Like the other senses touch is also highly linked to memory, emotion and psychological reaction. Casino patrons are always touching poker chips, tables, slot machines, playing cards, money and chairs. Using the sense of touch to make a casino patron as comfortable as possible can also be achieved using comfy silk chairs and soft carpets. Even chips are not made of metal so the association with money is broken. The temperature within the casino must also be kept to perfect comfort level to ensure casino patrons do not feel uncomfortable. Providing casino patrons with cards with credits on as opposed to using cash is not only more convenient but also reduces the perceived link to money and ensures people do not handle money which is by nature dirty. Handling dirty money will impact on the perceived quality of the casino. Everything in the casino must be clean at all times. Certain resort casinos take the sense of touch to a new level with vibrating chairs and touch screen slot machines. The proximity of casino patrons between each other when sitting at slot machines also impacts behaviour as excitement literally rubs off onto others.
A key issue here is smoking in casinos. As a start, having separate smoking and non smoking sections with good ventilation will keep every patron happy. A study was conducted in Las Vegas which conclusively proved that odour significantly impacted the amount of money spent at casinos. Aroma in the casino air can not only significantly alter mood but also make casino patrons feel more comfortable, relaxed and sociable. Smell like taste discussed previously is significantly linked to memory. Allowing a casino patron to smell something that brings up good memories and feelings would increase desired behaviour from a casino perspective. Casino patrons may wish to return subconsciously to smell the smell, relive a memory and enjoy the emotion. An example – Smelling oak at a Roulette table gives an air of sophistication whereas a hint of a spicy scent at a slot machine would give an emotion of adventure.
A casino urban myth – oxygen in casinos.
There was widespread speculation recently that casinos intentionally pump oxygen into the casino environment to increase oxygen levels. This is supposed to keep players more awake and playing for longer. But do casinos raise oxygen content in room air? This is highly unlikely as the fire hazard created by an oxygen rich environment would out way the potential revenue increase for a casino.
The repetitive jingles of slot machines and reels lining up for a jackpot win create an unmistakable casino feel. Apart from reminding players of the possibility of wining by hearing jackpot bells across the room, these are said to put resort casino patrons in a sort of gamble trance and further lose track of time and reality. Music can also be used effectively to alter mood reduce perceived time and irritation of waiting. One study showed that classical music when compared to top 40 music makes people buy more expensive things. Although this could be due to the demographic with money or type of product things like this should be kept in mind when designing resort casino music. Fast tempo music is often more associated with a happy mood and gets people acting quicker. Ensuring the right sounds are played to the right people in the right places at the right time is key to a successful resort casino.
A final Thought.
It is important to remember that the five senses have dramatic effects on people’s behaviour in a resort casino. Another good question is whether this applies to online casinos also. How would a virtual casino achieve such sensory heights? I’m sure ever more creative ways to achieve this will be invented by online casino marketers.
If you enjoyed this brief look at the five senses and casinos then why not try and compare these findings and see how online casinos measure up.
Ambient effects in a resort casino are critical components of a casino’s servicescape. They play a huge role in the effective functioning of a successful resort casino. Ambient effects include anything picked up by the five senses for example lighting, temperature, noise, music, colour and scent. All of these elements can profoundly influence the way a casino patron or casino employee responds to the resort casino establishment both consciously and subconsciously.
The five senses play an essential role in assisting resort casino customers to understand and interpret their experiences. Another marketing term used to describe this strategy is called experiential marketing. This applies perfectly to the resort casino example as creating and selling experiences is what it is all about.
The five senses and resort casinos.
Colour and lighting in a casino.
The ability to perceive with ones eyes is critical in all servicescapes especially in a resort casino. A casino can influence your moods and feelings very easily with clever use of colour and lighting. An example of the influence of colour can be seen by comparing fast food to sit down restaurants. Fast food restaurants have bright colours including red and yellow which are said to stimulate appetite. In contrast a cool blue would be used for a restaurant that wants customers to relax and spend a lot of time and money in one sitting. For a resort casino this can be seen in colours ability to influence the passage of time. Red is said to make time pass more slowly and also make objects appear heavier and larger. This is obvious by the pervasive use of red in resort casinos from walls to slot machines. Light and especially coloured light acts in much the same way. In a casino however you will never see direct light shining on a player or dealers face as this drains ones energy.
Resort casino building structure and layout.
The way in which entrances, exits, halls, furniture and passageways are arranged can have a big effect on a casino patron. A good layout will cause a person to want to spend more time in the environment. Certain resort casinos are often structured like giant circles so casino patrons can flow easily between the resort casino activities, however they are also structured in such a way so that it is very easy to find an entrance but very difficult to find an exit. You will notice that within a resort casino the exits are much less obvious and are obscure. The exit is thus away from focus. Even a specific slot machine layout is said to be structured in such a way so as to maximise player counts in the casino. Furthermore it has been speculated that higher paying slot machines that pay out often are placed in high traffic areas so more people can witness winning more often. You will also find upon wanting to leave a casino that you have to move past many areas wanting to take your money like a slot machine before you reach an exit or cashier. Better layout = better casino revenue. Additionally the height of resort casino ceilings are also perfectly measured to create the right excitement, atmosphere and mood be further reducing the pressure and passage of time. High ceilings also create a feeling of freedom in a casino encouraging a player to be more loose with their cash. Additionally the distinct lack of windows in a resort casino are another strategy used to reduce the passage of time as no indication of daylight or nightlight can get to the casino customer who remains focused on play without the mind wondering to the time.
Resort casino theme
A theme is almost always required in order to maximise the experience of a player through theme based experiential marketing. One needs only look at the various themes at Las Vegas casinos to see a casino themes importance for experience and differentiation. From ancient Egypt to a volcano, anything goes.
Resort casino employees are also a critical component of a casino servicescape as customers will judge the resort casino service quality through the casino employees. Interestingly casino employees are not allowed to wear wrist watches and you will also never find clocks in casinos. This is another strategy to reduce the passage of time. You don’t want a casino patron to jump out of his seat saying “oh my, is that the time, I’m late for dinner”. Employee dress code and appearance must also be congruent with the theme.
The furnishing of a resort casino also conveys messages to patrons through from, colour, scale, texture and line. They communicate boundaries, define movement, and can convey a sense of space or enclosure.
Taste is the sense associated with eating and drinking. Although taste is not directly associated with gambling, many casino patrons frequent bars and restaurants at the resort casino and therefore play a vital role in attracting them. Clever casino marketers use taste to make a gamblers experience a more sensory one. Snacks are often salty snacks to encourage beverage purchases. When gamblers drink more alcohol they are more lightly to relax and not be too concerned with money matters. It has also been proven that taste is strongly linked to memory. Tastes can bring up memories and moods to the surface. Thus providing a casino patron with his or her favourite drink at a slot machine could bring up the familiar feeling of winning or exhilarating gaming experience putting a casino player in the mood for casino fun.