As the Coronavirus continues to linger, playing casino games and slots from a computer or mobile device is one way to keep yourself well. But staying home from the casino can protect players from more than just the virus, playing at home is playing it safe.
While gambling has become a popular pastime with plenty of recreational value, casinos go out of their way to create an atmosphere that is not only alluring to players but that is created specifically to encourage them to spend on a psychological level. Stepping into a casino can be nearly intoxicating to some people and this is by design.
Location is everything
Some people obsess about which slot machines have the best payout or getting their “lucky” seat at the craps table, but the disadvantage they have against the House is a lot simpler. By just walking in the front door, they are susceptible to the environment of the casino.
A sensory experience
Once you’re inside a casino, you’ll know right away. Flashing lights, bells, and whistles, all sounding from the slots and the occasional eruption of a big win from crowds at gaming tables will let you know exactly where you are. The walls are often decorated in a palatial way, giving many casinos an opulent feel. It’s a very recognizable combination of sights and sounds for those who have been, one that is mesmerizing.
Many casinos are either built without windows or install dark window coverings so the natural sun doesn’t interfere with electronic screens–but also so that players don’t have a keen sense of the passing time. All of the stimulation from blinking lights and loud noises easily overloads players’ senses. This makes it much harder for people to weigh their decisions or to think clearly.
You may have heard the common sentiment that the “free drinks” at a casino are a ploy to make customers stay and play, but it’s much more than just the drinks. Everything, right down to the potted plants, is meant to create a certain mood. Part of this mood is luxury.
Casinos that are able to make their customers feel relaxed, even among the overwhelming lights and sounds of the machines, will have players that stay longer and that are more likely to return–even if they lose money.
The psychology of gambling
It’s not just casino operators who know about these industry tricks; in fact, some slot-like features have started to appear in video games which have led to debates led by lawmakers and about what constitutes “gambling” and how it can affect our brains. Psychologists posit that casino environments can induce a type of dissociative state that lessens our ability to react and make decisions. Some people seek out these types of dissociated mental states to deal with anxiety and stress, which is how addictions can form or be reinforced.
No place like home
Playing online slots and casino games is more popular than ever and, although many digital and live games seek to emulate their in-person counterparts, players have much more control over their environment at home. They aren’t going to be up against lures in the form of architectural designs meant to repeatedly catch and release customers. So if you feel like playing from home, make sure you check out the money bonuses at these poker sites.
However, just because individuals aren’t going to a casino doesn’t mean they aren’t at risk. Players should always be aware of how much time and money they spend on recreational gambling. Playing from home doesn’t make people immune to gambling addiction, although it can feel easier to conceal.
Especially in a time where many are struggling to cope with global circumstances, stressors involving addiction and mental illness are not only understandable but common. If you or someone you know are dealing with these issues, you aren’t alone. Visit one of the many online resources on mental health and addiction to get access to self-help information about gambling.