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Chumba Casino: Sweepstakes Wins or Sweep Your Cash Away?

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Chumba Casino Brags and Beats

  • USA and Canada welcome (except Washington State and Quebec) USA Tiny Flag CAN Tiny Flag
  • Licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority
  • Free and real money play
  • Questionable sweepstakes business model
  • Fewer than 70 games
  • No Live Chat
  • No practice play without account registration
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Chumba Casino Deposit Options

Visa
MasterCard
American Express
Skrill

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Chumba Casino promotes itself as a social gaming hangout that uses, together with its sister site Global Poker, a novel way of letting people from all over the world, including the USA and Canada, play online slots, Blackjack, and Poker. This is reason enough for us to take a closer look at their Sweepstakes model to ascertain whether this is a legit online casino or a scheme to get unsuspecting players to part with their money without any chance of winning any real prizes.

A quick inspection tells us that, just like Global Poker, Chumba Casino is owned and operated by Virtual Gaming Worlds Limited, or VGW, duly licensed by none other than the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which is a respected jurisdiction in iGaming.

Usually, casinos operating under the umbrella of the MGA are not allowed to accept US players, but because Chumba’s sweepstakes model does not make it a straight-up casino in the normal sense, it looks like the MGA has given the operator the nod. We will take a closer look at that later in the review as the casino has a small caveat in its terms that every player outside the US or Canada should take note of before signing up.

Chumba Casino Home Page Website of Chumba Casino

Chumba Casino Review

Signing up at Chumba Casino is done in seconds as they do not ask for full address or verification until you submit your first withdrawal. They accept players from the USA, except Washington, and Canada, except Quebec, as well as most other countries: excluding Sweden, the United Kingdom, parts of Australia, Spain, and Italy.

The front page of the casino naturally shows happy winners alongside the news that they have over 1 million U.S. players enjoying their 60+ slots and table games with a total of $90 million in cash prizes redeemed.

Welcome Bonus

All new players will be welcomed with 2,000,000 Gold Coins and $2 in Sweeps Coins. No deposit is needed to receive both amounts, and you can instantly start playing any game with either – more to the difference between the two casino currencies in a short while. U.S. and Canadian players can get more free Sweeps Coins by writing a letter to the registered address of Chumba Casino.

Sweepstakes Business Model

If you have tried Global Poker, then you will have a good idea of how Chumba Casino’s business model works for US players. If not, make sure to read through our detailed Global Poker review to fully understand how the casino is working around the online gaming ban in the United States yet still offers what they claim is a legal product. Please note though that “legal” does not necessarily mean “recommended.”

The founders of VWG and probably a whole host of lawyers found not-insignificant loopholes in U.S. anti-gambling laws for sweepstakes contests, which explains why the casino promotes itself as a social gaming destination. Sweepstakes are legal in 50 U.S. states and are thus the core part how Chumba Casino operates. It is in essence an online casino hiding in plain sight but counts legally (or so the company hopes) as a sweepstakes operation.

Starting to play in any other online casino normally works in a few simple steps – create and verify account, deposit funds, play, and withdraw if you have been lucky. It is totally different at Chumba Casino.

After opening an account, you can purchase set amounts of Gold Coins starting as low as $1. These can be used to play the games in fun mode and even compete against fellow punters to win Gold Coin prizes as in a more traditional sweepstakes contest.

Gold Coins Packages Packages of Gold Coins + Sweeps Coins Available at Chumba

However, up to this moment, you are still not playing real money games. That is done using Sweeps Coins. You will get them as a free bonus on top of your Gold Coins when you deposit at least $5. An equal amount plus a small percentage on top will be credited to your Sweeps Coins balance, e.g., 20.50 in Sweeps Coins for a $20 deposit.

Once your transaction is completed, you can load a game and switch between Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins before every spin, hand or round. Please note: Spending $1 or $10 won’t get you any Sweeps Coins, basically giving you fun money which you will never be able to convert back to cash.

