Best Social Casino Websites

Chicago Tribune
Best Social Casino Websites
Super Slots

Illinois lawmakers voted in favor of legalizing sports betting in 2020, but iGaming legislation has met with more resistance. Several iGaming bills failed in Illinois in 2021, and again in 2023. Internet gambling may not be legal in Illinois just yet, but sweepstakes casinos, also called social casinos, are permitted to operate and accept action online in all but two states. Keep reading for the Chicago Tribune’s ranking of the best sweepstakes casino sites for 2023.

A growing number of players are turning to social casinos as an alternative to real money online sites. Instead of using cash, players in a social casino wager with virtual currency that has no monetary value. Playing casino games isn’t even classified as gambling when it’s done in a social casino. Even so, many social casinos offer players the chance to win real money.

Of course, social casinos are in the business of making money. So they offer the option to purchase Gold Coins (GC), good for entertainment only. You’re never required to deposit money or purchase coins to play in a social casino. Although in some casinos, all but a handful of games are locked. As a player levels up through gameplay and coin store purchases, the locks start coming off. Most casinos offer free Sweepstakes Coins (SC) as an add-on when buying GC, for opting into bonuses and requesting them by mail.

They comply with the terms of the US Internet gambling ban because on social casinos, real money is never required to play. Social casinos operate on a dual currency, typically called GC and SC. As an alternative, some casinos define value in terms of points, credits or branded currency like WOW Coins at WOW Vegas Casino.

GC has no monetary value and cannot be redeemed for cash or prizes. They exist purely for entertainment value. On the contrary, all you need is a little luck to turn a profit wagering with SC. At many social casinos, when you play with these premium coins, your winnings can be redeemed for cash at an exchange rate of one SC for $1. It’s not hard to accumulate bonus SC, but they can’t be bought.

Players only need to be 18+ in most states as opposed to the legal age requirement of 21+ for traditional online casinos in NJ, PA, MI, DE, CT, WV & RI in 2024.

Before the development of social casinos, US residents had limited access to online gambling. Today, only six states offer online gambling, with Rhode Island coming soon. A different story, social casinos are legal in 48 states. The two remaining holdouts are Washington and Idaho.

When you sign up for a social casino site, you will be awarded two types of virtual currency. Gold Coins (GC) are just for fun, while winnings from Sweepstakes Coins (SC) can be traded for cash and gift cards on many social casinos.

The following section will examine the Tribune’s Top 5 Best Social Casino Apps available to players in Illinois:

1. Pulsz Casino

2. WOW Vegas Casino

3. Chumba Casino

4. Hard Rock Social Casino

5. Wind Creek Social Casino

Eclipsing the competition, Pulsz Online offers more than 750 social casino games. With only nine non-slot options, the casino is heavily weighted toward one-arm bandits. On the outside, there’s not much difference between Pulsz and a conventional online casino. While it doesn’t offer live social casino games, Pulsz carries many of the same titles as popular real money social casino apps, and follows the same format. The lack of distinction between Pulsz and a mainstream online casino is what catapulted Pulsz to the top of our list. Offering the best of both worlds, Pulsz provides most of the benefits of a conventional casino with the legal protection of a social casino.

Pulsz Casino provides a list of its top 10 slot games under the Top link on the menu bar. Games are judged on features including wild symbols, scatters, multipliers, bonus games, jackpots and free spins. You might want to check out number three on the list. When you play Madame Destiny Megaways, you can skip the base game and jump right to the bonus round. The top 10 slots on Pulsz Casino are as follows:

  • Cash Pig
  • Sun of Egypt 2
  • Madame Destiny Megaways
  • 15 Dragon Pearls
  • Hot Triple Sevens Special
  • Wolf Gold
  • Big Bass Bonanza
  • Joker’s Jewels
  • Hot to Burn
  • Black Wolf Hold and Win

Nearly identical to the desktop site, the Pulsz Casino App features many of the most popular games, on PC. The home screen is intuitive with games separated into 15 categories, some with clever names like Summer Sensations, Tumbling Reels and Epic Wins. You can download the app for iOS at the Apple App Store or for Android at Google Play. Pulsz Online Casino is legal in all US states aside from Washington, Nevada and Idaho.

  • New Games: Pulsz Casino features an impressive 59 new games and frequently updates its inventory. A few of the latest games to drop on the site include Unlimited Treasures, Spellbinding Mystery and Empire Gold: Hold and Win.
  • Dark Background: The screen changes from light to dark with the click of a mouse. Some claim a dark background makes it easier to read and provides relief from eye strain.

