Chumba Casino is an online casino with a difference. Because it uses a sweepstakes-based system, it stays on the legal side of online gambling regulations in the US and thus allows American and Canadian players to register and play.
You can also get $2 in the equivalent of real money, just for signing up.
Chumba’s collection of slots and table games can be played on its website or through its Facebook app. They can also be played in two different ways — with virtual Gold Coins, or Chumba’s Sweeps cash. Sweeps money cannot be bought outright, but is instead obtained through a range of methods which we will run through later.
The important factor here though is that Sweeps cash can be exchanged for real US dollars.
Chumba Casino Promo Code – $2 Free Sweeps
New players who register their first Chumba Casino account are gifted 2 million Gold Coins and 200 Sweepstakes cash, also known as Sweeps. Because one Sweepstakes dollar equals a penny, this works out to a $2 real-money bonus.
After guests receive their welcome bonus, another exclusive offer is triggered: players can purchase 900,000 Gold Coins for a reduced price of $5. The main deal here is the 1,000 Sweeps (equal to $10 real money) Chumba packages with the Coins. This is a one-time offer that can only be claimed by new members – subsequent purchases of the same package will cost $10.
Only the Sweeps portions of these bonuses are worth real money. The Gold Coins are just for fun play.
Can players from California play at Chumba Casino?
Of course – this is one of the key attractions of Chumba Casino, and why they developed their Sweeps system. Chumba guarantees they are ‘fully compliant with all local laws’ in the US, so California players can jump into Chumba Casino without any worries.
Chumba Casino software & registration process
Registering at Chumba Casino is smooth and convenient. It took us less than two minutes to enter our details, claim the welcome offer, and start playing. Of course, identification must be submitted as part of the confirmation process before withdrawing any converted Sweeps cash as real money. However, this does not take too long in our experience.
Overall, it is incredibly easy to jump into Chumba’s games. We received a confirmation email, we clicked it, and we were in. It’s also possible to register by signing in with an existing Facebook account, in which case the process is even faster.
Chumba’s desktop website has a great user experience and is smartly designed to be intuitive and responsive. All their games were easily accessible from one page, with a scrolling list of icons to look through.
Although they lack a dedicated mobile app, the Chumba Facebook app can be accessed from their Facebook fan page, and the browser-based lobby is cleanly optimized for smaller screens. Users of iPads, Android Phones, Kindles and any other device with a mobile browser can easily play Chumba’s games without glitches, crashes or other UX kinks.
There were a few negatives, but nothing too major. Forcing players into landscape mode on some devices wasn’t great, but it was hardly a game-breaking feature. Also, although they lack a search function, this didn’t concern us too much as Chumba’s game collection isn’t big enough to get lost in.
How Chumba differs from other online casinos
Chumba is what’s called a social casino. This is because players don’t play with real money, but instead use Gold Coins or Sweesptakes cash. Gold Coins are used for fun play — they cannot be exchanged for real money prizes. The Sweepstakes cash, on the other hand, can be traded for real dollars at a rate of one $weeps to $0.01.
Because Sweeps cash cannot be bought and is instead given away for free with Gold Coins or in competitions, Sweeps bets do not qualify as real money wagers.
With this in mind, there are three ways to obtain $weeps cash at Chumba: as a free bonus on top of Gold Coins purchases; through Facebook competitions; via mail order.
The first option, and probably the most convenient, is to purchase Gold Coins – and get Sweepstakes cash thrown in for free. The standard price is $10 for 900,000 Gold Coins, which come bundled with 1,000 $weeps (equal to $10) for free.
Chumba’s Facebook competitions are run daily and offer 10 to 12 people an opportunity to win 5000 in Sweepstake cash. This works out to 50 real US dollars. Considering 100 to 200 people entered each time we looked at their Facebook page, the odds are not too bad for now — especially since entry is easy and completely free; all you have to do to enter is to answer one simple question in the Facebook comment box for the competition post.
See the site for details about mail orders.
Chumba Casino game selection
To be frank, Chumba doesn’t have the biggest game selection. However, the games it does host are quality proprietary titles and are produced in-house by Chumba’s parent company VGW holdings. This is another thing that’s unique about this casino.
Also, one of Chumba’s selling propositions is the ability to play all games for free. The two million Gold Coins (GC) players get on sign-up can go far, considering the minimum bets on their games can be as low as 10 GCs.
As of writing this review, there were 36 games available in Chumba Casino’s collection. This may not be a lot compared to the extensive selections offered by some online casinos, but Chumba’s main draw is obviously the ability for US players to gamble legally with real money prizes. Also, the fact that they use exclusive games is an added bonus.
