Ever wonder why people can't stop gambling in casinos even when they're already losing everything? That's precisely because casinos were designed to make them want to play more. From the dark environment that makes them lose a sense of time to the ‘near miss effect,’ which makes the player feel as if they are “almost winning” rather than losing, thus further compelling continued play -- everything's planned. Moreover:
In most entertainment venues, you give your money away in return for some entertaining product or service—a book, a show, a drink, a meal, etc. In a casino, giving away your money is the entertainment. What it buys you is an internal, psychological event—a fantasy. You think you’re getting a chance to win big. Considering the odds, however, you’re actually paying for a chance to lose. Human beings are not very good at understanding and weighing odds. Once the odds are above zero, however slightly, they resonate in our minds as meaningful. The gambler’s enthusiasm about the tiny odds of a win is akin to the anxious person’s dread regarding the tiny odds of a calamity.
Read more about the psychology of gambling at Psychology Today.
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