From getting your personal information to
monitoring your every move, here are 10 tricks
casinos don’t want you to know!
Places like Las Vegas are all about the money.
If you have limited funds but still want to
gamble, a wise move is to focus on comps.
‘Comp’ stands for ‘complementary’
and it’s the casino’s way of keeping you
happy, even if you’re losing.
A good tip is to bet high as your opening
Spending a few extra dollars at the start
puts you in the good graces of the casino
and the comps should start flowing.
For example $20 per hand for blackjack gives
the right impression.
Don’t do anything you can’t afford though!
Also if those comps aren’t happening, ask!
A little initiative on your part can go a
Even if you are only hanging out in a casino
for the weekend, you can get all kinds of
Getting a player’s card is the right way
This is similar to a customer loyalty card
and they are free.
All you have to do is show your ID to register
for one and then the casino will send you
offers for free stuff using your info, usually
in the form of coupons.
Your info can also be used to snoop on what
you get up to but we’ll go into that a bit
You might ask yourself how you lost all that
money after a visit to the casino.
Clearly Lady Luck wasn’t on your side.
But it will surprise you to learn there is
another major factor involved.
One that operates on a subliminal level to
keep you in the building and make it difficult
for you to leave.
This is the maze-like design of a casino,
something the owners really don’t want you
to know about!
The psychology of casino design is talked
about by writer Bill Friedman in his book
‘Stripping Las Vegas’.
Friedman mentions that the best kind of casino
layout is like a labyrinth.
A labyrinth made up of slot machines and other
The gambler tries to find their way through
this elaborate maze to get out, but a combination
of short pathways and hard-to-reach exits
mean it’s more likely they’ll stop to
spend some more money.
Some casinos are designed like intimate spaces
rather than gaming zones the size of aircraft
This creates a sense of comfort along with
Add to this perks like free drinks and it’s
no wonder you decided to try your luck on
the Megabucks machine.
You couldn’t even find your way to the exit,
plus its hot as hell outside at least in Vegas,
so why not stay and chill for just a little
while longer…5 more bucks won’t hurt….right??
NORA stands for Non Obvious Relationship Awareness.
It was devised by Systems Research & Development,
a data mining company in Las Vegas.
NORA is keeping a close eye on you from the
moment you walk in the casino.
It’s no surprise you’re going to be watched
in a place with lots of money but NORA goes
The software gathers a wealth of personal
information about players via tools such as
See…that’s how the getcha!!!
It then uses that info to weed out cheaters.
However it can also be used to judge how valuable
you are to the casino based on your activity.
Big Brother is watching you!!
NORA works hand in hand with CCTV cameras
and a team of experts hired by the casino.
These include security pros, cryptographers
and game theorists.
The technology they use is like something
out of a Bond movie!
Playing chips are fitted with radio frequency
transmitters that let experts know if the
player is being sneaky with their game.
At the same time masses of information is
being gathered about you.
In fact you hand over much of it willingly
– for example when you’re trying to get
those all important comps.
Some have expressed concern that this gives
casinos too much power and that the information
can be misused.
Others see NORA software as positive for society.
The security tech used by Homeland Security
to fight terrorism started out in the casinos.
Either way casinos aren’t that happy that
you know about their snooping!
But even so, we probably don’t even know
the half of it.
There’s one surefire way to get free drinks
in Vegas… if you’re spending lots of money!
We’re assuming you don’t always want to
do that so here are some pointers on how to
drink for free without breaking your budget.
You can score some refreshment by hanging
around the tables watching other games.
But if you really want to keep the liquor
coming you have to put a bit more thought
The secret is tipping.
Bartenders and waitresses are always looking
for something extra.
Don’t let that idea scare you off though.
You don’t have to pay them a small fortune.
Start with a generous tip of, say, $5.
Then you can offer smaller tips as you go.
You can even drink for free at penny machines,
they aren’t judging.
Just be nice to the servers!!
Be careful how you go about doing this.
Casinos are getting wise to losing money through
comps and there’s talk of free drinks being
ruled out to save extra dollars.
We’d advise you to take the opportunity
before it disappears!
Chips Not Cash
Using chips in a casino is something you take
It’s easy to think this is all part of the
That it makes life simpler, avoiding the pitfalls
of keeping track of your cash or getting fake
A lot of us take it at face value and don’t
think about it.
