Tricks Casinos Use to Keep You Spending

You stride into a casino, wallet in hand, and plans for an evening of enjoyable, sensible gambling and maybe two rounds of cocktails. But hours later, you still don’t know what time it is or how much you spent. The reasons for this aren’t entirely psychological: Casinos use sounds, lights and even physical design to create an environment that’s welcoming yet hard to step away from. Business Insider has compiled nine tricks casinos employ to keep you spending your money.

One of the most obvious tricks casinos use is to make you feel euphoric. The sultry scent of scented oils wafts through the ventilation system and is augmented by flashing lights and joyful sounds to create a manufactured sense of bliss. Casinos also strategically place alcoholic beverages within sight of players at the tables, causing them to drink more. And while the booze may lower inhibitions and cloud judgment, it also keeps people playing longer.

Then there are the games themselves. A player’s chances of winning aren’t random: they’re actually determined by the house edge and variance of each game. Casinos hire mathematicians and computer programmers to determine these odds, so they can predict how often a player will win or lose and then design the machines accordingly.

With violence, treachery, and avarice the central themes, it’s no surprise that Casino is a dark, violent, and often downright ugly movie. But director Martin Scorsese’s masterful editing and taut narration keep it lean and mean, a relentlessly entertaining thriller until the final scene.