WARNING: Players living outside the United States or Canada cannot change their Sweep Coins for real cash that can then be withdrawn. The casino is thus a normal social gaming site for those players, and they can simply enjoy the games for fun. Just remember that should you fall into this category and decide to deposit real money, you will never be able to withdraw any potential winnings.

Chumba Casino Warning Read This Notice Carefully If You Reside Outside the United States and Canada

Games at Chumba Casino

Agent Valkyrie
Alaskan Fortune
Aztec Wealth
Big Boss
Blackbeard's Saga
Blackjack
Bombshell Jackpot
Celtic Goddess
Classic Spins
Crazy Bunny Spin
Cupid's Fortune
Cupid's Revenge
Diamond Panther
Doctor Voltage
Dragon's River
Duskmoon Faire
Duskmoon Faire Jackpot
Fish & Chips Fortunes
Fortunes of the Fae
Garden Princess
Gem Huntress
Golden Wish
Gustavo El Luchador
Hallows Wilds
Hansel & Gretel's Fortune
Iron Reels
Jacks or Better
King of Gods
Kitty Glamour
Lightning Nudge Wild
Long Zhi Bao Zang
Lucky Charms
Mama's Chilli
Mayan Bounty
Medusa's Golden Gaze
Monsoon Dragons
Monster Spins
Nefertiti's Gold
Outerspace Invaders
Pax Romana
Pearls of Fortune
Pharaoh's Return
Pug Royale
Reelberry Blast
Reelin n' Rockin
Safari Selfies
Samureel
Santa's Riches
Secret Island
Spell of Odin
Spooky Reels
Squish
Stampede Fury
Super Dazzling 7s
Super Hot 7s
The Alchemist's Treasure
The Big Goreela
The Frozen Queen
The Great Slotini
The Wild Jungle
Triple Double Fever
Triple Double Golden Eagles
Viking Odyssey
Vikings of the North
Wild Fruits Basket
Wild Gold
Wild Roads
Wolf Dreaming

Chumba Casino offers a combined 60+ slots, Blackjack, and video poker games. The total amount of games in all sections is sub-par compared to other online casinos, which typically carry hundreds of gaming titles. The majority of Chumba’s games are proprietary VGW creations, but there are also a few from 2BY2 Gaming and Pear Fiction Studios.

Once you log into your account, a casino lobby-style interface loads with two displays for your Gold Coins and Sweeps Coins as well as the games list and a recent winners chart. From here you can pick any game to start playing.

There is little information available about their in-house games other than the RNG (Random Number Generator) was certified by iTechLabs, a respected entity for certification. However, the RNG is not exclusive to Chumba Casino or VGW and is used by other companies who need an RNG for their products. It is in no way a clear sign that the games are fair, only that the RNG is to a general standard.

Chumba Casino Games Lobby Chumba Casino Game Lobby

Slots

Having played at online casinos for over two decades, we have never come across any of the proprietary slots from Chumba Casino. They do look well-designed though, showing that some effort has been made in creating them.

There is a good selection available with different layouts, bonus features, and even progressives. Plus, the casino has added a few titles from 2BY2 Gaming, such as Medusa’s Golden Gaze, and Pear Fiction Studios with Gustavo El Luchador.

Stampede Fury Slot Stampede Fury – Proprietary VGW Slot

While we couldn’t see anything inherently wrong or dodgy when trying the proprietary games, it always makes us suspicious when a studio does not display return to player (RTP) or other information. We tested a few slots, and they seem to run normally although that might have been just simple coincidence.

Overall, we recommend playing with some caution should you ever want to give these slots a spin as there is no way whatsoever to find out if they run as advertised. Basically, play at your own peril.

Blackjack

We could find only one Blackjack title in the entire casino lobby, which is also a proprietary game developed by VGW themselves. It is a standard version of Blackjack with insurance and the dealer standing on all 17s. Again, there are no details about return to player rates or other information that would provide legitimacy to the game.

