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The Psychology Behind Casino Architecture

The history of casino design and architecture is a fascinating one. Not because of the golden lions and Roman facades that dominate the Vegas strip, but because of the intense level of psychology that goes into their construction. Casinos use this psychology to not only lure players in, but also to keep them there once they've walked in the door. Here's a look at some of their most intriguing tricks. 

The Windowless Walls Quick, name any other commercial business that has as few windows as a casino.Not even a movie theater can compete. Casino architecture is typically designed with as few windows aspossible, creating a cave-like environment where night and day cannot be distinguished.

It's a simpleand effective tactic designed to keep players from realizing how late it's getting. Combine that witha conspicuous absence of clocks, and you take away all measures of time.

Might as well keep putting moneyin the slots!Impulse Control How many times have you been in line at the grocery store, waiting to get checkedout, when you suddenly find yourself adding a Snickers bar to your purchases? Grocery stores put these"impulse" items there for a reason, and casinos use a similar form of psychology to attract your money.Rather than making snacks and bathrooms easily accessible, they put them in the least likely locations,forcing customers to walk past dozens of attractive games to get there.

It's like the midway at yourlocal fair, except the games are usually much more fun.Labyrinthine Design It can take multiple trips to a single casino to learn your way around theplace. So confusing is the average casino's layout that there are probably people from the 90s stillabsently wandering their halls today.

This is, of course, fully intentional. The more twists and turnsthey introduce into the design, the more distracted the players will get.Oh, who knew the roulette wheelwas way over here? Well, I was going to leave, but...A Change Is In the Air Traditional casino psychology has proven tremendously effective, but newerarchitects are battling back against the old norms and assumptions. Many casinos developed in the lastdecade have eschewed, for instance, the suggestion that windows are bad for business. Instead of aimingfor a frenetic, enclosed experience, these designers are trying to make their casinos feel more likea luxury resort.

The new wave of casino architecture embraces natural lighting, colors like soft greensand whites, and high ceilings that make guests feel more at ease. Why has there been this sudden shiftin psychology? Some experts insist that it's because women make up a much larger portion of the gamblingdemographic than they did forty years ago. And the high-octane, gaming-cave atmosphere casinos have alwaysembraced was turning women off.

The new casinos - exemplified by Steve Wynn's Bellagio - have provento be a roaring success, recasting much of what we believe about gambling psychology.Moving Forward As online gambling sites proliferate,

keeping players home, casinos will haveto adapt to the changing times. In doing so, they'll doubtlessly use as many psychological tricks asthey can muster to improve the brick-and-mortar gambling experience. What will the casino of the futurelook like? There's no telling, but a great deal of research will go into figuring it out. That, you canbet on.

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