How Casinos Make It Easy to Gamble

You walk into a casino brimming with confidence, your wallet filled with cash and plans for a bit of enjoyable, sensible gaming and maybe two rounds of drinks. Hours later, you have no idea what time it is or how much money has disappeared from your bankroll. That’s because the people managing casinos have a number of tricks up their sleeves to make it easy for you to keep spending your hard-earned cash. Using sounds, lights, and physical design, they create a manufactured euphoria that’s difficult to step away from.

The word casino evokes images of glamour and opulence. But you’ll find it has a much deeper meaning: a place where one can gamble. The word is derived from the Latin for “to take”, and gambling has been a part of human culture for millennia. The earliest evidence of dice-rolling dates back to 2300 BC in China, followed by the invention of playing cards around 500 AD and baccarat in the 1400s.

Modern casino gaming is not limited to Las Vegas and Macau, but rather spreads across the globe. The Golden Nugget in Nevada, for example, has all the trappings of a traditional casino: a glittering façade, a huge complex of pools and waterfalls, and a 200,000-gallon shark aquarium. But it also has an edge: the casino’s high-odds games are mathematically designed to give them a built-in advantage over customers, which is called the house edge. This ensures that the casino will always win in the long run, even if all players lose every game.