While playing a casual live casino game at home or betting on roulette in a crowded casino, have you ever wondered what it is about gambling that you enjoy so much? There is an inherent thrill, strategy, and competition among your fellow gamblers that keeps you betting. But is that it?
Research says no, and states that casinos use music to affect your psychology while playing and, to some extent, control the way you gamble.
Key to gambling
Whenever you go to a casino, you must have noticed that the number of slot machines is much higher than any other game type. The casino floor seems to be littered with slot machines, many of them stuffed into every nook and cranny they could fit.
The simple explanation is — slot machines are a casino’s favourite toy. Between March 2015 and February 2016, the Nevada Gaming Control Board Gaming Revenue Report showed that the total gaming win from slots over twelve months was about $7 billion while all other table games only totalled to about $4 billion.
This is why you can find yourself trapped in a maze of slot machines on a casino floor, each of them fighting for your attention. But how do slot machines keep you engaged? Apart from their own flashing lights, jackpot klaxons, and bells and whistles, they use the key of C to create a more pleasant sonic environment.
One study in Finland even claimed that the chord creates a feeling of happiness and nostalgia in the players. So the next time you catch yourself pulling lever after lever in a slot machine, ask yourself “Am I really enjoying this, or is it just the C chord?”
Muzak keeps the flow
Casinos try to create the most fun and relaxing gambling environment for its patrons. Apart from some disorienting elements like the psychedelic carpets and the maze-like layouts, yes, casinos are supposed to be a happy place for gamblers.
They try to make you experience completely unobtrusive by maintaining the perfect temperature — not too low, and definitely not too hot — and fairly dim lighting. But most importantly, they play easy-listening music called Muzak during the daytime to keep the gamblers relaxed. At night, they switch to rock and pop songs to keep you pumped up and going as long as possible.
Familiarity creates fondness
Casinos don’t just use the C key and Muzak to draw in players and keep them engaged, they choose every piece of audio a gambler hears with utmost thought.
For example, every song you’ll hear in a casino will be recognisable to you because of its familiarity and popularity. And no matter how small a prize you win, the whistles and triumphant sirens will make you feel good and even draw nearby players in.
To keep the distinctive clang of coins a part of slot machines, manufacturers still produce machines with metal coin trays even though most slot winnings these days are by voucher. Some slot machines are designed with the aesthetics to appeal to different demographics.
In the end, music is just one of the tools a casino uses to increase its house edge behind the player’s back.