How Casinos Use Design Psychology to Their Advantage

There are good and bad things that you hear about gambling institutions; whether it is
an online casino or a real one that you can find in Vegas and other places.

When you visit one of Las Vegas’ casinos, you might find that there are no windows and
no clocks being placed on the venue’s walls. That is because the belief is that these
institutions do not want you to know what time it is so that you can keep on spending
(and losing) your money.

You could say that design psychology really plays a huge part here and in this article, I
will talk about it and how casinos use it to their advantage.

The Gaming Design

To further understand the notion, it is important that we consult a renowned casino
consultant and a gambling addict, Bill Friedman. He has since changed his ways and is
now teaching gambling psychology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

That being said, Friedman told us that what really matters in casinos or hotel casinos is
the percentage of people who are willing to gamble and the percentage of people who
want to spend money. That is all there is to it when it comes to casinos.

His book, ‘Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition’, he has outlined what works
and what doesn’t when it comes to designing casinos. Here is a brief rundown of his

  • Low ceilings would often beat casinos that have higher ceilings
  • Casinos that have machines that are readily available as soon as a person enters is more successful than a casino that has an empty lobby
  • Casinos that have maze-like layouts are much more successful than the ones that follow a more straightforward design
  • Gambling machines are much more effective at convincing people to spend their money than any other impressive decorations
  • Pathways that have gambling equipment are more likely to convince people to gamble than having clear pathways.

What Does Science Say?

A group of researchers from the University of Guelph went to some Las Vegas casinos
to study how design can influence a player’s will to gamble. According to their study,
gambling, in itself, can lead to mental exhaustion. However, if the place is nice and has

a welcoming design, players are more likely going to be in a restorative state which will
push them to gamble even further.

In another study, a group of researchers has found that casinos that have soothing
background music can also help influence the player’s willingness to gamble for longer
periods of time.

When it comes to the casino’s architecture, everything is always going to be something
that can influence a person to gamble more and more. Think about the symmetry, the
layout, the design, the lighting, the color. Pretty much any design aspect can persuade
people to keep on playing.

Now, you might think that this only applies to real casinos, but online casino goers
should also exercise caution. The same principles apply, albeit in a virtual environment.
If the website and interface are pleasing, has a good set of games that you can play,
and some music to go along with the experience, you can bet that those things could
influence you to keep on playing.

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