The Psychology Behind Casino Architecture

Psychology Behind Casino Architecture

Lillie Mcguire
Posted on April 23, 2015 at 12:04pm

It seems like a hard sell to get millions of people to spend vast amounts of their hard-earned cash without any guarantee of ever getting any of it back. So, the question is, how do casinos do it? The history of casino design and architecture is truly fascinating. Not because of the lights and roman facades that dominate Vegas strips, but the immense level of psychology that goes into their construction.  

Casinos use psychology not just to lure players in, but to keep them there once they've walked in the door. Here’s a look at some of these clever tricks.   No Windows Can you think of any other commercial business that has as few windows as a casino... No? Didn’t think so. Casinos are typically designed with as few windows as possible. The idea is to create a cave-like environment where day and night feels the same.

It is a simple, but very effective tactic designed to keep players from realising how late it is. Combine this with the absence of clocks and you have a space where time simply doesn’t exist. Some casinos can even simulate daylight during the dark hours to lull players into remaining at the tables and slot machines, all the while spending their money.  

Impulse Control Perhaps you're familiar with the following scenario: You go to the grocery store with a list of items and the intention of leaving with the items on your list and nothing else, but something about that store makes it so you can’t help but get a few extra things? Casinos use the same psychology to attract your money. Rather than making snacks and bathrooms accessible, they put them in the least likely location, forcing you to walk past loads of attractive games before they get there. Pretty clever right?  

Labyrinthine Design The layout of a casino is so confusing that there are probably still some lost people from the 90’s wandering around there. This is all intentional off course. The more twists and turns the design has, the more distracted you will be. That’s why every time you’re about to leave, you end up finding a new game that you just have to try out.  

The Future These traditional casino psychology tactics have proven to be extremely effective, but as more and more online casinos emerge, land based casinos will have to adapt to the changing times.

So, what will the casinos of the future look like? Only time will tell, but you can bet that a great deal of research will go into figuring it out.