The Utilisation of Music by Casino Managers: An Interview Study
Music is ubiquitous in retail and commercial environments, with some managers believing that music can enhance the customer experience, increase footfall and sales and improve consumer satisfaction. Casino gambling is popular in the United Kingdom and anecdotal evidence suggests that music is often present. However, little is known about the rationale for music use from the perspective of casino managers. In this study semi-structured interviews were conducted with five casino managers to establish their motivations for utilising music, the factors informing their choice of music and the extent to which music is used with the intention of influencing gambling behaviour. Results showed that casino managers utilised two types of music—recorded background music, often sourced via external music supply companies and live music. Live music was often situated away from the gaming floor and used primarily to accompany participation in non-gambling activities. Recorded background music was not used with the direct aim of influencing customers’ gambling behaviour, but to create the right atmosphere for gambling and to promote certain moods within the casinos. To achieve these aims casino managers manipulated the tempo, volume and genre of the recorded background music. Casino managers also reported that some gamblers listen to music via portable music players, possibly with the intention of customising their gambling experience. This study is unique as it has provided a first-hand account of casino managers’ implicit theories with regards to why they utilise music and the roles which music is considered to fulfil in casinos.
KeywordsBackground music Casino managers Gambling Function of music Qualitative Interviews
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Ethical approval for this project was given by The University of Sheffield. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
- Berlyne, D. E. (1971). Aesthetics and psychobiology. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
- Business Pundit. (2011). 10 most sinister ways casinos keep you gambling. Retrieved March 15, 2013, from http://www.businesspundit.com/10-most-sinister-ways-casinos-keep-you-gambling/.
- Committee of Advertising Practice. (2014). Gambling. Retrieved June 23, 2014, from http://www.cap.org.uk/Advertising-Codes/Non-broadcast-HTML/Section-16-Gambling.aspx#.U6gbk5RdWpg.
- Gambling Commission. (2011). Industry Statistics 2009/10: Update covering 1 October 2009 to 30 September 2010. Retrieved October 3, 2011, from http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/pdf/gambling%20industry%20statistics%202009%202010%20update%20-%20july%202011.pdf.
- Gambling Commission. (2015a). Industry Statistics: April 2010–September 2014. Retrieved August 13, 2015, from http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/docs/Industry-statistics-April-2010-to-September-2014.docx.
- Gambling Commission. (2015b). Gaming machines on casino premises. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from http://www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk/Gambling-sectors/Casinos/Operating-licence-holders/Key-information/Gaming-machines-on-casino-premises.aspx.
- Griffiths, M., & Parke, J. (2003). The environmental psychology of gambling. In G. Reith (Ed.), Gambling: Who wins? Who loses? (pp. 277–292). New York: Prometheus Books.Google Scholar
- Griffiths, M. & Parke, J. (2005). The psychology of music in gambling environments: An observational research note. Journal of Gambling Issue, 13. doi: 10.4309/jgi.2005.13.8.
- Husain, F., Wardle, H., Kenny, T., Balarajan, M. & Collins, D. (2013). Exploring machine player behaviour: A qualitative exploration. Retrieved September 22, 2015, from http://www.natcen.ac.uk/media/205544/exploring-machine-characteristics-report-final-2-.pdf.
- Johnson, L., Mayer, K. J., & Champaner, E. (2004). Casino atmospherics from a customer’s perspective: A re-examination. UNLV Gaming Research & Review Journal, 8(2), 1–10.Google Scholar
- Kotler, P. (1973). Atmospherics as a marketing tool. Journal of Retailing, 49(4), 48–64.Google Scholar
- Mayer, K., & Johnson, L. (2003). A customer-based assessment of casino atmospherics. Gaming Research and Review Journal, 7(1), 21–31.Google Scholar
- Orford, J. (2011). An Unsafe Bet? The dangerous rise of gambling and the debate we should be having. West Sussex: Wiley.Google Scholar
- Parke, J., Parke, A. J., Rigbye, J., Suhonen, N., & Vaughan Williams, L. (2012). The eCOGRA global online gambler report. In R. J. Williams, R. T. Wood, & J. Parke (Eds.), Routledge international handbook of internet gambling (pp. 140–160). Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Schüll, N. D. (2012). Addiction by design. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar