A digital craps table unveiled at Harrah’s in Las Vegas is set to change the Sin City gaming experience on a permanent basis. And no, we’re not joking.
If you’re a craps enthusiast, you might be wondering how this works. If you’re an avid gambler, you might be wondering what impact this has on Vegas and casinos at large.
And if you’re just a curious person, you might be asking the following question: Why now?
Impact of Digital Craps Tables on Las Vegas
All of the above reactions are appropriate. This is new territory for everyone, including Vegas itself.
But don’t worry: We have all the answers.
How Does a Digital Craps Table Work?
Anyone who has played craps knows the live experience is part of the game’s charm. At the very least, you get a thrill and sense of involvement from rolling the dice. Many also enjoy the interaction with other players. Is there really a way to simulate that?
It turns out there is.
As Larry Henry outlined for Casino.org, the digital craps experience is a lot like the regular one, just streamlined:
“Called “Roll to Win Craps,” the hybrid game allows players to toss dice onto an electronic table. The table provides digital information about the game in progress. Players separated by plexiglass barriers manage their bets on an individual screen at their station.”
Harrah’s is apparently the first casino in all of Nevada to roll out the product, which is made by Aruze Gaming America Inc., a company based right in Las Vegas. They have noted that the primary benefit of digital craps is its accessibility. The digital screen on the table can give players tips on their bets and make it easier for beginners to learn the game away from the more confusing setting of a regular table often occupied by craps veterans.
Why Roll Out Digital Craps Now?
Aruze president Rob Ziems is on record saying that this digital craps table was in concept long before the pandemic. The effects of COVID-19, however, necessitated its rollout.
Players have very little interaction while playing “Roll to Win Craps.” They are only touching the dice rather than the table, chips, and, because of the plexiglass set up, other players. And the die themselves are only touched by the players and the dealer. That makes it easier to minimize cross-contact.
As casinos seek to open up to fuller capacity, the digital craps table could help them handle the same foot traffic in a safer manner, particularly as the stigma of fraternizing in large, crowded areas remains.
Mostly, though, digital craps ranks as an alternate attraction in Vegas, where casinos are doing everything and anything they can to lure back in customers.
With the rise of online casinos and sportsbooks, not to mention the addition of legalized casino gambling in other states, Sin City is not the anomaly it once was. There is no collection of casinos quite like it, but placing bets on sports and casino games has never been easier for someone to do from the comfort of their home.
Offering digital craps as an option allows casinos to help anyone who might be intimidated by the idea of playing at a busy table or while betting higher minimums. That the setup jibes with a world that’s increasingly looking to social distance is merely an added bonus, not the entire impetus behind it.
Will Digital Gambling Take Over Vegas?
This question is difficult to answer right now. Again: Harrah’s is the only casino in Vegas (albeit not the United States) to carry it.
That said, it’s safe to say the concept will catch on. Casinos always tend to copy each other, and the rollout of digital craps just so happens to coincide with pandemic ramifications that essentially demand it.
Certain casino-goers might be worried that digital gaming will forever change the traveling experience. Are regular tables about to be obsolete? Will Vegas eventually be minimally staffed, with all virtual games and slot options?
These are questions we can answer. And the answer is no across the board.
Digital gaming is not entirely novel. Years ago, casinos started installing “Organic Roulette” tables, which were machines that spit out the balls automatically and allowed players to place their bets digitally, without a staff member manning the table. And while those have become more popular over the years, they have not rendered the live roulette experience extinct.
As far as Vegas goes, though, digital gaming—and digital craps specifically—is just another tool in its belt. It will never overtake the entire industry.
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