How Casinos Manipulate Their Patrons


You stride into a casino brimming with confidence and a wallet full of cash. You’re ready for a little bit of enjoyable, sensible gambling and two rounds of drinks. Hours later, you don’t know what time it is or how much money you’ve spent. It’s a familiar feeling, but despite all the glitz and glamour, casinos aren’t just about gambling. They’re also about marketing, which is why it’s important to understand how casinos manipulate their patrons and keep them spending money.

While a casino might boast a luxurious hotel, cutting-edge technology, flexible event and entertainment spaces, award-winning spa and health club amenities, and delicious restaurants, the primary draw is still the games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, and other table games provide the billions of dollars in profits casinos rake in every year.

Casinos employ a variety of tactics to ensure that their patrons spend as much as possible, and the longer they play, the more money they’ll lose. In addition to the usual tricks like dazzling lights, sexy music, and joyful sound effects, casinos use scents and physical design to create an experience that is at once euphoric and hard to step away from.

There are other, more subtle ways that casinos manipulate their patrons as well. From the way a game is played to the expected reactions and actions of players, the entire casino environment is designed to shape the experiences of its guests in order to accomplish its goals. Casinos also have highly refined surveillance systems that allow security personnel to monitor the casino at all times from a room filled with banks of security monitors.