The Incorrect Assumption About The Presence Of Extra Oxygen In Casinos
There is a myth that started in Las Vegas and has managed to persist over the years. To this day, some people believe that casinos would pump oxygen into the casino floor to keep players more alert so they would continue playing.
Where did this myth come from? In a 1978 novel by Mario Puzo called Fools Die, a casino calls his building engineer at 2 am in the morning to tell him to pump oxygen through the air-conditioning system to keep the gamblers playing.
Why is it a myth?
There are some fairly obvious reasons why this is a myth and not reality. Large casinos contain too much air to raise the oxygen level by a significant amount. Raising it even one percent would require them to use thousands of cubic meters of oxygen every day. It would be very costly to do this.
More importantly, adding more oxygen would create a fire hazard. Air with more than the normal amount of oxygen is an accelerant that makes a fire burn faster. This would violate the fire insurance policies of casinos. It would also result in a public relations nightmare. Any casino where real money gambling takes place wouldn’t take these risks.
What measures do casinos take to encourage players?
Casinos will try to encourage people to continue to play but pumping in oxygen is not one of them. They will do what they can to make the environment attractive to gamblers. There are various intentional design choices that influence their behavior.
Elaborate light fixtures, sounds, scents, and rows of glowing slot machines draw players in. It is easy for them to lose track of time in casinos as they don’t display any clocks on the walls. Players can escape into a zone where they will play slots for hours without thinking about heading home.
The rush that players experience isn’t from extra oxygen
Players get a dopamine release while gambling especially when they have a near-miss. This stimulates the brain’s reward system even when there is no monetary reinforcement. The excitement of almost winning can be almost as pleasurable for them as winning.
Gamblers fear that if they stop playing, they will miss out on an opportunity to win big. Slot machines are also often based on popular TV shows, such as “Wheel of Fortune”, which makes people feel more comfortable because they already understand the concept.