No matter what I’m doing, I can’t help wondering if there is a better way. For example, I noticed yesterday in Las Vegas that many of the casinos have ATMs amongst thousands of slot machines. The casinos hopes you will take your money out of one machine, carry it several feet, and put it in another. There’s something about the change of ownership in your money that is considered entertainment. And judging from the crowds, people can’t get enough of it.
In the old days, when Vegas was less popular, the slot machines sometimes gave a little of your money back, at least temporarily. But these days all the nice hotels are at full occupancy. I’ve been here three days and haven’t seen anyone win a jackpot. If you think that removing the “maybe you can win” part from the equation would dampen peoples’ enthusiasm, you have vastly overestimated the intelligence of the general public. After Las Vegas trained people to lose 98% of the time, it was a simple matter to nudge it to 100%.
Now the casinos have people trained, like chickens hoping for pellets, to take money from one machine (the ATM), carry it across a room and deposit in another machine (the slot machine). I believe B.F. Skinner would agree with me that there is room for even more efficiency: The ATM and the slot machine need to be the same machine.
The casinos lose a lot of money waiting for the portly gamblers with respiratory issues to waddle from the ATM to the slot machines. A better solution would be for the losers, euphemistically called “players,” to stand at the ATM and watch their funds be transferred to the hotel, while hoping to somehow “win.” The ATM could be redesigned to blink and make exciting sounds, so it seems less like robbery.
I’m sure this is in the five-year plan. Longer term, people will be trained to set up automatic transfers from their banks to the casinos. People will just fly to Vegas, wander around on the tarmac while the casino drains their bank accounts, then board the plane and fly home. The airlines are already in on this concept, and stopped feeding you sandwiches a while ago.