So Cal casino rolls dice on craps game change

Mar 11, 2003 2:42 AM

A San Diego casino is rolling the dice by eliminating them from the craps world.

"Step right up and join us at Carde Craps," said Joe DeRosa, general manager of Fantasy Springs Casino in Indio, Calif. "It’s craps played with cards.

Carde Craps is offered only at Fantasy Springs and not the other tribal casinos in the Coachella Valley, most notably Pechanga.

The new form of craps was invented at Casino Pauma in San Diego, according to the Palm Desert Sun. The game uses 73 playing cards made up of 12 decks numbered ace to 6 plus a joker. The cards are place into a continuous-shuffling shoe and emerge randomly.

Carde Craps is played at the Indio casino every Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting at 6 p.m. The game lasts until there are no more players.

"It’s a 6-to-10 week process for a dealer to learn the game because there are several hundred betting options they’ve got to learn," DeRosa said. Each game requires three dealers and one supervisor, with the same craps terminology applied.

"We’re starting to have regulars at Carde Craps," said Lenny Sniegowski, who has been dealing craps for 34 years. "We work very hard to be able to call all of our guests by name."

The betting is identical to the regular dice game with the addition that one can place a 40-1 wager that the joker will appear and a 14-1 bet that the drawn cards will be of the same suit.

Carde Craps is a way around the 1999 compact between the California Indian tribes and the state, which prohibits wheeled (roulette) and dice (craps) games. The compact only allows banked card games.

N.C. gaming possible

Harrah’s Cherokee Casino could offer Las Vegas-style gambling if proposed legislation passes the North Carolina Âí­General Assembly.

The Asheville (N.C.) Citizen-Times reports that the bill, introduced last week, would allow "casino nights" to raise money for the state. Under the plan, participants could play games such as roulette, blackjack and poker with no bet greater than $10. Slot machines would be prohibited.

"That doesn’t give us the power to expand our gaming," said Bob Blankenship, chairman of the Cherokee Tribal Council. "We have to have an agreement with the state. We would like to have the ability with other (casino) enterprises."

The North Carolina Family Policy Council, a Raleigh-based research organization, opposes the new bill on the grounds that it would further legalize gambling in the state.

Iowa giving $ back

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reported last week that the state’s casino industry generated $795 million last year.

The Des Moines Register reported that, according to Commission figures, Iowa’s gambling boats and three racetrack casinos paid salaries, wages and benefits totaling $230 million.

Purchases of food, gambling equipment and other supplies comprised an addition $251 in spending. From that figure, 77 percent was paid to Iowa vendors.

During the past state budget year, Iowa’s riverboats and racetrack casinos pulled in a record $960 million in gross revenues. The average gambler lost $48 per visit.