Land-based casinos are designed using complex psychological tricks. Every single item in a casino is there for a reason – and most casino interiors are developed by trained professionals. On this page, we’re going to show you how land-based casinos are designed, and how these designs aim to keep punters inside for as long as possible.
We’ll also show you some of the psychological tricks land-based casinos use to maximize profits for the casinos – and why these tricks are so effective!
Modern Casino Interior Design: An Introduction
The casino industry is a multi-billion-dollar business, and casinos are in the business of making money. As a result, business is all about maximizing profits, and one of the core areas of this is getting players to spend as much time gambling on the casino floor as possible. This is where casino interior design comes into play; the right design can influence players to stay longer – and spend more money.
In this guide, we will show you some of the tricks casino interior designers use to get players to spend more money and spend more time inside.
Casino Design Psychology: History
The psychology of casino design started with a man called Bill Friedman; a self-proclaimed gambling addict. Friedman realized he could use his problem to help land-based casinos exploit other players – and play on their weaknesses – and he’s often known as the founding father of modern casino interior design.
Friedman analyzed more than 90 different land-based casinos to determine what made players spend more money. His analytical approach soon caught the attention of casino executives, and many land-based casinos ended up hiring Friedman to design their interiors. He was hired to design the entire interior of the Playground Casino – although his influence can also be seen in newer establishments, like Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Today, land-based casinos generally stick to the recommendations Friedman made decades ago – and almost all establishments are built using the same common themes we’re going to look at on this page. Of course, this applies to land-based casinos only; online casinos use different tricks to incentivize gamblers to spend more money.
No Clocks or Windows
The lack of clocks or windows in land-based casinos is one of the most noticeable interior design tricks used. Almost every land-based casino in the world will avoid placing any clocks or windows on the main gaming floor; however, other areas of the casino – like the restaurant – are an exception to this rule.
According to Friedman’s research, the casino’s primary goal should be to get a player to walk through the doors – and keep them inside for as long as possible. Without windows and clocks, players can end up becoming disoriented – losing track of time. This makes them much less likely to leave – and much more likely to stay and continue gambling.
A Confusing Design
Casino interiors are almost always designed to be disorientating. The layout is unlike what you’d expect to see in conventional buildings – and this is all done for good reason. The team responsible for building land-based casinos wants players to become distracted and lose their situational awareness as this increases the chances of them spending more time and money. For example, while a land-based casino may have a glamorous, flamboyant lobby and entrance, this almost always changes once you’re inside.
One of the best ways you can see this for yourself is to look at the location of the restrooms. Casinos generally position restrooms as far away from the casino table games as possible – and you will often need to walk past many different games and slot machines to access the toilets. Friedman theorized this increases the chances of a player stopping to place more bets on their way.
The efficiency of this design trick increases with the size of the casino; for example, many of the world’s biggest land-based casinos in Vegas have the bare minimum number of restrooms – and players often need to walk more than ten minutes to relieve themselves!
An Intimate Playing Experience
Land-based casinos are – almost always – designed to look and feel comforting, homely, and intimate. For example, most casinos use multiple small rooms, rather than one big space – and this is all done for good reason.
The goal of casino interior design is to make players feel as comfortable as possible; only then will players be truly happy – and comfortable – to continue playing and spend more money. When players feel as though they’re in a homely environment, they feel – naturally – a lot more relaxed. This allows them to mentally let their guard down, which has been proven to lead to an increase in revenue for the casino.
Friedman also made a very interesting observation; humans are curious creatures, by nature. As a result of this, they like to explore new areas – and if a casino features lots of small rooms, with unique doorways and entrances, players are naturally inclined to explore. This can lead players to discover new gaming areas and games.
Another trick land-based casinos use to increase the intimacy level of their space is to theme their rooms. For example, many of the larger land-based casinos will have rooms designed using, for example, Chinese characteristics. The goal of this is to appeal to Chinese players – and they may use Chinese language and cultural symbols to put players at ease.
Other Casino Design Tricks
While Bill Friedman was one of the early pioneers of casino design, he wasn’t the only one to realize casinos should be designed in a specific way to maximize profits. Another researcher – Roger Thomas – also realized there were numerous factors land-based casinos should take into account when designing their interiors. Look at some of his discoveries below.
