Social casinos use innovative systems to allow New York residents and other US customers to play online casino games legally.
Chumba uses a combination of two virtual currencies, either of which can be used to play all of its games:
- Gold coins
- Sweeps Cash (SC)
Only the Sweeps Cash holds monetary value; however, players cannot purchase it directly. To receive free sweeps cash, players must instead buy packs of “gold coins,” enter social media competitions or send a letter via postal mail to Chumba Casino.
This allows US customers to play online casino games with the chance of getting real money down the road.
Chumba account holders can choose from a variety of proprietary slots titles, one blackjack table and one video poker machine.
This collection may not rival the biggest names in the NY gambling market. However, for US customers who don’t have many (or any) other legal options, Chumba offers a valuable service.
How does Chumba Casino work?
Chumba’s gold coins and Sweeps Cash system works because players can’t purchase sweeps outright, and gold coins are not exchangeable for cash.
Instead, customers obtain gold coins at a rate of $10 for 900,000 and receive $10 worth of sweeps cash for free. Players can also purchase gold coin-only packs at a reduced rate.
Customers can play Chumba games using gold coins and Sweeps Cash, and it’s easy to switch between the two.
Sweeps cash can be exchanged at a rate of 1:1 with US dollars after playing it through one time. The minimum cash-out is $100.
Because players can technically get small amounts of Sweeps Cash for free via the mail, it falls under sweepstakes law in the US.
Chumba states that it has worked with top US lawyers to ensure this system is legally watertight, and it has been running for nearly seven years without any legal problems as evidence.
Ways to play at Chumba Casino
Chumba does not provide an iOS or Android app, but its site design works smoothly and efficiently in almost any mobile browser as long as players enable Flash.
As modern online casinos go, Chumba isn’t particularly graphically intensive or heavy in features. As a result, it should work just as well on slightly older smartphones or tablets, too.
Potential Chumba customers can also sign up via Facebook in the apps and games section.
Chumba Casino game collection
Chumba features 45 different slots, one blackjack table and one video poker title.
The selection spans a diverse range of slot styles. From traditional three-reel, five-payline, vintage-style machines to special progressive jackpot, multiple bonus round titles, most slot fans should find something to keep them happy.
Another attraction is that all of Chumba’s games are uniquely developed in-house by VGW.
Just a few of these proprietary slots you won’t find anywhere else include:
- The Great Slottini
- The Big Goreela
- Chilli Mama’s
- Fortune of the Fae
Some of Chumba’s slots are similar to well-known titles from more prominent developers such as Bally and NetEnt. Others are more original and boast exciting features or visual styles, like tumbling reels and full-screen backgrounds.
Big-money progressives are available. Although these don’t reach the multimillion heights of some of the most popular games on the market, they regularly go up to hundreds of thousands of sweeps cash or SC.
Outside of slots, things are disappointing. Chumba offers one blackjack table and one video poker game. Fans of roulette, craps, baccarat or other casino floor classics won’t find their favorite games here.
Chumba’s blackjack table is a standard RNG (random number generator) European variant, offering 3:2 on blackjack. There are no side bets or splits, but players can still double down and purchase insurance.
Chumba’s only other non-slots game is jacks or better video poker. Players bet on the possibility of a poker hand from five dealt cards with the option to switch out any or all of them.
Bets start at SC $1 and go up to SC $5 per hand, with a maximum potential prize of SC $4,000 for pulling a royal flush on a maximum bet.
How do gold coins and Sweeps Cash work?
Players can buy gold coins using Visa or Mastercard. These are both internationally known and secure payment methods. Still, an e-wallet option such as PayPal or Neteller would be appreciated.
Chumba customers can purchase gold coins in packages of 900,000, which cost $10. The casino also throws in SC $10 for free.
New customers get their first purchase of 900,000 coins, and free sweeps cash, for $5.
Account holders can also visit Chumba’s Facebook page for regular competitions, which award anywhere between SC $5 and SC $30 to a dozen or more players at a time.
Typically, the competitions are easy to complete, such as identifying the difference between two images or by simply naming a favorite fizzy drink.
Lastly, US-based users can send a handwritten letter requesting SC $2 to:
VGW RMG Limited, Chumba Casino Sweepstakes Department, PO Box #8486, Portsmouth, NH 03801
However, this is the slowest method of obtaining sweeps cash. It could take up to 10 days or more, which depends on how far a player lives from New Hampshire.
Sadly, Chumba doesn’t run any promotions other than the once-per-customer welcome offer, nor are they likely to in the future.
Any deposit match or cash prize offer would not work with the dual-currency system that is required for Chumba to operate legally.
Customer support at Chumba
- ZenDesk help chat
- Social media, e.g., Facebook or Twitter
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ZenDesk help chat should be a player’s first port of call. Further email consultation may be necessary for complex queries.
Social media channels exist as a last resort, and a public question may be more likely to receive results. For most players, however, the first two options should be adequate.
Chumba offers decent on-site help and FAQ section. However, a few more detailed game guides would be useful, especially as most of Chumba’s titles are unique to their platform.
Chumba Casino legality
VGWs developed a unique system for Chumba Casino. Real cash prizes are entirely legal for players in New York as well as other places in the US where online gambling is restricted.
VGW also operate a poker room using the same system — Global Poker — and both sites have been running for years without encountering any legal issues.
The Malta Gaming Authority certifies VGW (and Chumba). This Mediterranean island nation is a center for online gambling in Europe, and the MGA is one of the continent’s most widely known and respected licensing organizations.