I’m going all-in on this gamble of a DNews episode, how is it that casinos keep people gambling, even if they don’t really want to? Hey penny-slotters Trace here for DNews today diving into the flashy world of gambling. Literally, it’s flashy, there are lights and sounds and smells, adventures to be had money to be won!
But when you’re in a casino, hundreds of papers and experiments are brought to bear to keep you in their gilded halls. So how do casinos keep us gambling? increased arousal A 2010 study in the Journal of Mental Health Addiction found both lights and music created “increased arousal” effects.
And a new study in the Journal of Neuroscience looked at the brains of rats finding increased arousal increases dopamine reception — one of our brain’s powerful reward chemicals. Feeling good means we spend more, so casinos cash in on dopamine at every turn. Numerous studies say more arousal means more gambling, and faster music paired with flashing lights makes people bet more quickly and spend more money! But that’s not all… colored lights Marketers know the color red makes people more aroused too. And studies show red light makes people more gambley than blue light!
Thus, casinos put red everywhere! The Journal of Gambling Studies revealed a bunch of other insights into gambling behavior as well. Things like “the illusion of control,” the idea that if you’re pushing a button or pulling a lever, you have control over the situation… and if the risk seems low and you get an immediate response to your bet, you’ll bet more, and then more. free drinks/design Some casinos even offer free drinks, great, right?
For the casino. Alcohol lowers your inhibitions and increases expectations, further increasing play. architecture Even the architecture has evolved. I find this particularly fascinating.
Originally casinos focused on “gaming design:” all the slot machines and tables were lined up, all together in a maze-like configuration. It was thought that this design would make us step up and gamble at every turn. But based on scientific studies, casino design has been radically redefined. New casinos are based on the idea of “adult playgrounds” with high-ceilings and expansive, opulent, easy-to-navigate spaces; the Bellagio is the quintessential example.
Old-style casinos famously avoid windows and clocks to help gamblers lose their sense of place and time, but “playground” casinos make people feel happy and comfortable, with sunshine, high-ceilings and art; keeping us gambling, having fun, and spending that money. A study published in the journal Environment & Behavior proved that this is working. People like the playground design, especially women. In the compact “gaming design” women felt crowded by others around them, if they were too close to other people they’d gamble less. The adult playground design mitigates these problems, and women now gamble even more.
Slots, for example, are historically very popular with women, and revenue increased over 30 percent since 1970. It turns out, adding windows, bright colors, and a resort feel, has a huge payoff for the House. The research showed, gamblers in a resort playground casino feel more comfortable and are reminded to have fun constantly.
So they do. oxygen The thing casino’s don’t do, though, is pump in oxygen to give gamblers a modest high. It’s a myth, dating back decades. What they actually do is pump in scents which keep people aroused (back to that arousal effect, thing) and according to the scent designer for one company who does it, AromaSys: refreshing and soothing scents keep people gambling longer. conclusion In the end, casinos cash in on exploiting our psychology to the tune of 240 billion dollars a year. They do it with the games, the decor, the drinks, the smells, assaulting our senses to get us to make it rain in the desert in Vegas and elsewhere.
But what about gambling addiction? Isn’t that worth considering? Gambling addiction does have a genetic component, meaning if your mother or father has gambling addiction, you could too!
Laci explains how that works here. I don’t really like gambling, I’m just not taken in by it all… I like wandering the hotels, but I don’t feel the need to pump quarters into a slot machine. But how you y’all feel? Do you gamble? Have you stopped to think about why?