Some of the 36 games players can choose from include:
- The Great Slottini
- Golden Wish
- Gem Huntress
- The Frozen Queen
- Triple Double Golden Stars
- Jacks or Better
Most of these games — 34 of them — are slots titles. Just two are card-based or tables games – a Jacks or Better video poker game with a bad RTP (less than 98 percent) and a single variety of blackjack.
Minimum bets are set at one Sweepstakes cash, or $0.01 in real money. They go up as high as $50 per hand at the cards tables, or $25 per spin at the slots.
Exclusive to the Chumba Casino website, and not on their Facebook platform, are their two progressive jackpot slots games: The Big Goreela and Duskmoon Faire. These two can see jackpots into the tens of thousands of dollars and additionally feature smaller secondary prizes.
Although Chumba may not have the big-budget licenses and flashy aesthetics that larger casinos enjoy, their games are highly engaging and can potentially win players some decent money.
All Chumba’s games worked perfectly on mobile too, even when we tested them on an older device. The full-screen slots titles look great, with clarity and depth even on a budget screen. They are certainly less graphically intense than those from bigger casino game developers, but in some cases that can be an advantage.
Chumba Casino’s bonuses, promotions & VIP Programs
Chumba’s only promotions (outside of the welcome bonus) are the daily competitions they run on Facebook, which we have previously mentioned. Each has ten winners, picked from the people who posted the right answer to their question in the Facebook comment box. The questions are never particularly difficult and the correct answers can be Googled or copied from other people’s public answers.
Lastly, Chumba does not offer any kind of VIP or reward program as far as we could see. This is unfortunate when compared with the rewards and comps available at many other online casinos, but also not entirely unexpected considering the nature of Chumba’s business model.
Banking at Chumba Casino
Players have three banking choices at Chumba Casino:
Chumba players who play via the Facebook app can use Facebook’s own payment options to purchase Gold Coins and obtain free Sweepstakes cash. These banking methods are explained by Facebook. Banking with Facebook is almost guaranteed to be extremely secure, so no problems on this front.
The other option is to buy Gold Coins through Chumba Casino’s website using an accepted credit card.
Both methods allow players to purchase gold coins in $10 increments. No real cash is stored in a casino wallet at Chumba.
The minimum withdrawal of real cash is $100 in real money. The submission of identification documents will be required before any withdrawal can be processed. Chumba will then send a ten-digit pin to the relevant e-mail address, which customers must keep note of and use for all future withdrawals.
Cash-outs at Chumba can take up to five business days. Considering PayPal processes transactions instantly at many online casinos — this is quite a wait.
Lastly, there are a few banking differences between Chumba Casino Play (the Facebook app) and Chumba Online Casino (the browser-based platform). Chumba Play limits the free Sweeps bonus to the first $300 in real-money bundle purchases made in a given month. The minimum withdrawal through the Facebook application is also much higher, currently at $400.
New purchase option
Chumba has partnered with the online wallet Skrill to offer another option for Gold Coin purchases and to redeem $weeps Cash! Skrill is specifically designed to work with mobile and in-game payments. Customers can still use all current payment options, Skrill is just an alternative. In the meantime, over the coming months, Chumba will continue to add more games, features, and fun.
Chumba Casino offers three customer support channels:
- Customer Support Portal, run by ZenDesk
Chumba’s e-mail is [email protected]
Chumba’s Facebook page is popular and frequented by support staff on a daily basis. Their Facebook posts often get hundreds of reactions and comments, especially the competitions. Their posts can be sociable too, offering customers a chance to interact with other gamblers. In practical terms, players can also publicly ask any questions here and receive a quick response.
Lastly, Chumba’s customer support portal has a top range of FAQ answers and guides, covering a lot of questions players may have. We were pleasantly surprised by how comprehensive this section was.
Customers can also request a support ticket on this platform, with the option to attach documents. Players who are worried about their gambling can also choose to limit their account activities here, including activating one-week exclusions, setting individual deposit and wagering thresholds, and applying play time restrictions. You can also choose to close your account entirely.
What would we change about Chumba Casino?
We would add some kind of loyalty program (in Sweeps) as an extra way of obtaining them and a reward for regular customers. We would also look to increase the number of table games available — roulette being a glaring omission currently. We would also like to see a few more video poker games, particularly ones with better pay tables.
Live chat is also a great feature to have from a customer perspective, as it is by far the quickest way to solve a problem. Live chat isn’t difficult to add in today’s online gambling climate, so we wouldn’t be surprised if Chumba looks into this in the future. At the moment, customers can use Facebook chat to talk to Chumba, but they referred us to email support when we used it.
Who owns Chumba Casino?
Chumba is owned and operated by VGW (Virtual Gaming Worlds), an Australian company founded in 2010. VGW also owns Global Poker, which is another sweepstakes-based platform that accepts US-based players.