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Techniques Casinos Use to get Us to Gamble

Abstract: In order to make us gamble as much as possible the casinos use a number of elaborate techniques. Some of them are presented here.

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Techniques Casinos Use to get Us to Gamble

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Written by: Author: Anton Åhrén, psychology student, Umeå university, supervisor Gunborg Palme, certified psychologist and certified psychotherapist, teacher and tutor in psychotherapy.
First version: 22 Jul 2008.
Latest revision: 22 Jul 2008.

Casinos use elaborate techniques to get us to start gambling, and to keep us at the tables. The most difficult stage, from the casino's point of view, is to get us to place our first bet. Once we have started, it's relatively easy to keep us gambling. Studies show that we are less aware of how much money we spend after we have made our first buy-in or placed our first bet. The target of the casinos is always to make us play as much as possible to maximize the profit from each customer. All the casino games are designed to give the casino an edge over the gambler. Techniques that the casinos use to get us gambling:

  • Giving us attention from a warm and welcoming staff. This makes us feel selected and special.
  • Through beautiful surroundings and strict dress codes the casinos create a luxurious atmosphere and gives the gambler a feeling of success and power.
  • To enhance this feeling some casinos offer free transportation to and from the casino.
  • It is also common that the casinos offer free drinks and food. Under the influence of alcohol, we are more willing to take risks and the probability that we will gamble increases.
  • To lure us to start gambling the casinos have different offers, for example that you get twice the amount of chips that you have paid for or that you get a certain amount of free plays.
  • By offering re-buys in tournaments we are tempted to wager more money.
  • Gambling machines are constructed and designed to encourage gambling through for example appealing sounds and colours. Some machines offer a variety of games to create a sense of control in the gambler. Since we can choose, we believe that we control the situation. The same factor explains why some machines have a start and a stop button. It creates an illusion that the gambler can affect the outcome of the game.
  • Through advertisement the casinos create an image of the gambler as a successful and happy person.
  • Sounds are used to signal when someone wins, for example the sound of coins falling in to a bucket. There is no sound when someone loses.
  • The casino is presented as approved by the government. This creates a sense of safety.

The laws and legislations that regulate the gambling industry vary greatly between countries. Therefore, not all of the techniques mentioned above may be applicable in all countries.

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