People walk away with casino winnings all the time, but the thing is, for every person who walks out with $1000 in their pocket, another twenty people lose $100 . . . so the casino is always profiting enough to cushion its winners, as long as people keep coming. That’s why casinos are designed to make people want to be in them. Most offer free drinks, and if you join the players club, you can work up to free merchandise, free meals, free hotel rooms, and even free trips to sister casinos.
Next time you visit a casino, look at the walls. Not only will they probably be painted a dark color—likely a dark red—you’ll notice they won’t have something: clocks. Time literally is money where casinos are concerned. The walls are dark and there are no clocks in order to keep the place feeling the same inside no matter what time it is.
As for the walls? Red makes people hungry—so those dark red walls might be having more of a psychological effect on you than you think. The same goes for those “royal” red velvet floors and red-seated tables and booths.
In order to keep players happy, fed, and appropriately hydrated and/or boozed up, casinos usually offer free drinks and sometimes free food. If they don’t offer free food, there will be a restaurant. It’s much easier to get players to come back if they only have to walk a few feet to the restaurant rather than leave and come back.
Casinos tend to play pepped-up music, keeping players’ hearts pounding and their hands moving. Slower music lulls people, and casinos want players to have as much energy as possible. The longer they stay awake, the less likely they are to want to leave.
Even things you would probably consider downers are part of the casino trance, like “almost” winning. Getting two cherries on a slot machine. Putting a quarter in those construction machines and watching it almost knock the next level down. Being one card from winning a hand. Those “almosts” entice players to keep going and are proven to energize people.
More than having people just in the casino, though, casinos have to convince players to play. Some card tables will advertise for new players only, or will advertise low betting rates and low risk in order to convince shy, possibly inexperienced players to join in. Machine games are much easier—slot machines often rely on familiar TV shows, movies, franchises, and designs in order to bring players in. The Wheel of Fortune game is common and popular because it’s a well-known TV show. Slot machines in every casino tend to be made the same way, with the same stakes, and they’re familiar to players.
The layout of casinos can also be part of their overall psychology. When you’re on a gaming floor, it often devolves into a twisting labyrinth of machines. Tables will be toward the back, and you have to walk between slots to get there. Slots and other machine games will be scattered, sometimes seemingly at random—the trick is to get you to walk past more when you’re trying to leave or trying to find another machine.
Bars will be situated well in view, and so will the restaurant. Often the cash office will be well in view, too, and is often the brightest-lit part of the casino—so you can see how everyone else is getting winnings counted out to them.
Never fear, though! Simply knowing some of a casino’s tricks can lessen their effect on you. Other ways to keep your wits about you: wear a watch or keep an eye on your phone. Set a time you want to leave, and, more importantly, set an amount to spend.