Friday, January 25, 2008

Vegas Casinos and the subliminal gaming muse(ick!)

If you walk into any Vegas casino, you are bound to notice ( usually ) very loud, piped in music. The music, just like the carpets, lighting, and decor are chosen carefully by the behavioral psychologists the casinos consulted, to excite your emotions, and induce you to "live it up" and forget ( distract you from ) your natural inhibitions. Sometimes the music is chosen to appeal to a certain demographic. Often, if you can determine what era the music is from, then you can pretty much pinpoint which age group the casino believes is their greatest "contributor" - uhhhh, I meant customer!

If the music is not your cup of tea and it is played loudly enough, it can often have the opposite effect than what the casino intended. This happened to my wife and I when we recently visited the Casino MonteLago in Henderson. Contemporary and nineties music were blaring from their rather good music system. Apparently the source was an XM radio station. I hate Britney Spears' music and all the other sappy, sexually charged music that sounds like it. But apparently, the casino is trying rather unsuccessfully ( IMHO ) to attract a younger crowd who thinks this type of musical crap is cool. ( And yes, I am old enough to have the right to say "cool". :-)

This piped in music was played at a level which made it hard for me to even think where my wallet was without being annoyed. It was louder than the noises coming from the penny keno slot machine that I was playing ( low roller that I am ) . I complained to the slot supervisor on duty, and he said we were not the only people who have complained about the background music, and that they ( the management ) were "looking into it". After the casino recently changed ownership they had made the remarkable decision to tear down their perfectly good live music stage and convert it to a "private" high limit slot room. I did not see anybody playing in there, probably because it was unimaginatively built with no full time human attendants, and with just some big screen TV's lining the walls to differentiate it from the rest of the casino. As if to say to the more ambitious, affluent patrons, here is a play area with some 100 dollar denominated games to keep you busy and if that is not enough to keep you happy, you can watch sports TV! Sort of a bad day care center for people willing and able to throw very large amounts of money into slot machines. What an insult.

I vote that they bring back the live music venue and maybe ratchet down the volume of their background music and change the type of music to appeal to a wider audience, most of whom do not really care to listen to lousy XM radio music while gambling. Me, I like live music. But I'm an old foggy, what do I know about how to run a casino? But I predict that the casinos that avoid the homogenized cookie cutter mentality and not treat their patrons like player card numbers will be the ones to attract the future Vegas gamer. When all the casinos begin to look alike, why would anybody choose yours, Mr. Casino Operator?


1 comments:

JIM said...

BRAVO, MIKE, BRAVO... THE MOB HAD IT RIGHT... PROVIDE YOUR GUESTS WITH GOOD, FUN "LIVE" ENTERTAINMENT AND YOUR GUESTS WILL GLADY PLUNK THEIR QUARTERS IN YOUR MACHINES ALL NIGHT LONG, AND LEAVE HAPPY AND "ENTERTAINED". THE SWITCH TO PIPED IN IN MUSIC AND "DJ'S" STANDING THERE PLAYING A CD PLAYER (OH, YEAH... NOW THAT TAKES A LOT OF TALENT !!!) WILL BE THE DEATH OF THIS TOWN... SOOOO NICE TO HAVE YOUR BLOG BACK. SHALOOOHA....

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