Casino – How Casinos Keep You Gambling

The movie Casino is more than a riveting mob story starring Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. It exposes a deep, multilayered corruption that touched Vegas, politics, Teamsters unions, Chicago mob bosses and Midwest mafia factions. The film’s screenwriter, Nicholas Pileggi, wrote the book of the same name with author James Grady and adapted it for the big-screen, making Casino an immersive history lesson in crime, money, power and corruption.

Casinos are designed to lure you in and keep you there. They employ sounds, lights, and physical design to create a euphoric atmosphere that is difficult to step away from. Besides that, they use a number of psychological tricks to keep you gambling.

For starters, they never show you a clock. They want you to lose track of time and continue to gamble, so you can rack up enough points to get a free meal or even a free room at their hotel. Hence, they take advantage of the sunk cost fallacy, which is a common behavioral bias that leads people to keep betting even when losing.

Also, booze is served nonstop in casinos, which lowers inhibitions and clouds judgment. Those drinks also help people forget that gambling is not a way to make money; it’s a form of entertainment that drains you of your hard-earned cash, and most likely will leave you broke. That’s why it is important to start with a fixed amount of money that you are willing to lose, and stick to it.

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