Earn Money by Playing Games Online
Is it possible to earn money playing games online? Absolutely!
Now that online gambling is legal in many states (and free online casinos run sweepstakes in every state except Washington State), you can snag free plays and even pay to play games that pay out real money prizes.
Find out how to win real money, take advantage of casino promos and bonuses, and what casinos are legal in which states.
Are Online Games Legit?
Yes, you can actually earn money by playing games online! It’s totally legit. No purchase is required (at certain sites), and you only need to be 18 to play at many free online casinos — and win real money!
The legality of online gaming and gambling varies depending on the state (and country) in which you live. Check out OddsSeeker’s individual state pages to find out if online gaming for real money is legal in your state.
Even if you can’t legally gamble in a certain state, you can certainly play for real money at free online casinos (as long as you don’t live in Washington State or Quebec and you’re at least 18 years of age).
How Much Money Can You Win?
It all depends! There are two ways to earn money at online casino sites — one is to play casino games at real money casino sites and the other is to play at free casino sites. Both pay out real money, but every casino and every game has different odds.
You can check out the odds of different games right on each casino’s site; you can also check out the odds of different games (such as roulette, baccarat, poker, etc.) online.
Do You Need to Pay to Play?
Not all online gaming sites require you to pay to play. The biggest difference between free and paid gaming sites is the currency you’ll play with versus the currency you deposit and the currency you withdraw. Free online casinos allow you to play without purchase, while real money online casinos usually require you to use real money to gamble.
Free Online Casino Games
Free online casinos offer a similar experience to real money online casinos. Play popular casino games that you know and love (like online poker, video poker, slots, and more). The experience is similar to what you’d get if you were earning money by playing games in an actual casino.
The biggest difference between free online casinos and real money online casinos is that you don’t need to pay to play at free casinos; if you do want to play more than free spins and sweepstakes allow, you’ll need to purchase virtual currency (gold coins or sweeps) to play.
When it’s time to cash out your winnings, you can either cash out your sweeps coins for real money — or, some free online casinos even allow you to cash out your winnings in the form of prizes or gift cards.
Real Money Online Casino Games
Earning money by playing at real money online casinos is similar to what ‘professional gamblers’ do — just online.
Real money online casinos offer a similar experience to in-person casinos. Simply create an account, validate your age, download geo-tracking software, and make your first deposit. Most casinos allow you to deposit funds immediately, so you can start playing right away!
Play online slots, table games, card games, and more. The biggest difference between online casinos and their brick-and-mortar counterparts is that you can take advantage of sign-up bonuses, ongoing log-in promotions, and promo codes.
Claiming Your Winnings
Online gaming platforms make it easy to collect your winnings. Depending on whether you’re playing at a real money or free online casino, you’ll have a variety of ways to cash out your funds or sweeps coins. Make sure to read the fine print on each gaming site to ensure you’re getting the best payout possible.
Free Online Casinos Withdrawals
Free online casinos pay out in one of three ways: real money, prizes, or gift cards.
Legit gaming sites are usually pretty upfront about how you’ll be able to cash out your winnings. As long as you’re playing at a reputable site (we recommend sticking to the list of casinos on the OddsSeeker site if you’re worried about the legitimacy of a casino!), you’ll know exactly how you’ll be paid out — before you start playing.
Many free online casinos pay out in real money; though, some casinos only offer prizes or gift cards (gift cards are usually for major retailers, so it’s practically like being paid in real money!).
Real Money Online Casino Withdrawals
When it’s time to cash out your winnings, you can do so by making an ACH transfer into your bank account, using PayPal or Skrill to collect your earnings, or requesting a paper check to be mailed to your home address.
Are Online Casinos Legal?
Yes, it’s totally legal to earn money by playing games at online casinos (depending on the site, the type of online casino, your location, and your age). Discover the restrictions some states pass on online gaming and gambling as well as where you can play with real money versus virtual currency.
Free Online Casino Laws
It’s legal to play at free online casinos in most U.S. states (and in most of Canada). The only areas of the U.S. and Canada that haven’t legalized these gaming sites are Washington State and Quebec.
Free online casinos are legal because they’re not ‘real’ casinos. You won’t play with real money here (though that doesn’t mean you can’t win real money!). Instead of playing with American or Canadian currency, you’ll need to purchase virtual currency (gold coins). With gold coin purchases, you get free sweeps coins that you can use to play for real money winnings.
You also need to be a certain age to legally play at free sweeps casinos (usually 18 or 21, depending on the casino). You’ll need to show proof of residency in the U.S. or Canada and proof of age before cashing out your winnings.
Real Money Online Casino Laws
Real money online casinos are only legal in certain states. These platforms offer a similar experience to in-person casinos. You can play with real money and cash out your winnings in real currency.
Depending on the state where you’re physically located, you may be able to legally play at these establishments! Right now, you can legally gamble at online casinos if you’re located in Michigan, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and West Virginia.