Blackjack Table at Chumba Casino Chumba Casino Blackjack

Video Poker

Poker fans can play Jacks or Better with either Gold Coins or Sweeps Coins. Simply switch between hands whenever you like. Unfortunately, it is also the only video poker game available at Chumba Casino.

Even if we credit Chumba with dealing honest cards and following a fair distribution, the paytable listed contains several downgrades from normal Jacks or Better VP. For instance, a full house is worth only 7 times the bet, and a flush only pays 5x: quite a reduction from the 9x and 6x respectively for these hands awarded by full-pay Jacks or Better machines.

We've done the math to calculate that this game has an RTP of just 96.15%: much worse than the 99.54% returns possible with a full-pay game and basically in the same ballpark as your run-of-the-mill slots.

JoB Video Poker at Chumba Jacks or Better Video Poker

Promotions at Chumba Casino

There are none of the typical promotions or bonus offers at Chumba Casino that you would normally see at an internet casino since it is not your usual casino but an online platform that offers you the chance to play games for entertainment. The sweepstakes entry part is done by giving you Sweeps Coins which you can use for playing the slots and games in the casino.

That said, there are a few small opportunities available to those who are willing to put in the time to look for and take advantage of time-limited offers for Sweeps Coins. Via their Facebook page, Chumba regularly holds Sweeps Coins no-cost giveaway contests where a small number of winners is picked to receive Sweeps generally ranging from 10 to 50. Additionally, there are sometimes special pop-up deals extended to particular individuals, like the chance to get 10 in Sweeps for just $5.

Another option – one that is critical to Chumba's claims to be merely operating a sweepstakes – is to send a stamped #10 envelope hand written to their US or Canada addresses to receive free Sweeps Coins. There is no limit to the number of letters you can send.

USA Address:

VGW RMG LIMITED,
CHUMBA CASINO SWEEPSTAKES DEPARTMENT
PO BOX #8486
PORTSMOUTH, NH 03801

Canada Address:

VGW RMG LIMITED
CHUMBA CASINO SWEEPSTAKES DEPARTMENT
PO BOX #990
135 WEST BEAVER CREEK ROAD
RICHMOND HILL, ONTARIO L4B 4R7

Each envelope is good for $5 worth of Sweeps Coins. There are a set of rules and restrictions that apply to requests by post. Please consult the Chumba Casino website for a full list of regulations.

Chumba Casino Cashier

The main choice to fund your Chumba Casino account is via purchasing Gold Coins to officially take part in the sweepstakes. Sweeps Coins are then given as a free bonus and credited alongside the Gold Coins. While at the start in 2017 they were using PayPal as their main channel for payments, that has stopped in 2018, leaving you only with credit cards and a few other options.

Deposits

Chumba Deposit Processors Deposit Options at Chumba Casino
  • MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Amex – minimum $1, no maximum limit noted
  • Skrill Digital Wallet – minimum $1, no maximum limit noted
  • Instant ACH and RAPID Transfer – minimum $1, no maximum noted. The two options are linked and processed via Skrill

None of the methods lists a maximum amount, however, the most you can spend in one transaction is $300 which will get you a huge haul of 120 million Gold Coins and 315 Sweeps Coins. Only the latter can be exchanged for so-called cash prizes should you wish to withdraw your balance.

Skrill has language in its terms of service that explicitly prohibits U.S. users from using its ewallet for the purposes of sweepstakes. We're uncertain how Chumba was able to legitimately bypass this restriction, and indeed it's possible that the company has not come up with a workaround and is just taking chances with its customers' money. It's conceivable that Skrill will eventually put an end to this, and when that happens, we have no clue what will happen with players' funds, but it probably won't be pretty.

Withdrawals

Submitting a cashout is called redeeming Sweeps Coins at Chumba Casino. You will convert your coins into a cash prize, which is then paid through the method of your choosing. Available are Bank Wire and Skrill, the latter again in doubt as regards U.S. residents.

Redeeming your coins will be done at a rate of 1 Sweeps Coin = $1. Your first request will require account verification before you can proceed with the redemption. This is a multi-step process where you can upload the respective documents, which are: government-issued photo ID, proof of residential address, and bank statement in your name.

