The design of a casino can be a key factor in its success or failure. While this was always true, it became more evident in the time of Bill Friedman. Bill is considered to be the godfather of the Las Vegas casino designs. He used to manage 2 casinos at Las Vegas Strip and wrote 2 books about casino management in 1974 and 2000. He set the basis on what he considered to be the key to a successful casino design. However, Later other casinos like the Bellagio came with alternative designs that proved Bill’s ideas to not be completely true. Even though online casinos are web pages, this doesn’t mean design is not important. With so many online casino pages it is necessary to innovate as well. In the case of online casinos the design can be as important as it was in traditional casinos.
Traditional casino designs
As it was mentioned above Bill Friedman wrote the first handbook on what he considered was a successful casino design. Bill was a bit of a gambler himself and used his experience as a player to create designs that would hook players up. The main goal of his designs was that people that walked into his casinos would actually gamble and that they would come back to do it again. Therefore, these were some of his main ideas:
- No cloaks: By having no cloaks inside casinos, players would stop worrying about the time and focus on betting more.
- Low ceilings: Fred liked to create small rooms with different themes to create a sense of intimacy. He also liked that the rooms had low ceilings to avoid the empty space above players that could cause the open barn effect.
- Play as you arrive: On Fred’s design there should be slot machines as soon as you enter the casino so that you start playing right away.
- Free drinks: perhaps one of the smartest strategies was to provide free drinks. People go to Vegas for mainly 2 purposes, to drink and to play. If you have free drinks coming straight to a players table then they have no need to get up from the table and they will keep playing.
- Complex design: after having so many free drinks you will eventually need to use a restroom. Friedman had this in mind and for such reason would create complex designs in his casinos. The point was to make some sort of labyrinth on your way to the restroom or to the exit. Along this labyrinth players would find many gaming options that there was a high chance they would end up plating one. Besides this, there should also be no decoration as the machines themselves were the only thing that should attract the attention of the players.
The New Designs
The design of new casinos have contrasted with the ideas of Mr. Friedman. The Bellagio was opened in 1998 and its designers decided to change the game. They considered that players did not want to feel trapped and confused. After that, many of the new casinos followed the ideas of the Bellagio and they have proved to be successful. In contrast to Fred’s Ideas Thomas designed with:
- High Ceilings
- Luxurious lobbies at the casino entrances
- Big screen TVs
- Pools inside the casinos
- Massive works of art displayed in the casinos
Online casino design
Same as in traditional casinos, in online casinos the design is extremely important. The first web page was created in 1993. Online casinos were actually one of the first online businesses to have financial success. During these 3 decades the internet has evolved at an incredible speed. And in contrast to traditional casinos, there are some strategies online casinos can’t use. The smell, the architecture, the free drinks are some examples of such options not available for online casinos. However, for the main part, online casinos follow Friedman’s school in the way that the games are the key factor to attract players. Below are some of the main design features of online casinos.
- Web Page design: The web page design industry has advanced in such ways that games can be developed with great graphics. This way online games can be as creative and entertaining as possible. Moreover, with the advanced technology web pages are now fast and efficient. You will rarely have trouble accessing casino web pages.
- Theme: Same way traditional casinos have themes and they base their design and architecture on these themes, online casinos do the same thing. For instance, Thebes Casino has a website designed around ancient Egyptian civilization. The color and designs are created around this theme.
- Easy Access: Online casinos can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Wherever someone has a computer or mobile device they can play an online casino game. Moreover, unlike the labyrinth in traditional casinos, online casinos have web pages that are easy to navigate. Players are able to easily find their favorite games, make deposits, make withdrawals etc.
- Promotions: Online casinos will offer different promotions to attract players. Welcome bonuses and loyalty programs are a must on most online casinos. These promotions are as good or better than in traditional casinos. On the design of the online casino it is always easy to find the promotions.
The design of a casino is an important element for its success. For many years the idea around the design of traditional casinos was the same. The godfather of casino designs Bill Friedman likes to have small rooms with low ceilings and no cloaks. He also liked labyrinths in the casino design and free drinks for players. His main goals were for players to worry only about playing and for them to find a machine they might like anywhere inside the casino. However, a new wave of casino designs began with the Bellagio in 1998. Roger Thomas designed the Bellagio with high ceilings, massive artworks and luxurious lobbies in the entrance. He argued people didn’t need to feel trapped and confused to gamble more. For online casinos design is even more important. Online casinos have to work twice as hard to get players. That is why they have advanced websites with easy access and great graphics. Their main focus is in the games they offer which is a similar ideal to Friedman’s. There is no doubt that online casinos have as much success as traditional casinos and perhaps they might one day surpass them.