Five Ways Casinos Make You Spend More Money

Five Ways Casinos Make You Spend More Money


It’s happened to all of us: You stride into the Luxor, Mohegan Sun or Tropicana brimming with confidence and a wallet filled with cash. You plan for a bit of enjoyable, sensible gaming and maybe two rounds of cocktails. Hours later, you’re no longer sure what time it is, how many drinks you’ve had, or where your money went. That’s because every aspect of a casino is designed to lead you into spending more money. Here’s how casinos use sounds, lights and physical design to create an environment that’s both welcoming and hard to step away from.

1. They Make It a Labyrinthine Place

A casino isn’t designed with straight hallways and clear pathways. It’s a maze of rooms, with tables and machines arranged in ways that trick players into thinking they’re closer to the exit than they actually are. In addition, the lighting is deliberately kept dim and often designed to mimic natural sunlight. This keeps players awake and increases their chances of gambling more money.

2. They Make It Boozey

A casino’s best friend is alcohol. It lowers inhibitions, clouds judgment and makes you feel more confident about betting big at a blackjack table or a slot machine. To encourage boozing, there are plenty of bars throughout the facility and it’s not uncommon to be offered a free drink while you gamble. Alcohol also dilutes the pain of a bad streak at the tables or in the slot machines and allows you to keep playing, even when you’re losing.

3. They Trick You Into Thinking You’re Winning

Despite what people think, the odds are that you will lose at a casino. That’s because the house always wins. This is a business, and the house needs to stay profitable to survive. Casinos know this, which is why they’re so careful to manipulate the environment around you. When a player hits a jackpot on a slot or rakes in the chips at the table, the lights flash and sounds blare, creating a false sense of possibility that will keep you putting more money down.

4. They Give You Free Drinks and Food

Obviously, they’re not just giving out free drinks to everyone who plays in the casino. They’re using the same techniques that marketers do in other industries to lure you into a spending spiral. They offer you a variety of freebies, from food to drinks to credits, in the hopes that they can convince you to spend more money than you originally intended to.

5. They Play Games of Chance

Casinos are full of games that depend on chance, and there’s one certainty: The house will win. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t an edge to be gained by knowing the odds of certain games. That’s why it’s important to choose a casino with a great customer service that can help you understand the game’s odds and improve your chances of winning.

Martin Scorsese gambled with studio resources and threw his hat in the ring with Casino, a period piece set in Sin City that evokes a worldview that is at once nostalgic and pessimistic. Like Paul Verhoeven’s Showgirls a few years later, it isn’t just about remembering the good old days; it’s about reimagining them for what they really were.