WOW Vegas Casino has hundreds of thousands of members, and new players are signing up at social casinos like this every day. And while it may have been passed over for first in our rankings, WOW Vegas Casino is second to none when it comes to promotions. Its over the top one-time Welcome Bonus consists of 30 SC and 1.5 million WOW Coins. The next day, a second bonus of 1.5 SCs and 2,500 WOW coins will drop into your account for completing your personal profile. On the third day, you’ll receive a final bonus of two SC and 1,000 WOW Coins.

While the WOW Vegas website is optimized for mobile, it’s the only casino on our list without a dedicated app. Owned and operated by WOW Entertainment Limited, WOW Vegas Casino is legal in all US states except Idaho, Nevada, and Washington. Since its 2021 launch, it has amassed more than 500 of today’s hottest casino games. You won’t find any table games on the site. WOW Vegas Casino is strictly slots.

WOW Vegas Casino boasts some of the most popular slots on the market created by BetSoft and Pragmatic Play. From pizza and hot peppers to magic crystals and spells, fans of themed slots will like what WOW Vegas Casino has to offer. Explore Ancient Egypt when you play Eye of Cleopatra, Fortune of Giza and Pyramid King. If a good return is your true desire, Caishens Cash and Caishens Gold slot games each offer a high 97.08% RTP.

  • Great Graphics: High-quality graphics and crisp animation take cutting-edge slots to the next level. WOW Vegas offers an intense, real-world gaming experience.
  • Well-Laid-Out Site: Your Wow Coin and SC balance are easy to see in the top right corner of your screen. At the top of the home page, a glossy promotional banner rotates left and right when you tap on the corresponding arrow.
  • Refer-A-Friend Bonus: Players get 20 SC and 5,000 WOW Coins for each qualified referral. You can refer up to 30 friends. So, get your unique referral code and start sending out invites.

Boasting more than a million registered users, Chumba Casino invests in marketing to continue attracting new players. To stay in the game on a social casino, players must amass free coins. We built up a modest bankroll on the site mainly by collecting daily log-in rewards. If you’re dreaming of a seven-figure payday, you’re in the right place. So far, Chumba Casino has turned three ordinary people into millionaires. The biggest jackpot went to a mother of three who won the Stampede Fury progressive worth $1.88 million.

The fastest way to accumulate massive amounts of GC is to win one of Chumba Casino’s 18 progressive jackpots. Payouts are astronomical, with one jackpot exceeding 738 billion GC. Even one of the smallest jackpots is worth 25 million GC. Every time a player deposits virtual coins into a progressive slot, the jackpot grows larger. The new prize amounts are instantly updated on-screen in real time.

With 165 games, Chumba’s size separates it from the first two casinos on our list. The self-proclaimed fastest-growing social casino is manageable for beginners who may find larger gambling sites intimidating. We chose Chumba Casino for our list because it has enough games to keep things fresh, but not so many that finding one is an ordeal. Catering almost exclusively to slot players, the only other games offered on Chumba are blackjack and video poker. For basic blackjack that pays 3:2 with a return-to-player (RTP) of 99.3%, consider trying Blackjack by Golden Rock Studios.

Well-liked by reviewers in the Google Play Store, The Chumba Casino Lite App is also available for download in the Apple App Store.

  • Big Winnings In 2021, Chumba’s parent company Virtual Gaming Worlds (VGW) paid its players $1.56 billion in cash and gift cards. Other VGW casinos include LuckyLand Slots and Global Poker.
  • Smooth Gaming Experience Operated by proprietary technology developed in-house by VGW, this powerful platform provides a fast and fluid gaming experience.
  • Legal in Nevada Legal in 48 states including Nevada. Not all social casinos are legal in the Silver State.

From guitar-shaped hotels and casinos to restaurants and all-inclusive resorts, the Hard Rock brand is famous worldwide. In 2018, leaders at Hard Rock set out to conquer the internet gambling market.

Spring would see the debut of two new online casinos. Launched a few months before Hard Rock’s real money online casino, Hard Rock Social Casino has been in commission for five years.

In that time, tons of players have discovered Hard Rock’s many positive qualities like low-cost coins, a daily wheel bonus and an overall effective web design. Images appear to jump off the screen starting on the home page. With wild animations enhanced by the right music and sound effects, slots on this social casino are off the charts. Crisp, colorful graphics and more than 250 games are just a few reasons Hard Rock Social Casino landed on our top-5 list.

Gold Coins (GC) are sold in packages with hearts, Hard Rock’s premium currency, added on as a bonus. The most popular package sells for $4.99 and includes 100,000 GC and 500 hearts. Packages range in price from $2.99 for 45,000 coins to $99.99 for 4.5 million coins. While they’re never required to spend money, it’s safe to assume players are purchasing coins because the social casino industry is on fire.

Hard Rock also has a highly rated app that can be downloaded in the Apple App and Google Play Stores. The social casino is legal in all US states excluding Idaho and Washington.

