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How Casinos Are Designed to Make You Keep Playing


You stride into the Luxor, Mohegan Sun, or Tropicana brimming with confidence and your wallet stuffed full of cash. You intend to partake in a bit of enjoyable, sensible gambling and maybe two rounds of cocktails before calling it quits for the night. Hours later, you don’t know what time it is, how many drinks you’ve had, or where all your money has gone. The answer is that casinos are designed to make you keep playing—and losing your hard-earned money. Every aspect of a casino, from the music to the physical design, is engineered to lead you to spend more money.

From the moment you walk through the door — which is often tinted dark to dampen outside light — the environment is designed to trick you into forgetting what time of day it actually is. Casinos feature decor that tricks you into thinking it’s daylight, with brightly colored carpeting and ceilings painted to resemble the sky. Even the noises of people betting on horse races, the clacking of coins in slot machines, and the clanking of bells from the bar are orchestrated to create a manufactured feeling of excitement and euphoria.

While there are some people who play at casinos with the sole intention of making a big jackpot, most are simply trying to win back some of what they lost on their last spin or hand. This is why casinos use every trick in the book to keep people coming back for more: glitzy signage, sexy shows, and free cocktails.