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Why Do Casinos Have Ugly Carpet?

Why do casinos have such ugly carpets? David G. Schwartz of The Die is Cast blog and avid collector of casino carpet photos (amazing gallery here, blogged previously on Neatorama here) said that "Casino carpet is known as an exercise in deliberate bad taste that somehow encourages people to gamble."

Alex Boese of The Museum of Hoaxes has other explanations, including:

Colorful carpets better hide the stains (blood, vomit, etc.)


The intricate patterns are designed to conceal chips that gamblers accidentally drop. The High On Poker blog writes, "Rumor has it, casinos make lots of money with a machine not traditionally on the casino floor: the vacuum. The rumor goes that every night/morning during clean-up the vacuums pick up all sorts of chips that have fallen on the casino floor. The kaleidescope vomit [pattern] with its reds ($5 chips) and greens ($25 chips) would serve as a perfect way to fool patrons into losing their dropped chips."

I'd like to offer an alternative explanation: have you seen the decor of casinos? Obviously the garish carpet is to distract you from the ugly room!


I had always heard that it was ugly and hard to look at so that your eyes stayed up off the floor and looking at the tables, which caused you to gamble more. I like the vacuum idea though!
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We had horrible carpets at every movie theater I managed. I was told it was to hide stains and, though never properly explained to me, to keep customers moving. One boss claimed that people tend not to loiter over a busy print.
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Finally, a question I can answer.

Like every single detail in a casino, the ugly carpet is designed to get more money out of you.


These ugly and "uncomfortable" patterns are such that they push your gaze upward to the tables, people gambling, winning. This, tied in with the constant noise of slot machines paying out-even if it 50 cents a time for the most part--gets people gambling more.

Did someone actually research these carpets to get the desired behaviors? Yes, and you would cry if you knew how much money went into that "ugly" design.
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I work security at a casino and they make sure to tell you all the little tricks.

The carpet and roof are usually eyesores so your eyes remain upward to enjoy the flashing lights and cocktail waitresses, therefore using all their OTHER psychological warfare tricks to get more money out of you.

Another one? The music on a machine that they want to pimp out the most (the ones that cost more, pay out less) is louder than the ones that don't rake in the same volume of cash.

Red also triggers some psychological response to spend, spend, spend.
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Oh casinos aren't alone. Hotel conference centers and ballrooms have got to be right up there. Check out the "Painful upholstery and caca carpets" pool in Flickr...
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