You’ll need to download geo-tracking software to ensure you are physically located within state lines. You’ll also need to prove you’re of legal gambling age (21 or older).
How to Maximize Your Payouts
The biggest difference between online gaming and gambling in person is the ability to maximize your winnings with promotions, welcome bonuses, and ongoing promotions. Online platforms offer plenty of ways to get ‘free’ money and free bets.
No matter whether you’re playing at a free online casino or a real money casino, you can score deposit bonuses, log-in bonuses, and ongoing promotions.
Welcome bonuses are one of the most popular types of bonuses, as casinos usually offer the best promotions when you make your first deposit or open an account. Before signing up for an account at a casino, always check the casino’s review page on OddsSeeker to see if you can snag a promo code or follow a partner link to get your first deposit matched — or even free gameplays.
Most online casinos feature ongoing promotions, encouraging players to log into their accounts regularly.
Daily login bonuses usually don’t require players to make a purchase; simply log into your account, claim your bonus, and you’re good to go. Some casinos do encourage you to deposit more money into your account to take advantage of these promos, but it’s not always necessary.
Other ongoing promotions may include weekly promos and holiday promos — all of which reward you for heading to your account/playing games on days that you might not otherwise play.
Most gaming sites also encourage players to sign up for VIP and rewards clubs. These clubs are similar to frequent flier programs, rewarding players that play regularly on the site.
Simply sign up for a rewards program (many casinos and online gaming sites automatically sign you up for these programs when you create your account), follow the instructions, and start acquiring rewards points!
Most gaming rewards clubs require you to acquire a certain number of points before moving on to the next rewards tier (the higher your tier, the better your reward). Make sure to read the fine print at each casino when you sign up for a program; you may need to hit a certain number of points to stay in your tier each month.
Top Sites to Earn Money Playing Games Online
There are plenty of sites where you can earn money while playing games. Here, we focus on the free online casinos, as these sites don’t require you to pay to play — though, buying a certain number of gold coins will help you get free sweeps (which you can cash out for real money once you reach a certain threshold).
Chumba is one of the most popular online casinos to earn money. Simply create an account, take advantage of a few welcome offers, and you’re ready to play.
You don’t need to make a purchase to get free sweeps here (or to play with gold coins), though you can maximize your payouts by purchasing gold coins. Chumba has a long list of popular casino games, including slots, table games, and card games.
Before cashing out your winnings, you’ll need to provide a few pieces of information (including proof of U.S. or Canada address and proof of age), so make sure you get this info squared away if you want to collect your prizes.
Use the OddsSeeker link to get up to a 200% match on your first deposit and up to $2 of free coins!
Another one of the most popular gaming sites on the internet — where you can win real money by playing casino games — is Luckyland Casino.
This is another free online casino that pays out real money to winners. This casino specializes in slots, so gamers that love these machines should make a beeline straight for Luckyland.
Use the OddsSeeker link to score $10 worth of free coins and to get a 200% deposit match!
Funzpoints is one of the hottest growing free online casinos on the internet. Gamers can head here to play games like Keno and win real money. This casino is also known for its VIP/rewards program that rewards players for making a purchase of at least $4.99.
Use the OddsSeeker link to get your first deposit (up to $20) matched and free $2.50 worth of gameplay.
Risks of Playing Games Online to Earn Money
Of course, it isn’t always easy to earn money playing games online. We recommend playing these games just for fun (unless you’re a professional gambler!). There are certain risks that come with gambling, and it’s important to understand these risks before you spend money to make money.
There’s a decent chance you’ll lose money while playing games online (if you’re paying to play). Check out the odds of each game you play or try out games with risk-free bets. Pay attention to how much money you’re betting on each play.
Failing to Follow Rules
Each casino has its own rules. If you don’t follow the rules, you may lose your payout (and any money you’ve spent or deposited at a casino). Always pay close attention to the rules and fine print at each online gaming platform.
If you find that your gaming is out of control or you believe you may have a gambling problem, help is available. Most online casinos offer help for gambling addiction, or you can always call 1-800-GAMBLER for free resources to help get you back on track.
Alicia is OddsSeeker's Lead Editor & Fact Checker! She's been reviewing online casinos, sportsbooks, and other gaming since 2021, but has well over a decade of experience writing and editing for some of the largest online magazines and brands since 2011! Over her career, Alicia has worked as a travel and entertainment writer & editor contributing to widely read digital publications such as The Spruce, The Balance and The Spruce Pets, VeryWell, and TripSavvy. Alicia makes sure our readers can trust every word - holding both our team & our gaming operator partners to the highest standard to ensure that our readers always have the best possible experiences playing gaming online! Beyond OddsSeeker, Alicia is a marketing expert, entrepreneur, and avid traveler based in Connecticut!More about Alicia Butler