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Why Sweepstakes are So Popular With Sports Fans
Credit: Seth Hoffman - Unsplash

Sweepstakes sportsbooks, and casinos are a relatively new concept for the online betting industry, but they are taking the marketplace by storm and popularity is on the rise for these player-friendly sites. The concept began in the US with land-based sweepstakes cafes, but with the fast-moving digital world, they soon moved online to capture a wider audience. Our article takes a closer look at the concept of sweepstakes, why they are becoming so popular, how they work, and what’s in it for the player.

What are Sweepstakes?

The concept of sweepstakes may seem a little confusing to start with but it’s really quite simple once you get your head around it. The principal idea is that no purchase is necessary but real money rewards are up for grabs. For sports fans in particular, there is the chance to win team merch, sporting equipment, or tickets to watch the likes of Jake Allen in an NHL game.

Online Sweepstakes Sportsbooks

Online sweepstakes sportsbooks follow the same concept as above. Players are not required to deposit real money to begin wagering on sports. Instead, you use digital currency (Gold Coins) to receive rewards or exchange for real money once you meet the minimum threshold of Sweeps Coins, which is typically 50.

Gold Coins

Gold Coins are the primary currency used to make sports bets or play games. They hold no monetary value and cannot be withdrawn or redeemed for prizes. Gold Coins can be acquired through the welcome bonus or other regular promos and can also be purchased using real money.

Sweeps Coins

Sweeps Coins can also be used to play games or wager on sports; however, you may wish to hold on to these and use Gold Coins as your primary currency⎯with Sweeps Coins, you can redeem for prizes, cash, or even merchandise. Sweeps Coins cannot be purchased but can be received through wins, bonuses, social media contests, daily login rewards, weekly giveaways, or mail-in requests. 

Available Markets and Betting Options

Although the array of betting markets cannot compete with a traditional sports betting site, most sweepstakes sportsbooks still cover all of the major leagues and events, like the NFL, NBA, NHL, College Sports, International Basketball, Soccer, Tennis, UFC, Boxing, and Esports.

When it comes to betting options, sweepstakes sportsbooks offer popular choices aside from live betting, team futures, or player props. Here’s an overview of the betting choices available

  • Moneyline: wager on the winner of the game

  • Point Spreads: wager on the margin of victory in a game

  • Totals: wager on the total number of points scored in a game

  • Half Bets/Quarter Bets: wager on the outcome of the first half or quarter of the game only

  • Team Props: wager on a specific event, such as which team will score first

  • Parlays: multiple wagers combined into one, e.g. a Moneyline, Point Spread, and Total

Online Sweepstakes Casinos

Sweepstakes casinos work under the same premise as sweeps sportsbooks, with no real money deposits or purchases necessary to begin playing casino games. Admittedly, these free-to-play casinos cannot match the huge games libraries that are found at real money sites, but they do offer a versatile collection to include slots, table games, and video poker.

Many of the top iGaming software providers are behind the games collections found at sweepstakes casinos, including the likes of Pragmatic Play, Betsoft, and Relax Gaming. There are multiple genres to choose from and you can also find popular sweepstakes casinos for sports enthusiasts that offer a whole host of sporting-themed games.

Are Sweepstakes Sportsbooks/Casinos Legal in Canada?

Yes, sweepstakes sportsbooks and casinos are legal in Canada as there is no purchase or real money deposit necessary for users to access the site to play casino games or make free-to-play sports picks. Only virtual currency is available for the purpose of wagers, although players can receive real money prizes or redeem Sweeps Coins for cash. As such, sweepstakes operators can operate outside the traditional regulatory framework and are not required to have a gambling license.

Advantages of Sweepstakes Casinos and Sportsbooks

There are numerous reasons for the rise in popularity of sweepstakes casinos and sportsbooks, here are a few of the most prominent

  • Minimal Risk Involved: the beauty of joining a sweepstakes site is that you do not have to spend a dime to play casino games or to place a bet on your favourite sporting event. These platforms are free-to-play and virtual currency is awarded at sign-up.

  • Variety of Games: sweepstakes casinos offer a diverse range of casino games, from slots to table games, from scratch cards to video poker. These are often powered by top iGaming software providers and include recent releases and popular choices.

  • Variety of Sporting Markets: sweepstakes sportsbooks offer multiple markets to cover all major leagues and sporting events. Betting options are wide and include popular moneylines, totals, point spreads, parlays, and team props.

  • Real Money Prizes: once you have accumulated enough Sweeps Coins to redeem on-site, you can cash them in for real money, digital gift cards, merchandise, and more.

  • Widely Available: sweepstakes casinos and sportsbooks are widely available and not hindered by gambling laws as they operate outside the regulatory framework because no purchase is needed.

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