How casinos pick your pockets…quickly

via Andrew Sullivan

Casinos are very good at relieving you of your cash…quickly. It isn’t just the odds which are stacked in their favour either…they use other more scientific means to assist in emptying your pockets.

There’s a well-known study by Shiv and Fedorikhin showing that if you tax people’s working memory by making them remember a 7-digit string of numbers, people are more likely to make a less-optimal decision (they chose to eat chocolate cake versus the more healthy fruit salad option).

What most people don’t report is that this effect only held true if the participants had to make a quick, snap-decision. If they had time to think about it then they were more likely to choose the healthy option despite the memory load. We need to keep people distracted. …

Why do you think there are so many bright lights and loud noises in casinos?

Why do you think slot machines make so much sound when they pay out? These noises are relevant distractors. They capture your attention, they charge up your emotions, and they get you to think that you too can win big! They get you to play more fast and loose.


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  • Brian Smaller

    I must be immune.  Put a dollar worth of 20c into a slot machine in an RSL club in Sydney about thirty years ago to see what the fuss was all about. Meh.

    • jonno1

      Haha – did something similar at Twin Towns RSL many years ago. $1.60 came out. Took it and bought a coffee. The sum total of my gambling experience.

      • wannano

         I played blackjack in the sufers casino about 15 years ago…won $700 woohoo..spent it all again in 10 minutes..boohoo.

        Pokies and gambling in general have never spun my wheels, I work too bloody hard for the cash to want to give it to the Stanley Ho’s of this world.

  • SalaciousTCrumb

    Hmmm, I too have a similar experience. Those casinos must hate tight arses like us.
    I’m surprised they dont have some sort of sphincter reading sensor that alarms when fellow tight arses enter the premises.

    • wannano

       Yes STC..not only am I a tight arse, it actually is sooo tight it looks like a 1/2 bloomed rose upon being asked to part with any of my hard earned.

      In fact, it is in semi state of bloom pemanently as I loath paying tax as well!!!!

  • Agent BallSack

    Timely post Whale, I am off to Sky City for the first time ever this week, I have $100 to spend, if I win its a bungy off the Sky Tower, If I lose it’s the same – sans bungy cord ;)

    • Gazzaw

      If you have to do it Agent then that’s the way to go. Do it in style though & don’t go near the smelly hell hole that is the general gambling area. Unless that is you want to a see a cross section of all that is wrong with our society. It’s a very sad place.

      Buy some Sky City shares with your $100. That’s the only way that you will make money out of the casino.

  • Hey Agent losin’ $100 is hardly reason to take a leap – surely…..good luck with that. :-))

  • Bunswalla

    What is this? Casinos attempt to relieve you of your hard-earned cash, and are getting all scientific about it? I’m astounded – hold the front page!

  • Steve (North Shore)

    I have won, I have lost. The Casinos are there for a reason – profit.
    Now a small dabble in Lotto. If you can’t afford to lose it, then don’t play.

    Be sure not to buy a raffle ticket at the next School Fair, the pressure will be on with all the noise and kids hounding you.

  • Travdog

    Never lost money in a casino, too clever for that. It’s called not walking in the door. I play Lotto from time to time, certainly not well and truly roped into it.