New Shooter! DraftKings Announces DK Craps With Plans To Stake Claim As First Operator With Game In PA

Pennsylvania online craps appears to be close to arrival with the announcement of DK Craps and its expansion plans into PA.

The wait for craps in Pennsylvania online casino apps appears it is about to “seven out” soon. On Monday, DraftKings announced it debuted a new spin on craps in its app in New Jersey, with plans to do the same with the casino favorite in Pennsylvania in the future.

There’s no timeline for the game’s launch in PA right now. However, DraftKings Casino PA believes its online craps game will provide an extremely realistic experience for players in PA when it debuts. Currently, none of Pennsylvania’s 14 online casinos offer craps.

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First online craps game coming soon to PA

The DraftKings-built and exclusive craps title is now live on its NJ app. According to the press release, DraftKings craps would arrive in PA “pending regulatory approval.”

It could come quickly. Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board director of communications Doug Harbach said last July that craps is permitted for PA iGaming licensees. Harbach stated that it appears to be a decision by the licensees as to why they weren’t offering it already.

Online casinos arrived in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2019 with a roster of online slots and table games like blackjack and roulette. Live dealer launched in Oct. 2020 after months of anticipation. So, why was craps, one of the most popular games at brick-and-mortar casinos, not available?

It’s likely due to the difficulty in creating an online experience that is similar to playing craps at a physical table with other people. However, DraftKings thinks it met the challenge.

DraftKings online craps touts authentic features

DraftKings believes that when it goes live in PA, craps veterans who regularly hit the tables at Pennsylvania casinos will find its version familiar.

“As the most realistic craps game on the market, we are excited to offer a premier online experience within our top-rated casino product,” said Jason March, DraftKings’ Vice President of iGaming. “Craps was a challenging game to develop given the seemingly endless paths players can take. So, I could not be prouder of our internal teams taking on this game development to deliver an authentic experience.”

Among the elements that DraftKings tailored are:

  • Ability to place multiple bets with a single tap
  • Multi-directional rolling/swiping of the die
  • Option to leave bets on the table after each win

The game also features dedicated help functions including a tutorial. With those additions, the odds of each potential outcome and answers to questions on how to play the game in any situation are always a tap away.

While it may be difficult to replicate the social element of playing craps in an app, DraftKings thinks it has everything else covered. If it can get the product live in PA quickly, it could have an advantage in the market.

DraftKings part of Penn National Gaming PA online dominance

One of the innovations of this game is that it’s available on the DraftKings Casino app. Most online craps games remain relegated to desktop iGaming platforms.

For a period of time, DraftKings could be the only PA online casino app offering craps. That should help DraftKings in the mix for the market leader in PA online casino revenue.

In PA, Penn National Gaming has three online “skins” – DraftKings Casino, BetMGM Casino, and Hollywood Casino. The trio combined to bring in nearly $36 million in revenue in April. The table games segment of revenue for that licensee for that month dominated, nearly equalling the next two competitors’ figures combined. If successful, this game could augment that success.

Regardless, DK Craps seems on a path into PA at some point. That will mean the end to prospective players’ patient pining for such a play.

Lead image courtesy of DraftKings. 

No Dice: Why Can’t You Play Craps at PA Online Casinos?

Online casinos in Pennsylvania are growing stronger in total bets, revenue and game offerings, but why is it that you still can’t play craps online in PA?

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.

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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:

  1. You can’t quite duplicate the energy of the craps table — the yelling, clapping and personalities — online.
  2. Table minimums are much lower online ($1). In PA brick-and-mortar casinos, a $10 minimum on a weekday is common.
  3. Craps is a fast-paced game that is intimidating to newcomers. Online, players can adjust the pace to suit them.
  4. 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.
  5. All PA online casinos have deposit bonuses. Your bankroll thus starts a bit higher than it would if you just walked into a casino.
  6. 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.