Best Online Casinos in California

California is lagging behind many other states in the US when it comes to legalizing online gambling. However, if you currently live in California and don’t want to drive down to one of the tribal casinos, you still have options for online gaming in the form of sweepstakes casino sites.

Basically, sweepstakes casino sites are totally legal in California even though regular online casinos are not. These sweepstakes sites offer fun casino action, allowing you to play with digital coins instead of real money. Once you’ve accumulated a certain number of Sweeps Coins, you can exchange them for cash prizes.

Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about sweepstakes casinos in California.

Best Online Casino Sites In California 2022

While California law is pretty anti-gambling in general, it does allow sweepstakes gaming. Online sweepstakes sites, of which three are especially impressive, can be enjoyed from anywhere within California borders. The three notable sites are Pulsz Casino, Chumba Casino, and LuckyLand Slots.

Online CasinoSign-up OfferPurchase Offer
Pulsz Casino2.30 Free Sweepstakes Coins on sign up15 Free Sweepstakes Coins + 16,125 Gold Coins when you spend $9.99
Chumba CasinoTwo free Sweeps Coins on sign up$30 Gold Coin package when you spend $10
Luckyland SlotsTen free Sweeps Coins on sign up10 Gold Coins when you spend $4.99
Funzpoints Casino250 Premium Funzpoints free$20 purchase-match bonus
Global Poker$20 in Gold Coins free$40 worth of Gold Coins for only $20 (200,000 Gold Coins)

Pulsz Casino and Chumba Casino have a huge selection of slots, and a few table games such as poker, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack. LuckyLand Slots, on the other hand, is best for exactly what its name says: slots. Both sites use Sweeps Coins and Gold Coins as currency for games. These social casinos are similar to Funzpoints, b spot, Pulsz, and Zitobox Slots which are all incredibly popular in California and throughout the rest of the US because of their excellent user interfaces and diverse game selections.

In a nutshell, sweepstakes casino sites are legal because players don’t put real money on the line. Instead, games are played with digital Sweeps or Gold Coins, which operate as online currencies without a real-world monetary equivalent.

What Are The Bonuses At Sweepstakes Casinos In California?

Most online casino sites like Pulsz, Chumba Casino, and LuckyLand Slots provide opening bonuses for new players to get people to try out their sites. All three of these sites also provide daily bonuses to encourage regular players to keep signing in. Thus, the opening bonuses here keep on giving. They aren’t one-and-done offerings only to draw in new players. Regular players also benefit.

Pulsz Casino will give you 1 Free Sweepstakes Coin daily when you log in, for starters. Chumba and LuckyLand will provide you with daily free Gold Coins. These are automatically placed into your account balance for use with whatever games you like. However, you only get these daily free coins once per day. You can’t log in multiple times per day to claim the daily bonus repeatedly, even if you swap between different devices.

Pulsz Casino awards 2.30 free Sweepstakes Coins just for signing up. Plus, when you buy a 16,125 Gold Coin package for $9.99 you will receive 15 free Sweepstakes Coins. You can get even more if you buy a $19.99 package. That gets you 38,250 Gold Coins and 30 free Sweepstakes Coins.

Chumba Casino offers an opening bonus of two free Sweeps Coins when you sign up for the site. Make an account, verify your information and you’ll get the free Sweeps Coins once you enter the site. Furthermore, it provides a $30 package of Gold Coins when you spend $10 on the site for Gold Coins.

LuckyLand Slots offers the same daily bonus, plus you get 10 free Sweeps Coins when you sign up. An additional 10 Sweeps Coins will be placed in your account when you spend $4.99 on other Gold Coins or merchandise.

Quick Guide To Sweepstakes Casinos In California

How Do Sweepstakes Casinos Work In California?

As mentioned, sweepstakes casinos work in California because they don’t actually require you to put any real money on the line. These games do not require that people play with anything of real-world value, so gaming with these sites is totally legal.

Players can play the various games on Pulsz Casino, Chumba Casino, LuckyLand Slots, and other online sweepstakes sites using two forms of virtual currencies.

The first currency is called Sweeps Coins or Sweepstakes Coins. This is a free digital currency and players can earn more coins from participating in challenges, signing up for free giveaways, or can get a bonus every day just for logging in. You can use these coins at games the same way you would real money at a brick-and-mortar casino. Plus, these Sweeps Coins can be redeemed for cash prizes.

