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.
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?