When it comes to gambling, a large number of people have to lose a lot of money for a few to delude themselves into thinking that luck is their personal on-call saint. Also, what most people fail to realize is that the house always wins. In 2016, the global gambling industry made over $400 billion. Keep in mind, those are just the public financial figures that were released publicly. The actual number is probably higher.

American casinos will profit over $120 billion in 2019. For the house to win, that means that somebody, you, must lose. The average American gambler lost about $500 in 2016. Now, this isn’t to say that casinos don’t pay out. Elmer Sherwin won $21 million at a casino in Las Vegas in 2005. You will find a handful of lucky casino winners, but only a handful.

The first and only time I ever visited a casino, I was struck by how much people were lost in their games of chance. My senses were overloaded by the loud noises of the machines and the gaudy interior decorating. Also, I could almost hear the desperate, unspoken wishes for luck like I was Professor X from the X-Men. Casinos don’t only make their money from their repeat consumer traffic.

The average one-time casino visitor spends at least $112. Even though you may not know it, casinos are designed to get you to spend as much money as possible the second you step inside.

No Clocks

If you are unfamiliar with casinos or soon to visit one, you will notice that there aren’t any clocks in sight. Casino management wants you to lose complete track of time while you are playing. You will also notice that due to the enormity of floor space and how the slot machines or gaming tables are congregated, you probably won’t be near any windows either to gauge time by sunset or sunrise. Even if you are, those windows will probably be heavily tinted.

Playing With Chips Instead of Money Downplays Consequences

Remember playing Monopoly? That board game emphasizes the need to understand the economics of life. It’s hard to take such life lessons seriously when you play with colorful Monopoly money. The same cannot be said if you end up losing your rent money in a casino after playing with color poker chips. When you gamble at a casino table, you must first convert money into colorful chips.

If you are gambling with cash-equivalent token substitutes, instead of actual dollars on the gambling table, then its easier to bet big. Or, rationalize away big losses and then just gamble some more. Gambling chips help you to psychologically distance the loss of real money with gambling.

Casino Interiors are Designed Like Mazes

Casino carpets and walls are intentionally colorful and gaudy. The floors feature curving pathways that are strategically adjacent to slot machines and gaming tables. There are no visibly clear or straight paths to the exits. The interior aesthetics of a casino are designed to train your eyes on machines and games of chance at every footstep.

Rare Wins Are Publicly Celebrated on Casino Floors

As I mentioned before, there are rare wins in a casino. When someone wins, there are flashing lights and blaring sounds. Staff might come out to congratulate the winner. However, this ad-hoc pageantry bestows a false sense of possibility on everyone watching. “If they won, I can win too!” However, your chances of winning don’t increase just because your poker table or slot machine neighbor won. The only thing that increases is your desperation to win.

Take Your Chances With Saving or Investing

There are better ways to use $112 or $500. Put that money in a high-yield savings account. You can use investment apps like Acorns where you can invest spare change. There are many ways now to invest with a little money. I can’t tell you not to go to a casino. What I will tell you from experience is that there are easier ways to throw away money.

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