In a move to ensure more gambling profits would stay in the state, Oklahoma lawmakers have finally allowed traditional dice and ball games back into casinos since they were made illegal in 2004. Since the law came into place earlier this year, casinos across Oklahoma have been expanding their offering to include roulette and craps, and customers are happy with the results.
Mickey Ward, Senior Director of Corporate Gaming for the Cherokee Nation, says: “We put a lot of teasers out there to get the public excited, but the biggest thing is that it now allows us to offer the products that they’re used to seeing in the traditional commercial gaming market. Also, dollars that we would normally see leave Oklahoma, can now stay within the state.”
The new law has spread across casinos like wild fire, however, will dice and ball games become more popular than the traditional table games?
Introduction of dice and ball games
Prior to the change, residents had to use Oklahoma’s own versions of the games, which were known as ‘Bonus Craps’ and ‘Bonus Roulette’. These versions used electronic cards instead of dice and balls, while a video was shown. If people wanted to play traditional versions of the games, they would have to leave the state, so the quick growth of these games since their re-introduction within Oklahoma is no surprise.
The Cherokee Nation chain was the first to provide customers with ball and dice games which expanded overnight to the Hard Rock Casino, West Siloam Springs Cherokee Casino and the Roland Cherokee Casino, in the hope that players who would usually go to Las Vegas would now play closer to home.
Cherokee Secretary of State, Chuck Hoskin Jr, said: “It’s tough to compete, but that’s a good thing. It shows that our tribes, all the tribes in the state, are operating at really at a very high level. It keeps us good. I think competition is good.”
Martin Madewell, Senior Marketing Director for Hard Rock Tulsa, added: “We’re going to have some special classes and special events, but mainly our staff is very much encouraging anyone to walk up to the table and bet.”
What customers think
Choctaw Casino were also quick to the mark explaining that many of their high betting players have been asking when the law change will take place. Sara Adams, Marketing Manager, explains: “I think it is important as customers want to feel partly in control of the die,” and many customers agreed.
Guy Jones, a long term customer at Choctaw Casino, threw the first set of dice on the new craps table. He said: “I wasn’t even playing it with the cards. I did a couple years ago but a lot of people have been waiting for the real dice. It’s just traditional with a ball. A little spin with the cards on roulette, it was ok. But craps isn’t craps without the dice.”
David Konvos, added he’d been waiting on the games for a long time: “It’s fun; it’s a team game, everybody’s in it and it’s also got some of the best odds in the casino. So, playing this game, you at least feel like every roll, there’s statistical chance that you can come out ahead.”
Will it Challenge Traditional Tables?
Although dice and ball games are currently on a high, the question is, will they remain ahead? Gambling games online providers discovered blackjack is the publics favourite game alongside solitaire; indicating that card games prove most popular.
The research also showed the largest number of people know how to play blackjack (75% of those asked). Blackjack was followed far behind by the other casino games, such as poker, which only 25% of people know how to play.
It can be argued that this is influenced by betting odds, as when comparing the house edge of various casino games, the following games have the best odds:
But, when looking at Newzoo’s social casino consumer insights in 2017, it contradicts this and shows poker is the most popular table game (20%), followed closely by blackjack (18%). In comparison, baccarat only received 1% and roulette 2% of the votes, showing that the USA overall are not so keen on dice and ball games.
Jack Jill, casino player, says: “Poker is the most popular card game in the world and as such, it is the card game that is most played on the net. It is also the star of the casino as it attracts the most users.”
Ivana Stefanoska, blackjack fan, adds, “My favourite is blackjack as it has the best odds of winning, with a house edge of just 1% in most casinos.”
So, only time will tell whether the dice and ball games will challenge the traditional table games, but the odds show it’s unlikely to be in their favour. Do you agree? Why not share your thoughts below and let us know what your favourite table game is?