Chumba ID Verification Account Verification Instructions at Chumba Casino

The minimum you need to start redeeming your sweepstake prizes is $100 worth of Sweeps Coins – a pretty steep minimum in our opinion – while the maximum for New York and Florida stands at $5,000 per day and $10,000 per day for all others. Please note that these limits are what you can redeem from all wins on the games. Anything above will stay in your account.

Fees apply to all redemptions; however, there are no published details to the exact amounts or percentages applied. Processing times are between 5 to 10 business days according to the terms shown although Skrill is supposedly completed faster.

We had no means to test the speed of cashouts and reports in forums are rather sketchy. While some posters confirmed that they have received timely payments, others have not.

For a rundown of other internet gaming firms that are known for the timeliness of their payouts, you can browse over to our monthly online casino, poker, and sportsbook cashout report.

Mobile Gaming at Chumba Casino

Chumba Casino is available on mobile, although it is basically just a squeezed version of the desktop site. The slots and games use HTML5; hence, they can be played on virtually any desktop, tablet or mobile device. Plus, they do offer a Facebook app that you can access through your FB account.

Chumba Mobile Chumba Casino Mobile Site

Other Gambling at Chumba Casino

Given that the game selection at Chumba barely qualifies as adequate for the casino vertical alone, it's not shocking to see that it has no poker room or sportsbook. Although sister site Global Poker does offer card games, it has a similarly troublesome history and business model, and so you may wish to take your business elsewhere.

For the ability to bet on sports, head over to our list of the best online sportsbooks USA residents can wager at. If poker is more your game, then our comprehensive USA internet poker guide ought to appeal to you.

Chumba Casino Customer Support

Chumba Casino offers customer support via onsite message form, email, or phone. However, they do not state whether these channels are open 24/7. For phone support, please note that the phone number is located on the island of Malta, which could lead to considerable charges.

  • Live Chat: N/A
  • Phone: +356 99088901
  • Email: support@chumbacasino.zendesk.com
Chumba Contact Form Use This Contact Us Form to Get in Touch With Chumba Casino

You can also attempt to contact the company through its Facebook page. According to Facebook, users should expect a response within a few hours.

Chumba Casino Player Comments

If you have been searching for player opinions about Chumba Casino, you have probably come across a good mixture of positive and negative reports. While the operation looks legit on its face, there are doubts on how they will continue to offer their services to U.S. players given the shaky legal rationalizations involved.

Here are some opinions on Chumba Casino, submitted by real players, gathered from around the internet:

Negative Comment About Chumba

Chumba Casino Conclusion

Can we honestly recommend Chumba Casino to our readers? Considering the issues at sister company Global Poker and the failings of other sites offering such sweepstakes schemes in the US market, we cannot in good faith speak favorably about the Chumba Casino endeavor.

While they claim to be totally legal due to the sweepstakes twist, they could abruptly end their presence in the market simply because the U.S. authorities (or their payment processing partners) might start looking into their operation more closely.

Neither does the MGA license give too much confidence as it is of little help to U.S. players. Just as worrisome is the lack of information and detail about their proprietary games as they do not provide any audit reports whatsoever.

In closing, we can only strongly recommend that you keep clear of Chumba Casino and instead choose an operator from our list of trusted U.S.A.-friendly online casinos should you be looking for an internet gaming destination.

FAQ

Even after reading our review, you might still have some questions about Chumba Casino. That's why we've gathered together below a collection of common questions along with their answers.

The casino accepts players who are 18 years or older from most countries, including the United States, except Washington, and Canada, except Quebec.

All payments are processed in U.S. dollars. Sweeps Coins redemptions are converted back to US$.

To request a payout of your Sweeps Coins, you will need to redeem them first. The minimum amount is 100 coins ($100 worth). Transfers usually take 5 – 10 business days.

Verification will be demanded when you redeem Sweeps Coins for the first time. An upload facility for government issued photo ID, proof of address, and bank statement is provided.