  • High-Limit Room: Offering 20 plus premium slots and table games, new players get one free hour in the high-limit room. Otherwise, you must either be an Icon Player’s Club member or pay to access the high-limit room. Paying to play costs between $2.99 for one day and 300 hearts, and $19.99 for 30 days and 2,000 hearts.
  • Easy to Navigate: To browse, tap on either arrow to display the next or previous group of eight games. To get to the coin store, players only need to look as far as the huge green button at the top of the screen with the word buy in all caps.
  • Bingo: Break out your lucky numbers, because Wizard Bingo, Book of Ra Bingo and Scratch & Go Bingo are available on Hard Rock Social Casino. The more cards you play, the better your chances of winning, within reason.

Already operating 10 land-based casinos with one on the way, Wind Creek Casino made a recent addition to its digital portfolio. Since its July 2022 launch, Wind Creek Social Casino has added more than 100 games to its inventory. Today, with more than 500 titles, Wind Creek can hold its own vs. nearly any of its peers. Impressive growth and innovative apps are just a few of the reasons we selected Wind Creek as one of our 5 best social casinos.

Players on Wind Creek Social Casino enjoy the benefits of a rewards program, and the only investment required is their time. They earn points and climb to higher loyalty levels by playing in any of Wind Creek’s Casinos. Included are Wind Creek’s Social and real money online casinos. With the right amount of points, players have access to Free Play and Match Play, hotel stays, airfare credit and more. The top tier is treated to a five-night stay for two at an all-inclusive resort. Rewards can be redeemed online and at Wind Creek locations in the U.S., the Caribbean, Aruba and Curaçao.

You can download the Wind Creek App along with the recently released Casinoverse App from the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Players can find hidden prizes, chat with friends and win rewards on the new fantasy gaming app. Escape from your everyday life when you fire up your mobile device and enter the immersive 3-D world called Casinoverse. You can play legally on the apps and the desktop site if you live anywhere in the US aside from Idaho and Washington.

  • Player Chat: A message board on the home page encourages player interaction.
  • Top Game Developers: Casino games designed by creative software providers including Everi, American Gaming Systems (AGS) and Red Rake Gaming.
  • Auctions: Players can bid online for such luxuries as a spa day, a manicure and pedicure or a massage. Hotel stay, food and Free Play at one of Wind Creek’s eight US land-based casinos have also been put on the auction block.

We took factors including payment methods accepted, customer service response and resolution and a great gaming experience into account when ranking the best social casino apps. We only considered sites that are licensed and fair, with arbitrary outcomes achieved by using a random number generator (RNG). Following, are some of the other criteria we used to select our 5 best social casino apps.

Cybersecurity is top priority for any licensed online casino. Reputable sites use SSL encryption to protect the privacy of their data.

Social casinos give away loads of free coins to new members. Existing members are eligible for Gold Coin contests and frequent giveaways on social media.

All but one of our chosen casinos come equipped with dedicated apps. At a time when the majority of users play games on mobile devices, a casino needs a powerful app to compete.

An online gaming platform earns high ranks if it offers a broad range of games from reputable software developers that are updated often.

A social casino’s game selection is easily one of the most important considerations when it comes to choosing an app or website. Only one currently offers live dealer games, and table games at social casinos are underwhelming. Almost at the expense of everything else, social casinos are committed to slots.

Inspired by fruit-themed slots in Las Vegas, Hot Triple Sevens Special by Evoplay features intense animation and a mesmerizing soundtrack. Switching genres, the recently released Fat Panda is the newest Asian-themed slot by Pragmatic Play.

The most popular table game in the casino, blackjack is offered at nearly every social casino. Aside from that, the table game section in social casinos is notoriously small.

Currently, the only social casino offering live dealer games is However, it should only be a matter of time before live social casino games are a common sight.

Here are a couple of key takeaways about the best social casinos in the US:

At first glance, a social casino looks like any other online casino in most ways. What makes a social casino unique is that all the games are free.

Yes! WOW Vegas and other social casinos allow players to redeem virtual coins for cash prizes, gift cards and merchandise. The going rate is $1 for one Sweepstakes Coin.

Yes! Not considered gambling, social casinos are legal in all US states except Idaho and Washington.

While a real money online casino makes the bulk of its money from player losses, a social casino doesn’t profit from the misfortune of its members. A large part of its revenue comes from the sale of digital currency, but no purchase is required to play.

Social casinos are oriented towards slots, offering hundreds of them and only three or four games of blackjack, baccarat and roulette. Visit Pulsz Casino to try a few more, like Classic Hilo and Texas Hold ‘em Poker.

The Chicago Tribune ranks Pulsz as the number one US social casino. WOW Vegas, Chumba Casino, Hard Rock Social Casino and Wind Creek Social Casino round out our 5 best social casino apps list.