Ball and dice games arrive in Oklahoma

SHAWNEE, Okla. - The Grand Casino in Shawnee went live Friday night at 6:30 with something they’ve never had before – ball and dice.

The casino has long had their own versions of roulette and craps but they were played with cards instead of a ball and dice.

Long banned in our state, the law changed after the historic tax package passed in the last legislative session.

It was part of the plan to get more money for education and teachers in our state.

“I think they were probably tired of seeing the clones of the real games and they’re excited to see real Vegas style games come to Oklahoma,” said Todd Brand, Director of Casino Operations for Grand Casino.

The old roulette game was called “spinette” and used black and red cards with numbers on them to mimic the real roulette wheel.

Dealers say customers find the ball more exciting.

“That’s the excitement because it could hit that number and then bounce right back out and you know there’s a little bit of excitement, where it’s going to land,” said dealer, Seth Kubiak.

Grand Casino has had a craps table for about 12 years but it used to be played with cards labeled like the sides of dice.

Players could not touch the cards but they can now throw actual dice.

“Players like throwing the dice,” said Brand. “We had a waiting list on the craps table on Saturday so there’s a lot of people wanting to play and I think our employees are really excited.”

The casino had four months to prepare.

The law went into effect earlier this month but the tribes had to wait on approval from the federal government because it required a change in their compacts with the state.

Dealers had to learn exactly how to release that roulette ball.

“You’re not really supposed to flick your wrist. So the best technique that I like best is just to kind of flick the ball off of your thumb,” said Kubiak.

A representative with the Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association tells us there are 6 casinos currently using ball and dice with more coming online quickly.

They anticipate being able to show increases in the money gaming pays the state very soon, which should mean more money for education.