Casino Life: Psychology and Culture of Casino Gambling
By Dr Phil Watts
Walking through the doors of a casino can feel like entering a portal into another dimension. A cacophony of electronic and human sounds assaults the ears as you watch people transacting large amounts of money. But this is no ordinary purchasing of goods or services where you quietly wave a card or hand out notes from a purse. Instead, money is swapped for colourful plastic chips that are placed, pushed, and thrown onto gaming tables with seemingly reckless abandon by a wide array of people, young, old, cultured, relaxed, happy, and grim.
Phil Watts, as an experienced forensic psychologist, knew a lot about human nature before he walked into his first casino at 40 years of age. He had treated clients with a wide range of difficulties including gambling, yet was still struck by the casino environment - an exciting world with its own culture, pace, rules, social etiquette, and shared expectations. This other world intrigued and surprised him. So, he wrote a book about it.
Casino Life will be of interest to those who seeking to know more about casinos and their psychological effects, those who seek to find out why others gamble, and those who do gamble - not as a treatment, but as a window to see what you are doing and how that has an impact upon you.
Along the way you will read about why people gamble, why gambling can become addictive and the treatments used to help problem gamblers, as well as the beliefs around gambling and some of the elaborate theories people use to explain why they try to defy mathematical odds. You will also learn about the fascinating cultural and behavioural patterns of everyday casino life.