The craps tables are usually the most lively spots on the gaming floor.
Before social distancing and player limits, craps drew a crowd to gather around the nonstop action.
When casinos closed in mid-March to slow the spread of coronavirus, players went online, where they found similar land-based slot titles and table games.
Except something was missing at PA online casinos: Craps.
Online craps approved in PA, but operators not offering it
Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Director of Communication Doug Harbach said that there is an approved craps game for online play. However, none of the iGaming operators are offering it. He said:
“It appears to be a business decision by the license holders.”
A spokesperson from DraftKings said:
“We explore all options to create the most dynamic iGaming experience for our customers.”
When some other operators were asked to comment, they declined.
An industry source said it’s hard to recreate the land-based experience online with craps.
Craps at New Jersey online casinos
In New Jersey, five iGaming operators have craps as an option. However, the game is only available to play via desktop and not mobile. The minimum bet is $1, and the max bet ranges from $50 to $500.
- Virgin Casino (Craps – Gamesys)
- Tropicana Casino (Craps – Gamesys)
- Pala Casino (Craps – NYX Gaming)
- Borgata Casino (Craps Pro)
- Party Casino (Craps Pro)
Difference between playing craps online and at a land-based casino
Pre-COVID-19, patrons crowded the craps tables. During visits to some PA casinos during their reopening days, some players were lined up (socially distanced) waiting their turn for a spot. Perhaps the biggest difference is there is no wait to play craps online.
Here are some other big differences between online and land-based craps:
- You can’t quite duplicate the energy of the craps table — the yelling, clapping and personalities — online.
- Table minimums are much lower online ($1). In PA brick-and-mortar casinos, a $10 minimum on a weekday is common.
- Craps is a fast-paced game that is intimidating to newcomers. Online, players can adjust the pace to suit them.
- A regular craps player might choose to play faster. Some online craps have a turbo option that eliminates the simulated dice roll. It reveals the end result immediately, so players can speed up the action online.
- All PA online casinos have deposit bonuses. Your bankroll thus starts a bit higher than it would if you just walked into a casino.
- In the online version, you won’t be touching dice that others have handled — which is important in the current climate of virus concerns.
Online casinos a welcome addition to PA
All casinos in Pennsylvania shut down in mid-March to slow the spread of coronavirus. After over one hundred days dark, they began to reopen in June.
As only one of four states with legal iGaming, the relatively new vertical in Pennsylvania experienced record-breaking revenue in May and June. Currently, table game offerings at the state’s online casinos consist of blackjack, roulette and baccarat. Also, online poker via the state’s sole operator (for now) saw a surge in play during the live poker and casino shutdown.
After recording $43.1 million iGaming revenue in April, it grew to $55.8 million in May, a 35.5% month-over-month increase. June saw a slight dip, but it was still the second-best month for online gaming in PA.
PA online casino numbers in June, compared to May:
- Slots brought in nearly $1.03 billion in total bets and $36.8 million in revenue. (May: $1.1 billion in total bets and $38.8 million in revenue.)
- Table games attracted $635.7 million in wagers and $10.0 million in revenue. (May: $778.5 million in wagers and $12.4 million in revenue.)
Can you play craps online in Pennsylvania?
The short answer is not yet, but it’s far from out of the question in PA, especially considering there is a PGCB-approved online craps game and NJ offers online craps.
Recent safety concerns associated with social distancing and sharing dice at live casinos could provide more motivation for online operators to add the game to their offerings.