Few industries are growing as rapidly as the online gambling industry. From online extensions of traditional, land-based casinos to wholly internet-based operators, there is something for almost everyone. One of the most interesting options players can explore, even in states where traditional gambling isn’t allowed, is sweepstakes casinos.

Some of these casinos do offer a “bonus” currency that players can purchase using, say, American Express, but not buying this currency won’t take away players’ opportunity to win. Sweepstakes casinos are a casual, real-money-free alternative to more standard online casinos.

This article will explore sweepstakes casinos, why they are becoming more popular, and some trends and predictions about their future growth.

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What are sweepstakes casinos?

Also known as “social casinos”, sweepstakes casinos are built around the idea of “sweepstakes”. Historically, the term “sweepstakes” refers to content where prizes are awarded to random winners without the need to invest in them financially. The idea is that people who do not spend real money on these prizes are just as eligible to win as those who do.

Sweepstakes aren’t considered traditional “gambling” because players do not necessarily exchange real funds in exchange for prizes. Instead, they issue free on-site currency and sometimes host giveaways and sweepstakes that are not dependent on spending money to win.

Virtual reality

One of the biggest trends in gaming is virtual reality. The online gambling industry is no different, with sweepstakes casinos poised to add new technology to their already-impressive offerings. The goal is to create a casual online gaming experience while offering users an authentic in-person experience. You might not find stocked bars and live music at a sweepstakes casino, but you might find an appealing 3-D user interface offering revolutionary access to games like slots and jackpots.

All of this is in its infancy, of course, and the technology is not commonly used as of the time of writing this. But it is certainly an interesting prediction for future growth, and we’re excited to see it come to fruition.

Mobile gaming

Mobile gaming has experienced incredible growth over the past few years. In 2022, the market was responsible for nearly 50% of gaming revenue around the world. This is expected to continue in 2023 and beyond, with predictions placing the industry on track to earn more than $100 billion by the end of the year. As you might imagine, this quick and widespread adoption is leading to the rise of a new gaming market demanding new gaming conveniences. No longer are most gamers tied to a computer or a console. Today’s gamers are increasingly playing on their handheld devices on the go, and they expect developers to account for their needs.

With this in mind, it should come as no surprise that one of the biggest trends in online sweepstakes gambling is mobile gaming. While some operators have already delivered this gaming method to their customers, the majority have not yet optimized their offerings for a mobile-only crowd. Instead, they rely on “mobile-friendly” websites that can technically be used from mobile devices but are not designed with mobile gamers in mind. This lackluster player experience is no longer enough for many users, and sweepstakes operators are responding with newly designed mobile apps. Their goal is to capture the mobile market and keep it interested in the long run. We predict this trend will continue in the coming years, with many providers offering a gambling experience native to mobile devices.

Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a hot topic around the world. The opportunities for AI integration in many industries are high, and the addition of this kind of technology is projected to make the lives of the people experiencing it, such as patients seeking help for routine ailments, easier. While it might not seem like an obvious fit, AI is poised to become a new addition to online casinos, including sweepstakes casinos. There are a few reasons providers are turning increasingly to AI when looking into evolving their current player offerings.

First, AI can be used to prevent and detect cheating and fraud. This is good for operators and players as it helps keep the online casino safe and fair for everyone. If players can “game the system” via fraud and/or cheating, players who are not doing either have a significantly lower chance of winning. AI can help analyze activity and detect problems before they impact other players. This technology can also be used to personalize games to each player’s playstyle and preferences. Note that this is a bit harder to do at online sweepstakes casinos, however, because slots must be standardized to offer players the same chances of winning. Still, the opportunity for a bit of personalization exists with some finesse and testing.

Live dealer games

Live dealer games have always been popular among casino players but not necessarily among new players. The number of people playing slots has been higher for quite a while, with one recent survey (PDF) finding that 32% of American adults claimed to have played a slot machine while only 23% wagered on card games. Only 13% claimed to have played roulette, and roughly the same number claimed to have played craps and similar dice games. The numbers sound pretty dire, right? You might wonder why we’re bringing up live dealer titles at all.

The popularity of live dealer titles has steadily increased over the past few years. Many traditional casinos have already taken notice of this, increasing the number of table games they offer to satisfy increased demand. We think that sweepstakes casinos will follow soon. A few already offer live titles, but we think the percentage of casinos offering them in a few years will be significantly higher than that.

Are you interested in learning more about the future of sweepstakes casinos? The sky is the limit when it comes to this kind of casino operator. Keep our predictions in mind as you search for the right fit for you!