If you’ve been to a casino lately, you may have noticed that there have been some changes to the way the casino floor is mapped out. What you may not have noticed, however, is that the way you feel once you’re on the casino floor has also changed. Interior designers have long understood that the way a room is decorated and laid out has a significant effect on the way a person feels when they enter the room. In fact, the idea that our environment can influence our state of mind has been around for thousands of years – the Chinese call this principle, Feng Shui.
Casino designers in the 90s designed their casino floor in a way that they believed would encourage players to stay longer and spend more money. These designers used what we call the ‘Maze’ concept for their design template., and it can still be seen today in many casinos. Nowadays, the thinking behind casino design has changed, and modern new casinos are employing a new concept – the ‘Playground’. We’re going to take a look at both of theses concepts to highlight how design effects the way you play
casino games and how casino’s use design to get you to spend more money.
New Online Casinos Look Better than Ever
Before we dive into the design concepts of land-based casinos, its worth mentioning that the psychology behind design concepts can also be seen and felt in new online casinos. Web designers know that the landing page, or home page, of new casino sites can make or break new casino operators
. In fact, the rise of new online casinos can be attributed to their innovative designs and clever layouts. And one of the advantages of new online casinos is that if you don’t like what you see, you can quickly leave that particular site and find another casino in a matter of minutes. Another advantage of playing at new casino sites is the number of games on offer since online sites are not restricted by their floor space.
But do online casinos really compare to their land-based counterparts? In many ways, online casinos are actually even better than land-based casinos. You can find all the same games online as you can on land, but in a huge array of variations and betting limits, and you get the benefit of being offered exciting bonuses and convenient payment methods. You also get to stay at home and play in your pyjamas.
Lost in The Maze
But what you don’t get from an online casino is the chance to experience the incredible atmosphere of excitement and the palpable tension that infuses a real-life casino floor. As previously mentioned, in the 90s designers came up with the Maze concept for the casino floor
. This design was used to encourage gamblers to get lost within the casino floor for hours on end and to be influenced by the excitement generated by the gameplay going on all around them. The thinking behind this was that the longer players spent in the casino, and the more they came across excited groups of people at blackjack tables and roulette wheels, the more likely they would be to join in and spend more money.
The Maze concept also played on the idea of there being no difference between night and day. Clocks were removed, as were windows, and the lighting was kept at a consistent level. The exits were purposely made hard to find. The slot games were arranged in curved arcs and were placed at random throughout the casino floor rather than being lined up in long rows at the entrance of the casino (as they were in the 60s), so that as players moved through the casino floor they would stop and play more slot games, more often.
More Fun in The Playground
The psychology behind casino design changed around 2010. One of the biggest factors to instigate this change was the realisation that tourists visiting casino resorts, in Las Vegas for example, now made up a large percentage of the casino’s clientele, rather than heavy gamblers. And among those tourists, women were more likely to be playing slot games than men. Designers needed to find a way to appeal to a much broader audience. Designers also realised that they needed to make the casino floor a more social environment, one where people actually wanted to spend a long time, rather than being tricked into it.
Casino floors were opened up to let in light and create space. Slot machines are now grouped in circles of four machines – this allows friends to sit together and socialise more freely while playing on the slots. The casino floor is now more visible from all angles. For example, a player sitting at a slot machine can now look across the room and see the action going on at the game tables. And the gaming tables are also set in clusters. The idea is that excitement is contagious, so a player on a winning streak on one table is likely to influence someone on another table to keep placing bets.
A Little Taste of Luxury
Casinos are becoming much more inviting. The ceilings are higher, the rooms are brighter, the furniture is more luxurious. These days, the décor of a casino floor is reminiscent of a 5-star, luxury spa. The seedy, smoky, male dominated casinos of the past are fading away. In fact, the new designs are changing the way we perceive the idea of gambling. Gambling has become a much more socially acceptable pastime today than it was half a decade ago. And while the house will always retain its edge, and you’re likely to walk away from the casino with lighter pockets than when you went in, you’re likely to have a much more enjoyable time in the playground than you did in the maze.