Casinos are probably the number one thing that the Las Vegas Strip and Las Vegas generally are known for. You’ll see the bright lights and signs leading you to the casinos everywhere you look. But for years, people have been wondering if the air is pumped into Las Vegas casinos.
Over the years, various rumors have circulated about the devious tricks Las Vegas casinos use to keep people on their gambling floor and to spend their money 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Of course, no matter the time of day or the day of the week, you can walk into any Las Vegas casino and find people gambling, but the question remains– how are they keeping these people awake and spending more money when most people are sleeping.
- Fact or Fiction: Do Casinos Pump Oxygen Into the Air?
- Where This Myth Originated
- Pumping Scents in the Air
- How Do Casinos Make You Gamble Longer?
- Bottom Line
Well, one of the most popular rumors is that casinos pump extra oxygen into the air, and the extra oxygen keeps people awake and alert. But is this rumor fact or fiction? Let’s dive in.
Fact or Fiction: Do Casinos Pump Oxygen Into the Air?
Fiction! Though the rumor that casinos are pumping oxygen into the air is so widely circulated that you might actually automatically believe it, luckily, the rumor is NOT true! Las Vegas casinos DO NOT pump oxygen into the air.
Why Vegas Casinos Don’t Pump Extra Oxygen
There are several reasons why they wouldn’t be able to pump extra oxygen into the air.
For one, high oxygen levels in the air pose additional fire hazards. This is because pure oxygen gas is highly flammable and a well-known accelerant. The air would be easily ignitable, so even something such as a cigarette would cause flames or an explosion.
Additionally, through our bodies need to maintain a certain oxygen level at all times, too much oxygen is actually harmful. Oxygen toxicity, or oxygen poisoning, from too much extra oxygen, leads to cell damage, particularly in the lungs, which causes shortness of breath, coughing, and even death in some cases.
In addition to these two dangerous reasons, there is a practical reason why they don’t do this as well.
The infrastructure that it would take to pump the oxygen needed to increase levels in the air across the size of just one typical Vegas casino would be almost impossible without a commercial oxygen plant on-site or right next door. They would need almost 50,000 cubic meters of oxygen each day just to raise the concentration by one percent on the casino floor.
Not only would that be ridiculously expensive, but it is just not logistically possible, especially if you think about how many casinos are just on the Las Vegas Strip alone and the fact that most are open 24/7.
However, just to have absolute certainty that there is no additional oxygen in the air, the Las Vegas Gaming Commission does check the air quality and gas percentages during their regular appearances for inspections.
Where This Myth Originated
So, if they are not pumping oxygen, where did this rumor come from?
Urban legends or myths come from all kinds of different places; however, this one particular urban legend is thought to come from a fiction novel that describes how a mogul casino owner pumps in oxygen to keep people awake and gambling.
People, after reading this book, immediately began to believe that the author based this element of the plot on actual Las Vegas casinos, and since it is so surprising, the information spread like wildfire.
Pumping Scents in the Air
Though they do not pump oxygen into the air, most casinos do pump scents into the air. These scents make the space comfortable as well as make people associate certain smells with the casino. It provides good branding and adds to the luxury environment.
The best casinos also use high-tech purification systems to make the air quality the best it can be, which in theory could give the effect of more oxygen. A crowded casino all sharing the same air can, over time, create less oxygen in the air and allow for pollutants to build up. This is why purification systems help create the effect of more oxygen without actually using oxygen.
How Do Casinos Make You Gamble Longer?
Pumping oxygen isn’t the answer to how casinos keep players awake and gleefully gambling, but they do have some dirty tricks to achieve that result.
Casinos give the effect of having more energy by disrupting your natural sleep-wake cycle and creating an environment that creates dopamine, the happy brain chemical. They do this by having no windows or clocks for one, and every time the lights flash on a slot machine and the sounds go off, it creates dopamine, giving patrons more energy.
Additionally, they create reasons to stay, like using chips instead of cash and players’ cards, so you don’t know how much you have spent, keeping ATMs easily reachable while the rest of the casino floor is a maze of slot machines and tables, and doling out free drinks, rooms, and meals.
These are just some of the psychology hacks that they use to make you gamble longer.
Though oxygen bars can be a helpful resource for higher altitudes and offer other benefits, pumping extra oxygen in a casino is not the same thing and would create real dangers. Despite all of the rumors, the bottom line is that Las Vegas casinos do not pump oxygen!