If you listen closely, you’ll notice that almost every form of entertainment use music to create feeling and then action in a consumer – From boxing matches to your favourite rom-coms. Music can affect our mood and alter our thoughts or beliefs in the moment, and you can be assured that casinos are no different.
This starts from before you even enter a casino, with casino managers admitting they use the allure of live music or even pre-recorded live music to pull in people walking the strip, looking for excitement and adventure.
Once inside the main hall, the average gambler will hardly notice the music that plays over the roulette wheels and poker table, but its use is extremely effective and almost sinister in the way it can affect choice.
Its important to remember that despite a casinos cool and laidback appearance, nothing is left to chance. Every drinks bar, chair and overhead light was placed there to prevent you from leaving and making you feel confident in your luck and willing to drop huge sums of money in the hopes of winning big. The music is no different tonally to anything else in a casino, with most playing slow music to create a feeling of quiet control and the slowing down of thoughts, that leads to almost comfort betting. Casino designers are experts at making the gambler feel like they are in control – that they are there to win a huge amount of money and that the odds are on their side. Pushing past that lingering original rule, that the house always wins.
The psychological evidence for music affecting gambling behaviour is clear with a study involving 101 participants listening to low-tempo (slow) and high-tempo (fast) music. The results found was that low tempo music increased the amount of time that online gamblers would play for and the amount of money players would place on each bet. And high-tempo (fast) music would cause online gamblers to bet more explosively with bets being placed much faster.
The never-ending debate surrounding the morality of casinos is best left unmentioned however the effect music has on choice and their betting behaviour can be some cause for concern with casino managers choice of backing music engineering gamblers to place larger bets is it any wonder people are so addicted to the allure of casinos.
In the age of music in your pocket with services like Spotify and apple music, people have more choice over what they listen to than ever before and as online gambling through sites like this continues to grow and traditional casinos lose market share it may be time for casinos to allow for a more individualistic experience. For example, controlled lighting for certain tables or complementary headphones for guests. As the gambling industry becomes increasingly remote and online, casinos will continue to engineer ways of keeping gamblers inside and enticing in new customers but when everything is so readily available at home on demand it may become an increasingly uphill battle for the gambling giants of las Vegas.