Casinos Have Changed – Is the Way They Use Music Different, Too?

The evolution of casinos is undeniable. The industry continues to flourish to this day due to its ability to change and adapt to the times. No one would have guessed online betting platforms would be the norm a decade or two ago, yet they are fast becoming the most popular form of wagering entertainment.

Music has been an effective tool within the casino sector because research in Psychology Today shows that songs can affect consumers’ perceptions of an environment. Of course, utilizing melodies was easier when everybody gambled in-person on a casino floor. So, how has the industry’s use of music changed as playing habits have altered?

selective focus photography of man playing electric guitar on stageSource: Unsplash

Modern Casinos – Matching Songs to the Occasion

Music was much more general in the heydays of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Lounge music was essential (more on that later), but owners couldn’t get around the fact that players liked to move from table to table or slot machine to slot machine. As a result, the tunes played gently in the background.

The rise of remote wagering providers means that tracks are often picked depending on the game. For instance, a high-tempo title, such as Cleopatra Slot or Double Bubble Slots is often accompanied by rock and roll music or house and techno. Blackjack or poker, however, usually prefers to keep the ambience more relaxed, which is why soft jazz or blues.

The use of personalised tracks shouldn’t be understated as total gross yields continue to skyrocket – they currently stand at around £3.2 billion. In the United States, the effect is more pronounced since areas that never benefitted from gambling are now thriving. Bonusfinder US has announced that online gambling in Pennsylvania is the second biggest in the US, bigger than Nevada and New Jersey. Music isn’t the only factor, yet it clearly plays a significant role in the online user experience.

What Was It Like Before?

There isn’t much difference in the philosophies of online and land-based betting establishments throughout the years. Just like online casinos want to do today, the traditional wagering platforms of the 50s, 60s and 70s also tried to enhance the experience as much as possible.

However, casinos in Las Vegas and Atlantic City mainly opted for lounge music for several reasons. The main rationale was that it created a sense of calm and tranquillity, which is backed up by a study in Frontiers in Psychology. According to the authors, the tempo is a vital element that affects people’s emotional processes. Research Gate goes further by studying the impact of ambient casino sound players’ perceptions.

Casinos in the past preferred slow, low-tempo music since it made guests more relaxed and more likely to spend money.

bokeh photography of man wearing shirtSource: Unsplash

How Are Land-Based Casinos Evolving?

Land-based casinos can’t personalise people’s musical experiences like remote betting platforms. Still, it’s not stopped them from using bands and artists to increase traffic. In Vegas, a “residency” is when a renowned star agrees to play for a season, with the likes of Elton John and Celine Dion signing up.

Even though the acts themselves don’t make the casinos money, the added entertainment, and the boost it has on the experience, leads gamblers and non-gamblers to spend more on the floor. This is also seen via sporting events, comedy nights and magic shows.

Casinos are smart. They understand how music works and use it to their advantage. Online platforms do it by matching the most suitable track to any given game, whereas traditional casinos opt for marquee names and headliners to draw in the punters.

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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