gold Coins and Bonus 10 Sweeps Coins FREE on Sign Up. Plus, you can get a 50,000 Gold Coins with Bonus 10 Sweeps Coins on your First Purchase for just $4.99!
As is the case with other VGW games, you can also try things out for free if you tell the site you want to use Gold Coins. Once the currency is switched over, you can see about all the bells and whistles without risking much of anything.
Funzpoints is a new sweepstakes casino offering a similar format and function as the VGW casinos. A dual-currency system allows Funzpoints to remain classified as a sweepstakes site, and there is no purchase necessary to play.
However, Funzpoints does tend to nudge players toward making a purchase. Some features and games do not open unless the player commits some money to the process and buys a standard and premium funzpoints package.
New players receive $2.50 in premium funzpoints upon signing up. In addition, registering through our link above will activate a dollar-for-dollar deposit match on your first deposit up to $20.
Funzpoints also maintains a free wheel spin feature that refreshes every three hours for the player. Each spin awards either standard or premium funzpoints and has the potential to be worth up to $350.
Like Luckyland, Funzpoints is a slots-only site. There is no mobile app at this time.
Global Poker bears mention as a sister site of both Chumba and Luckyland. However, it stands alone as one of the only dedicated sweepstakes poker sites active today.
The dual-currency system that Global uses is identical to the one at its sister sites. Players can use both Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins to play on Global’s tables.
Global offers three different games for players to enjoy. It is possible to compete in games of no-limit Texas Hold’em, pot-limit Omaha, and Crazy Pineapple.
These three games are available in a variety of formats, too. There are cash games, tournaments, sit-n-go games, jackpot sit-n-go, and fast-paced Surge Poker.
Because Global Poker is available across the US, you can find a game at many different buy-in levels most of the time. Global commonly holds tournaments with guarantees and tournament series where you can win serious money.
New players on Global get a major welcome bonus when they join. To start, you can get a $20 Gold Coin Package absolutely FREE once you verify your account! Then, once you make your First Purchase, you can get a $40 Gold Coin Package, including 200,000 Gold Coins and Bonus 40 Sweeps Coins for just $20!
Make sure to use our link, however. Otherwise, we can’t guarantee the bonus will activate.