Casinos may look harmless on the outside, but they are different from any other building on the inside. With various strategies to keep players engaged and at the machines, there are quite a few interesting facts about land-based casinos and their targeted player base.
Brick and mortar casinos can be found around the world. While some countries have strict laws against them, others encourage operators to build rich and vast establishments based around one simple concept – gambling.
With billions of dollars in the middle, the game has become quite complicated and companies look to make the most out of their precious property and make sure players don’t even think about stopping. The results show a perfectly tuned casino that leaves nothing to chance and controls everything it can, including even the day-night cycle. Next time you are in a casino, we recommend that you pause a bit and look around for the architecture in order to really appreciate the effort that goes into keeping you there, and your money, for as long as possible.
In order to fully see these elements at work, the casinos in the glamorous city of Las Vegas are the perfect examples.
Casino Design and its Interesting Goals
Everything in a top casino is carefully planned and this of course includes the table layout, games sequence, the cashier desk and even smaller aspects, like the pattern on the carpet, the angle of the corners and more. The goal is to make gambling look very seductive and not offer unneeded information that would discourage the player in one way or another.
In this regard, the standard casino has tinted windows in order to not offer any clue to the players inside of the light outside. It is very easy to lose track of time and spend an entire night in a casino, before opening the exit door and being shocked by the sunlight outside. And speaking of time, casinos do not have any clocks on the walls, nor is the time made clearly public at any point. This again is in order to keep players focused on just one thing and the longer they are in, the more they are likely to spend.
An interesting aspect that can be seen in the floor layout of a casino and its overall infrastructure is the general lack of sharp corners. Everything from the paths between the games to the actual hallways in the rooms is designed to avoid an angle of 90° or even worse, cause the traffic to stop and double back. Keeping everyone moving easily in a circular fashion is the best way to get them to take a seat at a table or at a machine. Furthermore, specialists have found that a right-angle turn will trigger the decision-making part in our brain and this can lead to people stopping and reflecting on what they are doing. It is better to just have people walking without actually thinking that much about it.
The ergonomic seats allow players to sit for hours at a time and not feel any discomfort and every button is within one’s reach, including of course the bill acceptors. As little movement as possible means fewer reasons to stop the session. Advancements in payment methods certainly contribute to this since players don’t have to go and buy coins from the cashier or load their cards at the machine; they simply slip in the money notes and they are good to go.
More and more casinos are looking to shelter the slot machine players as casinos have noticed that the regulars prefer to be left alone in their own little corners in order to not be disturbed by other players.
Slot Machines and the Reasons Behind Playing
Every regular casino player will tell you that the action is at the slot machines. Not to take anything away from the many other games found in a casino, but the modern-day customer is usually only interesting in the spinning reels and the casinos have carefully engineered this aspect very well.
Once upon a time, slot machines represented just a marginal source of income for casinos and not that many players spent a lot of time on them. However, the story totally changed over the last decade and slot machines are now the driving force in the industry, pushing it forward with new computerized versions that make the classic 3-reel games look ancient.
This can also be seen in the profits the casinos make, as up to 85% can be associated with the one-armed bandits. Of course, the elaborated algorithms in the cases only play a part of the role in this regard and the rest comes down to the array of different strategies adopted by the casinos to make the machine stand out, make players try them and only take their hand off the buttons after a few hours.
The image that slot machines are only played by old ladies with a bucket of quarters has long been replaced by modern, flashy machines that will take a $100 bill and turn it into playing credits within a couple of seconds.
What was once one payline for three reels, is now up to 243 ways to win on five reels. Having the option to select tens of lines for every spin, or even hundreds, has changed the way slots are played in a casino. Looking past the fact that every line adds to the cost, the increased chances of winning make for prizes to come along more often. The interesting part is that even if these common wins don’t cover the size of the total bet, they come with different animations and sounds, making sure the player registers it as a win nonetheless.
While there are many reasons for players enjoying video slots, there are some interesting ones that have been noticed more and more often lately. These would suggest the fact that some casino regulars don’t really care for winning, or even for the thrill of playing for real money since we are on the subject, and instead just want to escape to the world created by these spinning reels. The concept is so strong that some players have expressed disappointment or even annoyance when hitting a major win, since the special animations and sounds disrupted their game flow.
Quantity over Quality
The movies representation of casinos normally focus on a few high-rollers and the big amounts of money they are willing to place on a longshot bet. While these players are valuable to a casino, the focus nowadays is more on getting the masses through the door and keeping them busy for long periods of time, usually playing for small stakes. While individually, these players don’t add much to the casino vault, having the numbers on their side makes them the most valuable since they generate most of the income for the establishment.
Volume is also what drives most the mentioned casino strategies and while they are aimed at the low-roller masses, they still make sure that every player feels special. Even in a room filled with slot machines, the acoustics will guarantee that sounds don’t bounce off the walls too much and every player is somewhat isolated in a small cocoon.
The time-on-device model is already widely spread in Las Vegas and is being adopted by casinos around the world. The goal is to not make the player bet a large amount of money in a short session and rather create an environment where he can enjoy the game for a long time without busting. The player should look back on the experience and find it pleasant, even if his wallet is lighter than it was when he entered the casino.
Busting a customer out can easily translate into losing a customer in the future, while only taking some of the money and keeping them happy, will result in repeat visits and loyal clients that will be willing to spend much more money in the long run.
But what about online casinos?
It is almost impossible nowadays to talk about casinos without mentioning their online counterparts. While markets are looking to legalize various forms of online gambling and the opposition is quite loud regarding problem gambling, it is safe to say that the industry is already booming around the world and we are at the point where players have a choice to make every time they want to play a few casinos games – either go to a local land-based casino or just go online and play from home.
Although online casinos strive to create a similar experience to the one found in land-based establishments, there are certainly various limitations and players can choose to create their environment as they wish, thus eliminating right from the start some of the strategies we covered above.
This doesn’t mean that online casinos don’t have some aces up their sleeves and they are actually trying different things, but with the same goal. The design of the website has become very important and in a variety of options, standing out with a nice style is very important, especially when the games can generally be found at other casinos as well. A good looking landing page can go a long way to making a player want to register and this can be seen across the leading sites.
And it is not just about how everything looks, with the actual gaming experience becoming more and more important. Players want to experience a smooth gameplay every time and not have to worry about bugs on the network. With a just a few clicks of a mouse, the customer should be able to start playing, either right from the website or even on the go, with the help mobile-friendly casinos.
Where online casinos really stand out from their land-based counterparts is where it is arguably the most important – the games. The games are what really matter and major online casinos can offer hundreds of major titles at the same place and just a few clicks away. The entire network of services is designed to make every player feel like he is the only one at the casino and there is no time limit or need to wait for someone else to open a seat.
Online casino games offer a wider variety of themes and styles and this is where players are won over. Furthermore, new releases are constantly being added to the list and they continue to push the boundaries between a slot machine and an actual video game.
We mentioned that slots players prefer being isolated while they play and having the option to do it from home is the best way to achieve this goal. The lack of interruptions from other players or from the casino staff is a plus that should not be overlooked, even at the cost of the complete real casino experience.
On top of everything, players are drawn to online casinos with bonuses and promotions and when it comes down to it, having more money to play is a major incentive for a lot of players.
All things considered, there are many interesting things to look for in a casino and knowing some of the strategies used by casinos can actually help players become somewhat immune to them. No matter if it is a brick and mortar casino or an online one, it is important to always play in a responsible manner and organize your time and finances as you see fit.