Casinos in Las Vegas or Macau truly look impressive from the outside but the inside you probably wouldn’t describe as a unique piece of architecture. Low ceilings, no natural sunlight, somewhat grimey carpets – there are surely more impressive examples of excellent interior design. However, the maze-like layout of casinos is actually genius.
Keep players playing at all cost
Architects for casinos, just like web developers for their online counterparts such as Cashmo, face a unique challenge. Forget what you have learned in school, forget about you know about design best practices, and focus on one thing instead – how to keep players playing.
About 30 years ago, designers in Las Vegas came up with the today widely adopted maze layout concept. No natural sunlight, no clocks on the walls, fresh oxygen pumped into the rooms at all times – players were supposed to forget the time of the day. And they did.
While in the 60s, casinos placed their slot machines in neat rows, the maze layout had them set in hectic arrangements. Players that wanted to leave the place had to spend several minutes to find their way out — valuable time with the chance that their minds tell them otherwise.
From Maze to Playground design
However, times change, and designers adapt. It wasn’t until 20 years later that casino owners thought a spa-like design, where customers feel truly happy, would outpace the benefits of the maze design.
High ceilings, painted walls, opulent sculptures. What if you could send players around the world while staying in the same place? Again, it was a genius idea, and casinos like the Paris in Las Vegas make you feel you’re in the French capital while placing your bets. Rien ne va plus!
However, casinos haven’t entirely left the idea of a maze. Despite more space and an airy atmosphere, visitors remain purposely exposed to the rowdiness and noise of winning tables. Casinos encourage crowds to build around blackjack and roulette tables because gaming is contagious.
The future of casino architecture
As design and expectations change constantly, what does the future hold for the inside architecture of casinos?
Researchers have been conducting various studies about how different smells, lighting, and sounds impact gambling habits of players. One study, in particular, found that certain aromas lead to “oldfactory-evoked recall”, a phenomenon that stimulates people’s brains due to nostalgic exaltation of mood. An odour brings back vivid memories from the past and enhances the mood of people, possibly leading them to wager more money over time.
No matter how the design of casinos will change over time, it will surely be a genius piece of architecture. Again.