APPT Cebu: The science of the casino

April 28, 2012

It’s widely known and accepted that the casino industry is a well-refined, exact science. Everything from the layout, the furniture, the games, the lights and the music are all choreographed in a manner that ensures you have fun while the casinos make money. Every little detail is part of a bigger plan that is usually above the comprehension of the average punter.

“There’s a whole psychology to casino carpets,” explained Australian tournament director Chris Sandaman as we surveyed the concoction of colours that had been splashed together to produce the carpets of the Mactan Casino here in Cebu.

“They are designed to make sure that the player’s most relaxing experience is while they are sitting at the table so that they will stay there,” Chris added.

Hmmm perhaps it was true. The wash of aqua with orange, yellow, red, pink and green highlights that I was staring at was hypnotically discouraging. Unfortunately for the humble tournament reporter who is forced to pound the aisles all day, there is no escaping it.


Casinos are also usually home for a mass of neon lights and poker/slot machines. Fortunately in the poker room here we have been spared the senseless clatter of the slots which are segregated into a separate room across the hall. We’ve also almost been spared the epileptic-fit-inducing neon, but from our position at our blogging desk, it’s really difficult to ignore the two blazing neon lights that appear one end of the room.

One is appropriately labelled “Poker”. That makes sense I guess. The other one says “Lucky Star”. That one is not so obviously explained, but both are flashing wildly with a full rainbow of colours that would fit perfectly inside a Las Vegas Casino. Unfortunately they seem a little out of place here. Like much of the western culture here in The Philippines, they’ve imitated the US, but just slightly missed the mark.


I’m not sure if there’s a psychology behind neon lights. I guess there is, but somehow they just aren’t doing it for me. In an otherwise pleasant poker room where the carpet is covered by poker tables, and the only noise is the clattering of poker chips, the blazing neon only reminds me of the natural light that I’m missing. When I open my first casino, I’m going to install a window. But then again, there’s a science to that as well…


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