Nonverbal Cues in Casinos

A place heavy with nonverbal cues is a casino. Some of the best nonverbal environmental research is done for them. If you have ever entered a casino you may have noticed the carpet . . . specifically, how busy and probably hideous the carpet is. For the uninitiated, the crazy patterns serve two main purposes.forget-to-resist-me-casino-carpet

1. First, there are stains to cover – there are always stains to cover, but more importantly,

2. Second, the pattern is so awful that your eye literally can’t stand it. Instead of looking at the floor, you will look up.

When you look up, you see machines and tables. The casino uses nonverbal persuasion with the carpet. It is much harder to resist temptation when it is staring you in the face. And most of us do not resist. We forget to resist the casino and we start playing.

Believe it or not, the ugly patterns on the carpet are, “the result of elaborate market-research tests, designed to find the patterns and colors most displeasing to the human eye!” This from Bill Friedman, author of Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition.

They want to keep you looking up and disoriented (no windows, no clocks – except at sports book).

Now for what you probably didn’t know . . . the scent of money.

The next time you are one of these casios: The Wynn, Bellagio, Venetian, MGM Grand, take a sniff. Notice anything?

No, it isn’t oxygen being pumped into the air – a fire hazard if ever there was one, cigarettes and excess oxygen in air….

It is the scent of the casino – supreme nonverbal influence! Each one has a system that fragrances the air based on the number and types of people in the casino at a given time. It’s like an HVAC (heating and air conditioning) system, but for scent. The major vendor is AromaSys, check out the client list.

While the founder of AromaSys states that it is just sensationalism to claim that a certain scent can induce people to gamble, Alan Hirsch of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation in Chicago claims that “the right kind of scent induced customers to spend 45% more on slot machine.”

Perhaps it is just a matter of masking the body odor of the fellow next to you that causes you to not run away from the slot machine prematurely? In that case the casinos could do us all a public service by providing deodorant at the door. Just a thought.

What have you noticed about casinos? Anything you’ve wondered about?

11 thoughts on “Nonverbal Cues in Casinos”

  1. I’ve noticed that there is an impressive mix of people — young, middle-aged, and senior — and that there are more ladies dressed like music video ladies than I’ve ever seen in any one place. In addition, people always seem to be in a good mood in a casino, and the atmosphere is very lively.

  2. Interesting information about the carpet! Didn’t know people go this far for profit…

    I knew about the smells. Certain stores use this. For example, Abercrombie stores are always scented.
    But I’m sure there’s more to it than just carpet and smell.
    A lot of retailers play with the lights and music.
    Used to work at the Gap in high school and read in the magazine that they would play “Give a Little Bit” around Christmas season in hopes that the customers will be more merry and buy more.
    Have you noticed that when you try on clothes in the store they look great, but might not be looking so good once you get home? The lighting in dressing rooms is very particular.
    True for makeup stores such as Sephora. Almost any foundation will match your face in that lighting! Haha!

    Went to Gilly Hicks the other day – the store lights are so dimmed you cannot see anything. I had to hold an item up to the closest light bulb to see which shade of red it was! And the music is sooo ridiculously loud. To top it of, they put a half naked, fake tanned male model outside the store with some girl constantly talking to him. But their efforts didn’t have too much effect on me. I got my 12 dollar sweater and was happy 🙂

    Never been inside a real casino. (I’m not sure Luxor counts…) But I’m pretty sad that they use a vapor machine to scent the air… I’m sure that is wonderful for people’s lungs on top of the smoke layer.

    BTW, Phoenix International airport has the worst air ever. I had to keep on eating so I wouldn’t get sick…. What is their strategy?

  3. Really interesting. I knew about the carpets, but not about the scent.

    In the UK, I took my son for a tour of Chelsea Football Club in London. Chelsea are HIS favourite team, NOT mine – but that’s another story. The tour was surprisingly interesting, particularly the bit about the cramped, hot and smelly away team dressing room with slippery floors, and the luxurious sweet smelling home team dressing room. The icing on the cake for the home team was that their lockers were air conditioned with a rose scent so that their (Armani) suits smelled nice when they got dressed after the game.

    This stuff is happening all around us!

  4. One thing I have noticed is the amount of advertising in the casino– it is everywhere– even the Blackjack tables are often themed to shows restaurants etc. I hate it.

    When the Venetian first opened, I loved the lack of junk on the card tables as well as the much more open atmosphere. It is still better than most but quickly beoming junkified…

    Seize the Day,

  5. Never been inside a casino (what I know keeps me away). I read somewhere that people tend to think that they have more chance of winning more money than they originally had the longer they hang around. Apparently the opposite is true, which is why casinos use all kinds of ploys to keep you inside longer. I knew about the smell thing, but the carpet trick is new to me. Makes sense though, carpet doesn’t make you money unless there is a 1000 dollar chip lying on it.

    Keri Eagan

  6. I don’t remember the carpet specifically, but that is very interesting. Luckily for my pocketbook, I don’t gamble. It is very easy to get disoriented in casinos. Disneyworld is a place that is spot on with all of there marketing. They’ve got everything down to a science. Even the portions in the restaurants seemed to be the exact amount we could eat. Nothing left over, yet nothing more desired!

    Lisa McLellan

  7. Hi Kate,

    Viva Las Vegas, lady! Indeed, residing in Las Vegas as I do, I am quite aware. There are The Strip Casinos and the others. One that locals frequent has AMAZING BBQ. however, there is always a wait for the table… so we purchase drinks and spend some money at the slot machines… all while waiting just a little while.

    Nonverbal cues and strategy indeed!

    Happy Dating and Relationships,

    April Braswell

    Single Baby Boomer Dating Success Expert

  8. I don’t frequent casinos. But I have always noticed the floor. Yes it is most hidious. I can’t imagine someone looking at it that has had too much to drink.

Comments are closed.