Playing on Your Senses
When you think of a casino, you probably picture bright lights, glamorous entrances, wealthy patrons, and lots of noise. This is no accident – and this is exactly the image casinos want you to have in your head. The human body is a very powerful – and complex – organism, and our senses are a huge part of our day-to-day life.
A famous study was carried out in 2006, revealing that land-based casinos could increase the amount of money players spent on slot machines by up to 48% – simply by pumping specific smells and fragrances through the ventilation system.
The researchers theorized that when players are relaxed, they are happier to increase their total spend – and using the sense of smell is one of the most effective ways of achieving this.
Music also plays an integral part of casino interior design; the right music can, again, put players at ease and make them feel relaxed. However, adding music into a live gaming environment has to be done carefully; overdo it, or play the wrong music, and you risk alienating players and making them feel uncomfortable. This is why most casinos use calm, soothing – and quiet – music.
There’s no denying that gambling is fast-paced, action-packed, and exciting. However, it can also be stressful – especially when losing money – and this is why casinos are designed to reduce the stress players feel. Interestingly, land-based casinos actually take inspiration from airports to reduce the stress levels on players. Airports are notoriously stressful places, and airport design is also a multi-billion-dollar industry, heavily influenced by psychology.
Think of it like this; when you arrive at an airport, it’s hectic. You’ve got to check in your bags, clear security, and keep track of your passport and belongings. Once you’ve cleared security, however, you’re prompted to relax; grab a bite to eat, get a massage, or head to one of the many lounges.
Land-based casinos are similar; once you’re inside, everything is designed to be as stress-free as possible. There’s food and drinks readily available, areas to smoke, ATMs, valet services – and hundreds of staff ready to accommodate your requests. This allows players to sit back, relax – and gamble – without worrying about the small things.
Minor Interior Design Tricks
The interior of a land-based casino is designed around hundreds of factors. While we’ve covered some of the main ones, there are plenty more – and we’ve put a few of these into an easy-to-view table layout below.
|Quick Gaming||Casinos want players to be able to gamble as soon as possible; this is why you’ll see casino games as soon as you’ve exited the main lobby and entered the establishment.|
|Space Allocation||Some land-based casinos are limited with space; as a result, they prioritize space depending on what will generate the most money. Casino games take priority, while restrooms are much lower down the pecking order.|
|Friendly Faces||As we’ve seen, relaxed players are more likely to gamble. Croupiers are trained to put on a friendly face at all times – and this helps to put patrons at ease.|
|Narrow Walkways||Researchers discovered that narrow, compact walkways help to amplify the intimate feel within a casino – and they can also prevent players from becoming overwhelmed.|
Casino Interior Design FAQs
The psychology behind modern casino interior design is fascinating; so many factors go into designing a casino, and you’d be amazed at how much money is spent by casinos during the development phase. Want to learn even more cool secrets about casino design? Check out these FAQs we’ve prepared.
Is it true casinos don’t have clocks?
As a general rule of thumb, yes, this is true. Most land-based casinos will avoid displaying clocks on their gaming floors as doing so has been shown to reduce the amount of time players spend gambling. Major land-based establishments like the Casino Del Sol in Tucson will have clocks away from the tables – but it’s very rare to be able to view clocks directly from the gaming tables.
Who is Bill Friedman?
Bill Friedman was one of the first men to look at the design of casinos – and how it affects players. Previously a gambling addict, he used his first-hand knowledge of gambling to help casinos create atmospheres where players would be more likely to spend more money gambling. His research is used by almost all land-based casinos around the world, including major establishments like Foxwoods Casino Connecticut.
Why do casinos feel so intimate?
This is done for good reason; researchers discovered that an intimate environment increases the likelihood of players spending money. For example, most land-based casinos offer small playing spaces, narrow corridors, and carpeted floors. This is all designed to make players comfortable – and adds to the intimate feeling players feel while gambling.
Are players psychologically manipulated?
Yes and no; while it’s true that land-based casinos are designed from a psychological point of view, almost all countries have laws specifying what casinos can do. For example, many states in the US limit the number of casino games that can be placed in one room, and facilities like restrooms must be available to all patrons throughout the building. Casino design psychology used by casinos is mainly designed to tug on a player’s emotions and senses.
Why do all casinos look similar?
Most land-based casinos are built using the tried-and-tested design methods discovered by researchers like Bill Friedman. This results in many casinos looking quite similar on the inside. For example, most casinos use carpets, have narrow walkways, require all staff members to smile – and some even pump smells through the ventilation system!