Home | Features | Do Casinos Pump Oxygen to Keep You Awake: Casino Myths & Tricks

Do Casinos Pump Oxygen to Keep You Awake: Casino Myths & Tricks

July 10, 2022

If you’re an online casino player who has ever gone out to hit up the real deal, perhaps on a Las Vegas holiday or a trip to Monte Carlo, you’ll know this feeling: you walk in to play a few rounds of blackjack or roulette, and the next thing you know you’ve been playing for hours. You’re not tired and it feels like you could stay awake all night. What’s going on here? It must be because casinos pump in oxygen, right?

Do casinos really pump oxygen to keep you playing?

Sorry to disappoint you, but no. Casinos do not pump oxygen into their buildings; it’s nothing more than a myth. It’s a fun idea, and casinos definitely do employ a lot of subtle tricks to keep people playing, but pumping a building full of oxygen would be a significant fire hazard and very much illegal in most places – including Las Vegas.

Where did the casino oxygen rumour come from?

Like a lot of good myths, this particular falsehood comes from fiction. Mario Puzo, best known as the author of The Godfather, wrote a book called Fools Die. In it, the owner of a fictional Las Vegas casino pumped oxygen into the casino floor in order to keep gamblers awake and playing for longer.

Since the novel was published in 1978, the rumour that real-life casinos employ the same trick has been ceaseless. While casinos are very well air-conditioned and often a bit chilly, the oxygen levels are the same.

It’s a shame that this rumour is so pervasive, because the actual tricks that casinos employ are just as interesting…

The Las Vegas labyrinth

If you’ve ever been to a Las Vegas casino, there’s no doubt you’ve found yourself lost in one. Don’t worry – it’s not your fault. Casinos are intentionally designed in a maze-like manner. You won’t find many straight aisles and simple signages letting you know where the different sections are, much less the cashier cage or the exit.

Curving, meandering paths around strategically-placed gaming tables and machines are deliberately designed to catch your attention and distract you as you wander through. Players trying to cash out their chips, leave the building or simply visit the bathroom need to contend with all kinds of temptations on their way.

You might have also noticed that the carpets in casinos are bright and lurid. Not only does this add to the confusing layout of the gaming floor, but it makes players much less likely to look down at the floor – and much more likely to have their eye caught by a jackpot slot machine.

Casinos pump in oxygen? They don't need to.

The sounds of success

Casinos are noisy. That’s a fact. Anywhere with hundreds of people having fun is going to be noisy, but casinos go out of their way to amp up the volume. Not only is this a distraction from decision-making  (especially sensible decisions like “maybe I should go to bed”) but it also shows players that this is where the fun is happening.

You’ll also notice that slot machines are incredibly noisy when they pay out big wins. Not only do they often pay out big prizes in coins to cause a huge clatter, but they’ll be blaring out bells and sirens to show everyone that people are in fact winning. And if they can, so can you.

No clocks or windows in casinos

This is one of the most common rumours about how casinos keep players playing, and this one is true. It’s very rare to see clocks or time displays in casinos. This makes it easier for players to lose track of time while playing, and therefore lose more money.

For the same reason, you won’t see the sun once you enter a casino. Just like removing clocks, taking out windows means that players can’t judge the passage of time. The gaming floor remains brightly lit at all hours of the day and night, giving the impression that it’s an appropriate time to be awake and gaming no matter the actual time. Who needs oxygen pumps to keep people awake when you have décor like that?

This is why when playing casino games online, the use of a session stop-loss or time limit is one of the best Responsible Gaming strategies you can undertake.