Gold Coins are the second digital currency. Players can purchase packages of Gold Coins and use these at the various games on any sweepstakes site. They have no exchangeable value so they are not redeemable for cash prizes. Many times, online sweepstakes sites provide players with extra Sweeps Coins when they spend money on Gold Coin packages or bundles.

How Do You Win Cash Prizes By Playing Online?

Most sweepstakes casinos work by giving you free Sweeps Coins at a proportionately smaller rate than the Gold Coins you can purchase. You cannot exchange Gold Coins for cash prizes, but you can use them to play casino games.

However, players can use their Sweeps Coins and win online casino-style games. Those Sweeps Coins can later be redeemed for monetary prizes. Since players don’t get nearly as many Sweeps Coins as they can get Gold Coins, sweepstakes casinos don’t usually offer the opportunity to win as big in most cases compared to other online casinos.

Still, these sites are a good alternative if you want to play online casino games but aren’t allowed to in your state because of anti-gambling legislation.

How Do You Access Sweepstakes Casino Sites In California?

In California, players can access Pulsz casino and LuckyLand Slots on a desktop, mobile web browser, and a dedicated Android app. Chumba Casino, on the other hand, is available through a normal web browser but is mobile-friendly. So you can play Chumba Casino on your phone without needing to download an app.

All of these sites and apps operate 24/7 and provide browser and mobile-friendly interfaces for your device.

How Do Purchases Work At California’s Sweepstakes Casino Sites?

You are required to provide some banking information to sign up for both major sweepstakes sites, and you’re required to provide your email to get Sweeps Coins for free. Pulsz Casino makes it incredibly easy to purchase Gold Coins.

You normally purchase Gold Coins in bundles for real-world cash values. For instance, $4.99 worth of Gold Coins could be several thousand, allowing you to play multiple games over the course of a day before needing to buy more.

What Are The Sweepstakes Casino Purchase And Redemption Options?

Sites like Pulsz Casino and Chumba Casino offer two main ways for Californians to purchase Gold Coins (remember, you can’t purchase Sweepstakes / Sweeps Coins). The main version involves opening the browser website or mobile app and purchasing Gold Coins directly in packages. For instance, with Pulsz’s new signup offer, purchasing $19.99 worth of Gold Coins will get you 38,250 Gold Coins to play with, plus 30 free Sweepstakes Coins that you could possibly redeem for cash prizes later.

Redeeming for cash prizes is only an option if you win with Sweepstakes Coins on one of the games you decide to play. In this case, sweepstakes sites like Pulsz and Chumba offer you the opportunity to exchange your Sweepstakes Coins for cash prizes. The prizes are wired to an attached bank account and should show up within three to four business days.

What Is The Difference Between Sweepstakes Casinos And Online Casino Sites?

The primary difference between sweepstakes casino sites and regular online casino sites is the replacement of real-world money with digital currencies that cannot normally be exchanged for cash.

Online sweepstakes casino sites use Sweepstakes Coins, which can be exchanged for cash sweeps prizes. These are not handed out that frequently compared to their main Gold Coin currency, so it’s rare for players to win big on these sites.

Sweepstakes casino sites are more often used as recreational gaming activities for people who like these types of games but don’t necessarily want to put real-world cash on the line. They’re also a good gaming alternative for people who live in states like California, where it’s difficult to enjoy casino activities outside of tribal casinos.

Online casino sites, in contrast, use real-world money for gambling activities. California may yet eventually legalize online gambling to the same extent as states like Pennsylvania. However, such a development is likely still quite far off.

In terms of available games, you won’t be able to find much of a difference between sweepstakes casino sites and traditional casino sites except in terms of variety. Pulsz Casino and Chumba Casino both have good catalogs of games. But most traditional casino sites offer more games simply by virtue of there being more real money slots and digital casino games in general. California residents can play slots, table games like blackjack, and many more online on these “social casino” sweepstakes sites.

Beyond those major differences, things are pretty similar. Signup processes are the same, as are the opening bonuses to attract new players.

Status Of Online Gambling In California

In California, online gambling is fairly limited, despite there being many in-person gambling activities throughout the state. At the time of this writing, it’s legal to gamble at racetracks, visit tribal casinos, enjoy legal poker card rooms, and play the lottery.

