Ever wondered why casinos all have the same sort-of layout and follow almost the identical décor? Well, it’s not because all casinos – which were ever built – had the same interior decorator! In this article, we’ll take a closer look.
The Conspiracy Theory Behind Casino Design
Some people believe that casinos have no clocks or windows so that people will lose track of time and, as a result, spend more money. While most casinos don’t have natural light coming through, it’s not because it is motivated by greed but rather than sunlight would create a glare on cards and the machines. This is according to casino bosses.
Carrying on with this theme, there are two people who are credited with inspiring the way that casinos are designed today:
- Bill Friedman
- Roger Thomas
Bill Friedman is credited with the classic casino design. As a gambling addict himself, he knew what keeps people in casinos and he made it his life’s mission to hone this knowledge so that casinos would be able to use this to their advantage.
He studied over 80 casinos in the region of Nevada to figure out what factors kept the people in for longer. As the games were all the same, he figured out that it had to be something to do with the layout which was key. In fact, his findings resulted in so much success that the layout of the grocery store is modelled on this.
As a result of his in-depth research, Friedman came up with 13 design principles that casinos should follow in order to keep patrons playing for longer. Some of these are.
- No clocks or windows to keep people playing for longer
- Labyrinth design to disorientate you
- Intimate settings so you spend more
- Making sure that the prize is visible
- Narrow rooms and compact rooms to make players feel at home
Roger Thomas, together with Steve Wynn, redesigned the Bellagio of the Las Vegas strip. He turned Friedman’s philosophy on its ear and instead of closing people into rooms, he felt that people were more likely to make high-stakes bets if they felt comfortable and revitalised.
Into his design, Thomas incorporated big, bright open spaces. His rooms had high ceilings that were adorned with opulent fabrics, skylights and European-style furniture to decorate the gaming halls.
Roger Thomas didn’t want to make players feel that they were being forced to gamble, he wanted them to have fun, whether betting on 11 men or watching the Roulette wheel spin. He realised that people went to the casino to relax and let off some steam. More importantly, they wanted to have fun and relax, which Thomas wanted to promote because he realised that when people are relaxed that are more inclined to make higher bets.
In the world of casinos, there are both types of casinos. You’ll find Thomas’ design more at the high-roller casinos while Friedman’s design can still be seen in the local casinos. Whatever design is chosen depends on the players themselves and what they will respond to better.