If you’ve ever been to a casino on a busy night during normal times, it’s usually easy to find the craps table.
It’s often the noisiest area of the floor, with bettors usually winning and losing together. The loudest cheers accompany the saddest groans. Camaraderie between strangers can be contagious as a dice-thrower gets hot.
Simulating the environment of the most rambunctious game on the casino floor is a challenge. Online casinos have been known to add simulated table games of all types, including craps. However, none of Michigan’s 11 online casinos have launched any form of the game yet.
But there’s reason to believe online craps will make their way here down the road.
Online craps a rare game at online casinos
Michigan is one of just five states with legal online casinos. It’s a very new market and as such new games will be added and game libraries will be expanded over the coming months and years.
Even so, in other states with legal gambling sites, craps games are few and far between.
Online craps are available at three online casinos in New Jersey, a state that has had legal online gambling since 2013. There are more than two dozen online casinos operating in the Garden State, but only Pala, Tropicana, and Virgin online casinos have a craps game in their libraries.
Pala is also the platform provider for Four Winds Casino, which launched last week. However, Four Winds does not yet offer craps on its menu of 19 online table games.
Through its Internet Gaming Rules, the Michigan Gaming Control Board authorized online casinos to offer games “typically offered at a casino,” naming craps in addition to poker, blackjack, cards, slots, roulette and pai gow.
Golden Nugget pulled craps in New Jersey
Another Michigan online casino operator, Golden Nugget, also had online craps for a short time in New Jersey. However, it was taken down because of technical limitations, according to Warren Steven, senior director of product and operations for Golden Nugget.
“It was an older flash based craps game that was not very well developed due to it being built for EU operators,” Steven wrote in an email to PlayMichigan.
Steven said the company is working on another random number generator online craps game, but thinks live dealer craps is more likely to be offered by GN in Michigan first.
Evolution Gaming developed live online craps
One global game-maker is hoping to take things a step further to simulate the craps live-play environment.
Evolution Gaming announced in November it had developed the world’s first online live craps game. The game also features a speakeasy-style studio, according to the news release.
Evolution’s Chief Product Officer Todd Haushalter acknowledged the difficulty in replicating the game’s thrills online:
“Developing the game and capturing the unique excitement of the Craps table, but in an online setting, was a complex project,” he said in a statement. “The team has done a phenomenal job and we now have a fantastic finished product that I know will thrill Craps enthusiasts in the US, Europe and beyond, as well as attracting legions of new fans.”
Evolution also offers live blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, among other games.
When will Michigan casinos offer online craps?
The MGCB has approved Evolution for a provisional supplier license in Michigan. The company has made deals to provide live dealer games for BetMGM, FanDuel, PointsBet, William Hill, and WynnBet.
NetEnt, which is part of the Evolution Group, announced in January that it will open live dealer studios in Michigan later this year.
Steven said he believes craps will not be among the initial live dealer games launched by Evolution, “but it should be a post launch game if the studio space is sufficient to expand to in the future,” he wrote.
TwinSpires is planning a variant of online craps. Spokesperson Andrew Brown said it could be ready later this year. Meanwhile, Eric Kreller of WynnBET says the company has a pending goal of offering online craps this month and then live craps in June.
Remington Parker of DraftKings said Michigan will “100%” have access to craps through its online casino, as the company is targeting the second half of this year.
Online craps is a rare game in the emerging online casino marketplace. But the game has been launched and could be launched here. Plus, live craps could eventually give players some of the excitement from the casino floor at home.
Libraries for Michigan online casinos are evolving, and we’ll see which operators roll the dice first with online craps.