February 10

Casinos designed to help players lose money

LETTER

I totally agree with M.D. Harmon’s recent commentary about slot machine addiction. Casinos are insidious facilities that prey on the easily impressed, uninformed and often financially naive.

They are designed to help the players lose money. There are no clocks and no windows, the floors slope downwards toward the middle of the gaming room, and all bathrooms and anterooms are way past the games and machines. The gaudy colors are designed to stimulate the senses, keeping players awake and disorienting them.

There are no obvious pathways on the floor, and people navigate toward the machines. The exits into the world are hard to see from the gambling floor, and players can’t see very far into the room without physically exploring it, like a maze.

The sounds of most casino machines are all in the key of C major, so the background noise is not unpleasant to the gambler. The machines that pay out the most are situated where customers have to walk, so the sounds of winning entice them toward the main cluster of machines, which do not pay out as easily.

The air is perfumed, which can increase revenue by as much as 50 percent. Classic casino colors are red and gold, with gold related to wealth while red subconsciously stimulates the players and encourages them to make quick decisions and take risks.

Most players are not attractive high rollers in evening wear, but rather people who crave some excitement and are taken in easily by the flamboyant surroundings, the faux glamour and the anticipation of making easy money.

Donald Brann, Gardiner
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