The evolution of casino design

For decades, the bright lights and casinos of Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, and Macau have attracted people from all corners of the world. Almost all gambling establishments offer the same games of chance (blackjack, slot machines, roulette, baccarat and many others), so the interior design of the casino is the differentiating factor that attracts visitors.

The way casino gaming rooms are designed is not random or haphazard. Companies in the gaming industry are aware that the design and construction of a casino has a major impact on the decisions of potential players to visit a particular gaming establishment.

The evolution of casino design

History of casino design

Casino design has a long history. The original school of thought behind the design of gambling establishments was developed by Bill Friedman, a casino manager and designer. The American had a great fondness for gambling and used his experience to shape many of the casinos in Las Vegas.

For Friedman, the single most important success factor in casino design comes from understanding what percentage of visitors come to gamble and how many return. He studied more than 80 casinos in the Nevada region to find out what factors drove the success of each gaming establishment. All with the goal of discovering how to keep players in the casinos for as long as possible.

Friedman’s research resulted in a book, entitled ‘Designing Casinos To Dominate The Competition: The Friedman International Standards Of Casino Design’, which was published by the University of Nevada, Reno Institute for the Study of Gaming and Commercial Gaming in 2000.

In addition, the American transformed two long-term loss-making casinos, the Castaways Hotel and Casino (now the site of the Mirage Hotel and Casino), and the Silver Slipper Casino, into highly successful casinos in Las Vegas. Friedman established the principles of casino interior design: low ceilings, a confusing maze-like floor plan with many mirrors, and little decoration beyond the gaming tables and slot machines. He eliminated all clocks and windows, and used a layout design that would always draw gamblers back to the gaming floor.

Modern casino design

Today, modern casino design is quite different from Friedman’s classic vision. Designers such as Roger Thomas and David Kranes have revolutionised the way gambling establishments are designed, primarily by incorporating open, glamorous spaces with high ceilings and skylights, adding windows, and grouping slot machines and gaming tables together.

A new design approach to transform casinos into welcoming places, focusing on making players feel happy and relaxed when enjoying gambling. This sense of luxury and relaxation continues to captivate millions of people around the world.