For decades, casinos around the world have experimented with different types of music and lighting to gauge their effects on customers. Restaurants and bars also use these elements to set a specific mood but with casinos, there is a deeper psychological intent behind it.

Casinos want players to feel both comfortable enough to stay longer but also excited enough that they take more risky bets. In an empirical study entitled "The Role of Light and Music in Gambling Behaviour", researchers tested a group of participants under different sound and lighting conditions.

The experiment revealed that players were likely to gamble faster under red light combined with high-tempo music. Blue light was found the have less of an effect and if only red light or high-tempo music were used alone the effect was also lessened. Furthermore, they discovered that while high-tempo music increased the speed of bets it did not influence the size of the bet.

Private poker players often find that quiet and peaceful music like Gregorian chants or classical music helps them to concentrate better. At poker tournaments you will often see players with headphones in, listening to their favorite music of choice to help them concentrate.

Slot Machine Music

Slot machines, or 'pokies', are particularly popular in Australia and are often viewed as intoxicating for the sounds that they make. Few people, however, notice the music that is also playing from them unless it is very loud. Several studies have found that there is a definitive connection between the type of music played in a slot machine and its appeal to players. The music is usually quite subtle and while it is only just loud enough for the individual player to hear, it has a profound effect.

Many people think that the music in these machines is randomly selected, or matched to the theme of the slots game. However, often it is carefully chosen to ensure that the player stays seated for longer or returns to the same machine again and again. If you like playing slot machines but don't want to be drawn in by the sneaky music, check out online casinos that accept Australian players and simply keep the volume down.

Gaming and Music

These results are further backed up by a 2015 study from the Journal of Psychology and Psychotherapy. It investigates the influence of background music in video games and how immersive it makes the overall experience. The study found that participants who listened to the background music while playing enjoyed a higher level of immersion.

However, it also found that the players who were listening to the background music experienced significant time distortion. When questioned afterward how long they were playing for, the players not listening to music gave more accurate answers.

A similar effect is often found in casino attendees who emerge from a casino uncertain whether it is day or night. The immersive audio and lighting combined with a lack of windows seem to result in significant time distortion for gamblers.