However, online gambling lags behind. To date, California does not have any legal online gambling save for horse racing and daily fantasy sports. The former is mostly because of California’s rich horse racing history while the latter is because daily fantasy sports technically counts as an activity of skill or strategy instead of chance (and thus is not considered gambling).

Sweepstakes casino and gaming sites like Pulsz and Chumba represent an excellent alternative, as do sweepstakes poker sites like Global Poker.

Is It Safe To Use Sweepstakes Casinos In California?

Are Sweepstakes Sites Legal In California?

Yes. Sweepstakes sites are completely legal to use in California because they do not violate the letter of the law. They do not require that users play with real-world money, and the currency you play with does not hold any real-world value.

Both Pulsz and Chumba, the two most popular sweepstakes sites in California, use 100 percent legal sweepstakes models to avoid incurring any fines.

Is My Information Safe On Sweepstakes Apps In California?

Yes. The above-recommended sweepstakes sites use security software and well-developed online sweepstakes platforms to ensure that player banking and financial information are not vulnerable to hacking attacks. Furthermore, both organizations are well regulated by the California Gambling Control Commission (CGCC).

The CGCC oversees sites like Pulsz Casino and Chumba Casino. It keeps a close eye on their activities and ensures that they follow regulations to the letter. They are also available to take complaints if any user ever has a problem with either site.

What Are The Types Of Games Available At California’s Sweepstakes Casinos?

Pulsz Casino

Pulsz Casino holds the top spot among sweepstakes casinos in the country. It not only has one of the best signup offers that give away Sweepstakes Coins to new players. It also has more than 200 slots and many table games to choose from.

Pulsz adds new games all the time so it’s impossible to get bored playing with this social casino. Colossal Cash Zone Triple 7s, Budai Reels, 5 Lions Megaways, and Voodoo Magic are some of the recent slots it has added for California players. It also has a strong selection of jackpot slots, which give you the opportunity to win huge. With games like Egyptian Dreams Deluxe for example, the top prize is 375,000 Sweepstakes Coins.

For California residents who are fans of online table games, Pulsz has something for them too. Pick from Pulsz blackjack, roulette, casino hold’em, and baccarat.

Chumba Casino

Chumba Casino currently offers over 70 titles. Similar to Pulsz, this site provides a large variety of online casino games, including several casino titles that you can’t find at traditional casino sites. It also includes table games.

Specifically, there are three card-based games. Blackjack and Jacks or Better video poker were its main offerings before, although it recently added roulette. The other games are all slots.

Most of the slot games have spin/plays that start with the values of 250 Gold Coins, although you can find other high-stakes slots that go up to 1 million Gold Coins or 100 Sweeps Coins per hand or spin. The highest slot games demand 50 Sweeps Coins or five million Gold Coins.

Players can find three progressive Jackpot slots at Chumba Casino, including Triple Double Fever, Reelin N Rockin, and Stampede Fury. These are potentially worth cash prize redemptions of up to $1 million if you win with Sweeps Coins instead of Gold Coins.

The biggest draw to Chumba’s online slot offerings is that the games are designed in-house, so you won’t be able to play them anywhere else. This is particularly nice for online casino enthusiasts who might eventually get bored with seeing the same online slots everywhere.

LuckyLand Slots

LuckyLand Slots is the sister site to Chumba Casino, and both websites are run by the same parent company. Despite this similarity in organization and oversight, LuckyLand provides over 30 unique slot games that you cannot find anywhere else. As a result, it’s very worthwhile to sign up for both websites since you’ll get different gaming experiences at each location.

Most of the slots use established casino themes, so the majority of the games feel familiar even if they are technically totally new. This is a positive, overall, because new players will get the hang of how games play and feel fairly quickly. 

Some of the slots titles include:

  • King of the Jungle
  • Mayan Gold
  • Pirates Bounty
  • Buffalo Rush
  • Dragon’s Den
  • Fashion Frenzy
  • Enchanted Fairy

Even better, the majority of LuckyLand’s slot games feature great 3D graphics and flashy animations. The resulting gameplay is enjoyable and interesting, even to online slot gaming veterans.

LuckyLand does provide some progressive jackpots as well for potentially huge redeemable sweeps prizes. For instance, Neon Valley is a progressive slot that can go as high as 177,000 Sweeps Coins.

