If you have recently been to the movie theaters and purchased popcorn and a drink along with your ticket, you know how expensive a night at the movies has become. Needless to say, the current economic climate has made it difficult for most people to enjoy entertainment at all, and finding it local or on the cheap is never easy. Still, with a little creativity, you may just find affordable entertainment in a place at your local shopping mall, a place called the sweepstakes internet café.

A sweepstakes internet café looks very similar to an internet café or game café. But instead of rows and rows of plain computers, the café is dimly-lit and furnished with sweepstakes terminals designed to mimic slot machines and other casino games.

So how does it work? Customers purchase internet time on a terminal or a long-distance phone card for a sweepstakes machine. After purchasing the time, they’re rewarded with free entries into the sweepstakes. Most machines offer a selection of more than 30 games to choose from, including slots or reel games, keno-style games and card-style games.

And while it may seem like a solo experience, sweepstakes internet cafes are in fact social hot spots.  Customers can order snacks and chat with friends while playing the games, and all without having to leave town! How’s that for great entertainment close to home?