However you should think about it because
this is another way casinos trick you into
spending your hard-earned cash.
For starters there’s the idea you’ll be
more daring with chips than cash.
$1000 looks pretty intimidating as a wad of
It’s a different prospect when its wrapped
up in an itty bitty chip.
Also remember what I was saying earlier about
chips being fitted with transmitters?
This is known as RFID, or Radio Frequency
These transmitters can be easily traced by
the management, making it a cinch to move
in on criminals after fast money.
Chips function as both a mental distraction
and a vital tool in the fight against crime.
Casinos don’t mind you knowing about that
last part of course.
The first part of the trick is one they’re
not so happy about broadcasting!
This next trick is pretty simple.
Casino owners want you to spend as long as
possible inside their establishments.
The more time you spend, the more money you’ll
There is a direct correlation!
In fact it would suit casinos if you lost
all sense of time altogether.
If only there was a way they could do that.
Well guess what?
They can’t stop time.
But they don’t have to have clocks on the
Or windows, or any way really to know what
time it is.
But I’ll get to windows in a bit.
A gambler could really lose track of what
they were doing without a reminder of how
long they’ve been wandering the aisles in
search of a jackpot.
A good way round this is to wear a watch but
there is a more obvious solution to the problem…check
the time on your phone!
Window to the World
Casino owners hate windows.
It’s as simple as that.
When you look out a window you’re not looking
at a blackjack table or a fruit machine.
You realize it’s gotten dark since you went
in to place a few bets.
And that’s not what the casinos want.
They create a sealed world where all that
matters is their brightly-coloured environment.
This is also true if you like to gamble online.
Make sure you’re near some glass so you’re
aware of time passing around you.
You can lose a ton of money sitting at your
keyboard as much as you can working the floor
of the Flamingo!
Don’t give the casino owners the advantage
– you’re there to play, not get tricked!
You’re being watched!
Player’s cards and CCTV are used extensively
to track your movements as you gamble.
The cards provide authorities with your personal
information and the cameras study your face
and more importantly your hands.
Take these epic levels of snooping into account
and you wouldn’t be out of line calling
a casino owner ‘Big Brother’, after the
all-seeing eye in George Orwell’s novel
The thing you should understand about gambling
in a casino is you’re not anonymous.
They know who you are.
The marketing department can then send you
whatever they like in the hope of tempting
you back for another spin.
And while you’re under their roof, the management
can keep tabs on you in an extraordinary level
This extreme surveillance culture is intended
to crack down on bad behaviour in the casino.
They are checking for cheaters, card counters,
and in recent cases, robberies.
There are arguments for and against this high
level of spying, but you know its there!
Sights, Sounds & Smells
A sneaky trick casinos play on you involves
bombarding your senses with sights, sounds
The flashing lights hold your attention and
stop you thinking about stuff that doesn’t
have anything to do with having fun and gambling.
Music is piped in to ramp up your excitement
Strangest of all, smell plays a big part in
Certain scents are pumped into the casino.
Smells that conjure up exotic places have
proved popular in the past.
On the plus side, the fake aroma helps to
offset the stink of booze and cigarettes.
And they usually have an excellent air filtration
system so you feel fresh and awake.
However you are being manipulated through
your nostrils to stay and play.
Watch your back.
Can’t say I didn’t warn you!
You’re losing enough of your cash while
So it may shock you to learn that casinos
add fees on top of everything.
Fees which are hidden and are less than reasonable.
This is the dirtiest trick in the book when
it comes to your casino experience.
The resort fee is famously unfair.
This fee is everywhere in Las Vegas.
It isn’t made clear at the start of your
stay but daily charges are applied to your
These are described as for “amenities”.
Even if you book online, when you check in
there will be at least a $35 resort fee.
Seeing as you’re paying to use many of the
services the casino offers anyway, that’s
some nerve they’ve got there!
Say you want to get away from the tables for
a bit and go grab a bite to eat on the Strip.
You could also fall prey to a Concession & Franchise
Fee, or CNF.
This puts an extra 4.7% on your bill for the
weirdest of reasons.
‘Prime real estate locations’ is one of
the reasons offered.
What has real estate got to do with anything?
Just be careful!!
Thanks for watching!
Have you been tricked by a casino?
Let us know in the comments below.
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see you soon!