In addition to the range of slot games offered here, players will also be able to enjoy some instant win and scratcher games. However, LuckyLand does not offer any video poker or table games and has not indicated any plans to provide these games in the future.

Funzpoints Casino

Funzpoints is a great sweepstakes casino as well, with a fun, bright layout and dozens of slot games to choose from. There’s also Keno, the popular lottery-like gambling game. The best part about Funzpoints is that players have the chance to win cash prizes as well as tickets towards a daily jackpot drawing by playing any of the games.

There are two types of play with Funzpoints, Standard, and Premium. Standard can be compared to playing with Gold Coins, and Premium is like playing with Sweepstakes Coins. With Funzpoints, Standard mode is good for free play, and casual players can use this mode on several of their slot games. In standard mode, the minimum to play is 8 points, while a raffle ticket for the Daily Jackpot costs 500 points. Funzpoints is a sweepstakes casino that is legal in California because the Daily Jackpot does not involve any kind of purchase.

Despite this, you can still win cash prizes in a couple of ways. The first is to play and win the games using Premium Funzpoints. Winning credits can be exchanged for a cash prize. To redeem there is a minimum of 2,000 credits for a $20 cash prize. The second way to win is by winning the Daily Jackpot Drawing. You can earn entries for the daily prize drawing by playing games with Standard Funzpoints or Premium Funzpoints.

Global Poker

If you want to play online poker in California with the chance to win cash prizes, you’re in luck. Global Poker is the largest sweepstakes poker site in the United States that you can play online in California. In terms of traffic, it has some of the highest in the industry. It provides players with a genuine online poker experience, with games running around the clock.

Global Poker does not have games on the platform that you play for cash. The games are separated into two categories: Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins. Sweeps Coins games are sweepstakes competitions with the chance to win cash prizes, whereas Gold Coins games are play money games.

Here are some of the site’s most popular offerings for California poker fans:

  • No-Limit Hold’em
  • Pot-Limit Omaha
  • Ring games
  • Poker Tournaments
  • Jackpot Sit’n’Gos

While Global Poker is not available as an app, you can play on a desktop browser and on your mobile phone browser too.

California Sweepstakes Casinos FAQ

Can I win cash prizes on sweepstakes sites?

Yes. Using Sweepstakes, Sweeps Coins, or any of the digital currencies available on these sites, you can play slots or other types of games. When you accumulate Coins as you win games, you can redeem these Coins for a cash prize. You can make the exchange through the sweepstakes casino website, and the money will be wired to your bank account within a few business days.

How old do I have to be to play at sweepstakes casino sites in California?

You have to be 18-years-old to play at sweepstakes casino sites within the state. This is the age at which a person becomes a legal adult and can provide personal identifying information on their own.

Do California’s sweepstakes sites have progressive jackpots?

Yes. Pulsz, Chumba, LuckyLand, and other sweepstakes online casinos in California offer progressive jackpots. These progressive jackpots are built up using Sweepstakes/Sweeps Coins instead of real coins so that they’re eventually redeemable by a player for a cash prize. In some cases, the cash prizes can get up to over $1 million in value.

This is one of the few ways where sweepstakes casino players can win “big” compared to players of regular online casinos.

What other sites operate on a sweepstakes model?

One of the other biggest sweepstakes gaming sites is Global Poker. This is the best sweepstakes poker site if your state doesn’t allow legal online gambling. It’s a very viable alternative to regular poker rooms.

There’s also FunzPoints, a new sweepstakes casino available in California. It offers slots games. “Standard FunzPoints” are used in place of Gold Coins and “Premium FunzPoints” in place of Sweeps Coins.

Do sweepstakes casinos have live dealer games?

No. While there’s nothing explicitly forbidding live dealer games with sweepstakes casinos, you can currently only find these games at regular online casino sites that allow wagering with real money. Since California doesn’t allow these sites anyway, you also won’t find live dealer games legally accessible online in the state. 

How many slots does Pulsz Casino offer?

There are currently over 200 slot games at Pulsz Casino. It also offers card-based table games for players to choose from. Pulsz comes out with new slot games often. Sites like Chumba Casino that design their games-in house release less frequently the games that it does produce are generally high quality and either feature excellent graphics or are built on well-tested slot game designs and themes.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of California Casinos. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.