Just 5% of visitors to Las Vegas claim that their primary reason for visiting is to gamble. However, 87% of visitors end up gambling.
Every year, 9 billion dollars of Las Vegas’ state revenue is earned through gambling.
So what’s their secret? Well, it’s science. Every casino is so designed in order to keep people inside; keep people spending; and keep them making poor decisions.
Casinos focus on such minor details to keep you awake for longer. If every one of the 37 million annual patrons spent 5 more minutes gambling, casinos would make a hell of a lot more money.
If you go to any casino in Vegas, maybe even in the world, There isn’t a clock to be found. The ability to check the time empowers you to excuse yourself because you’ve ‘got somewhere else to be’, or you’ve run over the time you budgeted yourself for the casino. Casinos strip you of this power. A couple of weeks ago, my mother went to Vegas with my brother and sister, and ended up not going to bed until 6am, just because they didn’t realise how late it had gotten.
Another essential feature of a building that is stripped from you inside a casino is windows. While there may be some panes at the front, once you are in the gambling arena, there are no windows to be found. Normally, seeing the darkness outside- or dawn setting upon you- is a signal to go to sleep. No such luxury is given to you inside a casino.
Lighting in places such as the Luxor and the Bellagio position their lighting in order to keep light directly off of gamblers foreheads; something that can drain you just that little bit more.
There are also tools present to throw you off your gambling game. For example, casinos will often plow you with free alcohol, to lower your inhibitions, and to make you worse at maths- such that you don’t realise how unlikely you are to win at blackjack.
A feature of the architecture of a casino is the positioning of fundamental services. The toilets, for example, are usually positioned towards the back of the casino, where you will have to pass through more and more gambling tables and machines, twice, if you wish to get back to your original seat. Casinos are set up exactly like Ikea stores, it is so difficult to find your way to any specific location- including the exit- that spending another £50 seems a hell of a lot easier than finding the exit.
One thing casinos do not do, contrary to popular belief, is pump oxygen into the room. While this would heighten the amount of oxygen flowing around your blood, it hasn’t got many benefits to the casino. If someone were to light a match with more oxygen in the room than normal, it could be disastrous. The risk/reward just doesn’t add up.
The one factor that will keep you awake and gambling more than anything else in a casino, is your body. The amount of adrenaline running through your body when you make a big win is more powerful than any individual technique any casino can throw at you.