The coronavirus has forced casinos to change how they operate. Now, gambling establishments enforce social distancing policies and require players to wear masks.
Even with these restrictions, though, most casinos have found a way to reopen and start running again. They’re featuring many of the same games that they offered before COVID-19 started wreaking havoc.
But one game that has struggled to get back to normalcy is craps. In fact, it’s not even available in certain gambling jurisdictions. The longer the coronavirus permeates, the longer craps will be sidelined in the same jurisdictions.
Will COVID-19 be the end of this classic casino game? I’ll answer this question by taking a closer look at craps along with if it can survive the pandemic.
Craps Is One of the Most Social Casino Games
Craps was a lightly played game up until World War II. It exploded after American WWII vets returned home in the mid-1940s.
Many of these soldiers passed the time during the war by playing street craps. They quickly saw a familiar game when they entered casinos after World War II ended.
The same gamblers packed real money craps tables and drew casual gamblers who wanted to see what the fuss was about. Eventually, craps became popular in its own right among WWII veterans and other players.
Ever since, craps has remained one of the most-social games in the casino. It attracts crowds of gamblers, who huddle around the table and often make the same types of bets.
Going further, the average player typically places a pass line or come bet during each round. Both of these wagers win when the shooter wins.
This like-mindedness leads to many gamblers cheering together after the shooter is victorious. Meanwhile, they console each other when the shooter loses.
Craps isn’t the only casino game that features a social element. However, it definitely stands out from the crowd due to its volume of players who celebrate wins together.
Social Distancing Is Ruining Craps
Fears regarding the coronavirus still persist throughout much of the world. Everybody from shoppers to restaurant diners are worried about contracting the virus in public.
The gambling crowd is no difference in this matter. Some gamblers also worry that they could pick up COVID-19 from being in close proximity to others.
Casinos, meanwhile, don’t want their customers spreading the virus either. Therefore, they enact social distancing measures to keep players around 6 feet away from each other at all times.
Many casinos also question the practice of allowing players to share dice. Once a shooter gets done tossing, they pass dice to the next player and so on.
These days, though, casino table games aren’t quite as populated. Craps games and most casinos only feature 25% to 50% of the crowd that they once did.
Part of this is due to some gamblers worrying about contracting COVID-19. They avoid table games or even casinos in general over these fears. An even larger issue is that casinos either choose to or are required to thin out crowds.
This policy may be okay for the slot machines that are found all over casinos. After all, slots players are used to being isolated anyways. But these measures certainly aren’t doing craps any favors.
Some Casinos Don’t Even Offer Craps Right Now
An even bigger issue for craps right now is that some casinos aren’t offering it. Massachusetts serves as a perfect example for a jurisdiction that’s no longer featuring this game.
The Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) has allowed the state’s casinos to reopen. However, it has nixed both craps and roulette over COVID features.
MGC’s Bruce Bland stated:
“In light of some of the increase in COVID things at this time, we didn’t really feel it was appropriate to add new games (i.e. roulette and craps). So we’re going to continue reviewing this and keeping an eye on the COVID numbers and consider that at a later date.”
Online Craps Just Isn’t the Same
Some states/countries that regulate internet gaming offer online craps in place of the live version. Therefore, you may have some outlet to enjoy this game if you truly love it.
Chances are, though, you don’t like craps for the gameplay alone. Instead, you may enjoy it due to the aforementioned social aspects.
Internet casinos just can’t bring the same type of atmosphere. In the end, they’re merely offering a virtual version with no other players.
You can get around this downside with many other table games by playing at live dealer sites. Live dealer casinos stream land-based gambling action from a studio to your smartphone.
However, this isn’t the same case with craps. No live casino offers this game because it just doesn’t translate well to a live-dealer format.
Long story short, online craps does allow you to make the same types of bets and roll the virtual dice. But it doesn’t come anywhere close to offering what the land-based version does.
What to Expect From Craps Moving Forward
Craps isn’t going to completely die just because of COVID-19. However, it’s definitely been hit harder than most casino games.
It relies heavily on its social nature for success. The fact that casinos are forcing players to social distance is definitely hurting this game.
Nobody really knows when the number of COVID-19 infections and deaths will go down sharply. Therefore, the status quo may continue in casinos for quite some time.
Every day that COVID-19 persist, craps loses some of its luster. Meanwhile, other table games, like blackjack, Caribbean stud, and roulette, are running like normal.
One day, casinos will get back to business as usual. Craps tables will finally be able to run normally once this happens. Again, though, the problem is that nobody knows when this will come to fruition.
In the meantime, gamblers just have to take what they get in land-based casinos. Currently, this means plenty of slot machines and table games with extra space in between players.
Craps has been available in some form or another for centuries. However, it now faces a very real threat from the coronavirus.
COVID-19 has forced casinos to operate much differently. They require players to social distance from each other on slot machines and tables.
Craps just isn’t built for the social distancing era. It’s a social game that sees players crowd the table and cheer wildly.
Some gambling jurisdictions haven chosen not to allow craps. They don’t like how this game encourages crowds and requires gamblers to pass dice to each other.
But the coronavirus will eventually die down. When this happens, craps can return to normal in casinos.