Nine Reasons Why You Should Scent Your Casino

Casinos are a wonderland for the senses.

The sound of slot machines whirring and ringing, the excited voices of dealers and players, the bright lights and flashing colors, and the unlimited free food and drink are intentionally designed to keep your customers awake, engaged and gambling.

But are you intentional when it comes to what your customers smell?

Research shows that aromas can have both positive and negative effects on human behavior. And just as you use sound, lights and appetite to keep the party going, scent is a critical sensory touch point that can reap dividends as well.


How Scent Works

Scientific studies show that the sense of smell is connected to the memory center of the brain (the limbic system), which can recognize thousands of scents, recalling both good and bad memories associated with them.

New scenting technology uses high-quality aroma oils and cold air diffusion systems that enable fragrances to be dispersed evenly and over large spaces. These systems atomize high-quality aroma oils, convert them into molecules and disperse them throughout the environment.

Thousands of scents and scent combinations are available: scents that are scientifically proven to connect with the brain’s memory center and help influence stress levels, mood, energy levels and more.

For example, scent might be used in your casino to neutralize odors, build brand loyalty, and even increase revenue. And those are just three benefits of scenting your casino.

Read on to learn about the nine reasons why you should scent your casino.


Reason #1: Create a positive impression

Marketing studies have proven that the first 15 seconds of a gamer’s experience set the tone for the overall perception.

So when players walk into your casino, you have 15 seconds to win them over. A pleasant and inviting scent can help create that powerful first impression that paves the way for a long-lasting visit. 

Scents such as white tea and bamboo are known to make memorable first impressions. These scents can trigger familiar memories, which make guests feel comfortable, enhance their perception, elevate mood and even lengthen their visit.


Reason #2: Neutralize odors

While the smell of cigarette smoke may have once been synonymous with gaming, increased awareness of the dangers of cigarette smoking and concerns about second-hand smoke mean that a smoke-filled casino could discourage patrons from staying.

Using aromas that feature notes of lemon, orange or grapefruit evoke a strong memory correlation with cleanliness and order, reinforcing the impression that your casino is clean and odor-neutral.


Reason #3: Build brand loyalty

The key in using scent to build brand loyalty is to choose an aroma that reflects the qualities of your brand and is so unique so that it becomes associated with your brand.

The Japanese brand, Maruhan, created a signature scent for its pachinko parlors and named it ‘Pomegrante Fusion.’ This scent features the aroma of vibrant pomegranates mixed with bright citrus notes of lemon, lime, mandarin and a hint of ginger. It’s introduced in the parking lot where it follows the customer throughout their time inside the parlor.

With more than 12,000 pachinko parlors throughout Japan, Maruhan creates brand loyalty by identifying the exciting experience of playing pachinko with their signature scent. Plus, the scent contains proprietary malodor agents that target the smells of smoke and perspiration.


Reason #4: Increase revenue

According to published research studies, the use of scent in the gaming industry has been proven to increase revenue and to have a powerful impact on the behavior of gamblers.

  • One such study involved scenting two areas of a casino with different aromas while leaving a third unscented as a control.  After a specified timeframe, the researchers determined that one scent increased returns to that section of the casino by 45%. The section scented with the second aroma and the unscented area showed no increase in revenues.

Researchers hypothesized that the first scent attracted people to the area and induced them to slow down or stop, making them more susceptible to gambling.  

Another theory regarding the section with the 45% increase in revenue is that passersby were affected by a phenomenon known as ‘olfactory-evoked recall’ in which specific aromas recall pleasant memory associations that enhance the desire to gamble.

  • According to the book, ‘Mental Dominance’ by Ha-ha Lung and Christopher Prowant, floral scents used at the Las Vegas Hilton influence guests to increase their playing time by 50%.
  • Another research project showed that playing time was greater on a Saturday when the concentration of scent was higher.


Reason #5: Trigger emotional conditioning

Because scents are so closely tied to the brain’s memory center, aromas often trigger desire.  Cinnabon knows this and makes sure that their mall stores keep the scent of fresh-baked cinnamon rolls wafting in the air.

In much the same way, a familiar scent induces casino patrons to recall the thrill of the game the last time they visited and makes them want to experience that thrill again.


Reason #6: Alleviate Anxiety

Some scents, such as the aroma of geraniums, are known to alleviate anxiety and nervousness, which are predictable emotions when one is rolling the dice.


Reason #7: Energize players

Visitors to casinos will often spend many hours playing games. Certain scents such as cinnamon or peppermint can energize players, helping them stay alert and focused while playing.


Reason #8: Motivate employees

Studies have proven that certain scents have the power to lift employee morale and keep them motivated. In fact, some businesses have seen a marked reduction in levels of stress after introducing citrus scents into their workplace environments.

Other scents such as cinnamon promote alertness and focus, while peppermint is associated with increased performance.

Casino jobs can be stressful, demanding and exhausting. Using scent to keep your employees stress-free, alert and focused is good business – for you and them.


Reason #9: Improve the interior

Some scents can even influence how a room’s size is perceived. For example, light scents such as green apple, cucumber, aloe vera or citrus have been proven to make spaces feel larger and more open. On the opposite spectrum, spicy, woodsy or sweet scents can make spaces feel smaller and more intimate.

If your casino needs a facelift and it’s not in the budget, scenting offer you an economical solution.


How Much Money Are You Leaving on the Table?

It’s impossible to know how much money you’re leaving on the table by not employing scent in your casino.

But it’s a proven fact that scent is a critical sensory touch point that influences the behavior of your players and employees as well as the power of your brand and the health of your bottom line.

To find out how scent can benefit your casino, give us a call at 800.213.1920 and let’s talk.