Harrah’s Unveils Digital Craps Table, as Casinos Look to Lure Visitors to Las Vegas

Posted on: February 16, 2021, 03:02h. 

Last updated on: February 18, 2021, 05:53h.

A digital craps table has been unveiled on the Las Vegas Strip, minimizing touchpoints in the COVID-19 era.

Harrah's digital craps table
A player rolls the dice on a digital craps table at Harrah’s Las Vegas. The first-of-its-kind table allows players to place bets on a screen at their station. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

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.

The table recently was put into use at Harrah’s Las Vegas on the east side of the Strip.

The digital table, made by Aruze Gaming America Inc., is the first of its kind in Nevada, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Aruze President Rob Ziems said the table design was underway before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the game has COVID-19 safety benefits, including minimal touchpoints, he said.

Only the dice are handled by both players and dealers,” Ziems told the newspaper. 

He also said the digital table, with helpful tips for players, can offer guidance to those new to the game.

“By letting players learn at their own pace, we are helping a new generation of players discover how exciting a great craps roll can be,” he said.

Casino Changes and Technology

The hybrid craps table at Harrah’s is one of several changes at Las Vegas casinos since the first COVID-19 cases in the state were discovered last March.

In addition to new games and safety measures, casinos in Southern Nevada have implemented other nontraditional concepts, hoping to attract tourists.

A resort on the Strip, Park MGM near T-Mobile Arena, last year became the first smoke-free casino in the area. Circa Resort in downtown Las Vegas and the Cromwell on the Strip only allow people age 21 and over into the main gaming and hotel areas.

Though tourism has been in a steep slump, industry experts anticipate visitors will return when they feel safe regarding the pandemic. 

Casino historian David G. Schwartz told Casino.org the city’s allure will attract visitors back to Southern Nevada.

“People are going to want to travel to Las Vegas,” he said.

Million-Dollar Craps Player

With its boisterous atmosphere and legendary rolls of the dice, craps has long been a popular casino game in Nevada.

One of the most famous craps plays occurred on Sept. 24, 1980, when an unknown man in cowboy boots placed a $777,000 bet on a Las Vegas craps table, according to writer Michael LaPointe in the Paris Review. The bet was made at Binion’s Horseshoe Club in downtown’s Glitter Gulch.

Later known as the Phantom Gambler, the man placed his bet on the “don’t pass” line. This means he was betting against the woman rolling the dice. The woman rolled a six, nine, and finally a seven, giving the high-stakes craps player the win. He walked away with $1.5 million.

The Phantom Gambler returned to the Horseshoe in 1984. He was identified as William Lee Bergstrom, a 33-year-old gold and silver trader who also made money flipping apartment buildings in Austin, Texas.

Again betting the “don’t pass” line, he lost $1 million when the shooter rolled a seven on the first toss.

On Feb. 4, 1985, Bergstrom was found dead at the Marina Hotel on the Las Vegas Strip of an apparent overdose of pills. The Marina no longer exists, though a part of it was incorporated into the design of the MGM Grand. The MGM Grand is on the east side of the Strip near McCarran International Airport.