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Casino Interiors


Playing games of chance for money has always been one of the favorite pastimes of many. Gambling offers the possibility of a life-changing poker hand or a slot spin being at the reach of your hand.

On the other hand, this hope of winning big has brought massive fortune to various casino owners lucky enough to run their business on the famous Vegas Strip. The statistic from 2016 showed that that the number of people that visited Sin City was close to 43 million, and the amount of money spent in casinos went over $35 billion.

It’s no wonder then that casino operators take into account all the aspects that can enhance their profit. One of the factors that are believed to affect the casino business is the way a specific gambling venue looks like inside.

For this reason, we are going to analyze two prevalent types of casino interiors among Vegas casinos and see which one of them brings more traffic and profit to casino owners.

The Classic ‘Gaming’ Casino Design Worked for Some Time

One of the casino experts that dedicated a considerable amount of time to casino interiors back in the days was Bill Friedman. He made a list of essential rules when the casino design was in question. According to Friedman, all successful gambling venues shared some standard features.


For example, he advocated for a casino floor layout that resembled a complicated labyrinth. This way, wherever casino visitors would move, they would end up in some other gambling section. This concept resonated with the famous lyrics “you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” Simply put, it was essential for casinos to offer different perceptions of space to their customers and to create an irresistible atmosphere that gamblers wouldn’t want to leave.

Crowded casino areas also played a significant role in this. When you think of casinos, you always get a picture of a heated craps game with a massive crowd cheering at the gambling table in anticipation of a winning dice combination.

Another essential rule was to create such an environment that would make gamblers lose track of time. Therefore, all clocks were banned from vintage casinos accompanied by natural sources of light. Casinos in the fifties and sixties usually had low ceilings and dimmed artificial lights.

Friedman also stuck to the notion that the only decoration needed inside casinos were various gambling machines. He also believed that an array of slot machines placed at the casino’s front door always had a better effect on gamblers than spacious empty lobbies.

He also opposed excessive interior decoration, pointing out that the entire casino design should work in favor of customers’ comfort. So there shouldn’t be any art pieces in the lobbies, nor heavily ornamented walls or ceilings. Colors shouldn’t distract players, and their main role is to soothe and relax them.

Fresh Ideas That Turned Entrenched Casino Design Principles Upside Down


Most Las Vegas casinos devotedly followed these rules until Roger Thomas appeared on the interior design scene and turned these principles upside down.

According to Thomas, who teamed up with Steve Wynn and reinvented the luxurious Bellagio resort, the playground casino layout was a more effective solution for many reasons. This layout provided smaller groups of games aligned in rows with broad aisles between them. In this way, gamblers could feel more relaxed as they would have more personal space at a gambling table or a machine. One of the recent surveys showed that ladies enjoyed less crowded casino areas where they could dedicate their time to playing beloved slots.

When it came to entrenched stereotypes about concepts of time and space inside casinos, he qualified them as dated and ineffective. He offered an open space concept, full of daylight and windows with amazing views. He did all the opposite of the principles Friedman had set, and this new concept turned out to be a huge success.

He also ignored the “no decoration inside” rule and placed magnificent glass sculptures in the casino lobby that he complemented with fresh flowers and vibrant colors. Thomas believed that the principles of classic casino design seemed absurd nowadays.

He also stated that gamblers were going to leave more money in the house when they felt relaxed and not pressured with crowded spaces or confusing floor layouts. When asked about his designing principles, he said that if you wanted gamblers to spend more money, you had to make them feel rich and glamorous. Thus, you had to offer them an opulent setting for their gambling adventures.

A Short Recap

We provided you with a detailed review of the evolution of casino interiors over time. Two main streams in the casino design both served the same purpose — to enlarge casino profit by making customers gamble more.

The classic design had obvious shortcomings; however, it prevailed in the most successful Vegas casinos for a long time. Then Roger Thomas appeared with his fresh outlook on the casino interior that incited people to gamble more.

Although his designing principles clashed against all the set rules, they turned out to be a huge success that brought equally huge profit to Bellagio’s owner.