9 Casino Tricks to Keep You Spending

We’ve all been there: Strolling into the Luxor, Mohegan Sun, or Tropicana brimming with confidence and armed with a wallet full of cash for a bit of enjoyable, sensible gaming and maybe two rounds of cocktails. A few hours later, you have no idea what time it is, how many drinks you’ve had, or how much your bankroll has dwindled. That’s because every aspect of casinos is designed to lead you deeper and farther into spending your money. From sounds to physical design, here are nine tricks casinos use to keep you spending.

1. They use scents.

Besides the joyous sound of slot machines, casinos use scents to create a manufactured euphoria that keeps customers coming back. Whether it’s the smell of fresh bread or coffee, the aromas waft through casino ventilation systems and are paired with bright lights to keep gamblers feeling happy. They’re especially effective in the case of video poker, where players must use skill to win, and blackjack, where the slightest statistical deviation sticks out like a sore thumb.

2. They never show you the clock.

Casino is one of Martin Scorsese’s longest movies, but it doesn’t lag or run out of steam by the end. Scorsese’s masterful editing and taut narration make it a lean, mean thriller that is gripping from start to finish.

It’s no coincidence that gambling is a wildly addictive activity. The brain is a huge and innately complicated muscle that needs to be exercised to stay healthy. Gambling provides a convenient, low-impact way to do just that — and it’s hard to stop once you get started.

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