Tricks Casinos Use to Keep You Gambling


Casino is a building where people gamble and play games of chance. It’s where your grandmother might enjoy taking weekend bus trips with her friends, but it’s also the place where you could get a little carried away with the slots and tables. Casinos are designed with all sorts of tricks to make it difficult for you to walk away without losing a bundle. From sounds to lighting and even physical design, every element of a casino is intentionally constructed to keep you gambling.

One of the first things that happens when you walk into a casino is you lose all sense of time. The windows are often coated in tint that dampens the rays of daylight and keeps the interior brightly lit both day and night, so it’s impossible to tell how much time has passed. This can make it easy to get caught up in a game of poker and suddenly find you’re three hours in and have no idea what time it is or where your money has gone.

A casino’s architecture is deliberately labyrinthine, with no clear path from the entrance to any of the gaming areas. This is intentional, as it forces patrons to pass by many more opportunities to gamble than they would if the casino was laid out in a straight line. Casinos are also designed with asymmetrical lighting to highlight the games and lure players into areas where they might be tempted to spend more money than they have.

Another major trick casinos use is to distract players from the reality of how often they lose money. They do this by changing cash into colorful little discs called chips that aren’t as valuable as the bills they started with. This makes it easier to bet big, and the losses don’t sting as much. Many casinos also let players load up a casino card with cash that can be used in digital games, further dissociating gambling from spending real dollars.

Something about gambling (and the presence of large sums of money) seems to encourage cheating, stealing and scamming. Despite this, casinos spend a great deal of time and money trying to prevent these kinds of behaviors. Casinos are a particular target because of the way they can encourage gamblers to spend more than they can afford to lose, but there are also laws that prevent them from using unfair or dishonest methods to make profits.

Martin Scorsese’s Casino is a ruthless movie about the seedy underbelly of gambling, but it’s also a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of addiction and the perils of greed. Watch it with a group of close friends and you’ll probably find yourself quoting the film in conversation for years to come.

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