The Correlation Between Gambling and Music

Music plays a major role in our lives. Not only does music enhance our general well being, but it is used to create the right atmosphere and elevate our moods. Once you enter a casino, you can be assured that the casino will do everything in its power to provide you with a pleasant and relaxing gambling atmosphere.

Regular Blackjack and Roulette players often don’t realise the kind of musical spell they are under at casinos. It is a fact that music impacts our relaxation levels, perceptions and behaviours oftentimes psychologically arousing them (in turn, impacting the casino revenues directly!). But don’t expect death metal music in regular and online casinos! These institutions need a certain type of music that has a lot to do with the gambling and risk-taking propensity of the players.


A brief history

‘Casino’ is derived from an Italian word and was initially referred to the small country villa and social club gathering full of communal activities. People used to flock to these casinos not with the intention of gambling but to spend their time involving dancing and listening to music. The first instance of the introduction of music to the gambling culture can be traced back to the US. In the early 19th century, the salons were the first place where you could participate in singing and piano music events. After the 20th-century government ban on gambling, the casino culture deteriorated into illegal gambling and drinking businesses and led to the emergence of a new type of music genre named Jazz.

Between 1920-1930, Jazz became quite synonymous with the youth culture with prominent singers like Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Joe “King” Oliver, Bing Crosby, Paul Whiteman, and Duke Ellington creating back to back classical hits. Following this, in the 1950s and the 1960s, prominent resorts such as Sahara and The Riviera started to host live orchestras and full-time bands but corporate entries started to take them down due to their unprofitability by the 1970s. This marked the end of the golden days of casino music and replaced them with taped music that we are so habituated to nowadays.

Popular songs inspired by gambling

Besides the taped music in casinos, renowned singers and bands have been inspired by the casino culture and have devised their own songs related to it. If you love casinos, then, you should definitely check this playlist out!

  • Viva Las Vegas – Elvis Presley
  • The Card Cheat – The Clash
  • Good Run of Bad Luck – Clint Black
  • The Gambler – Kenny Rogers
  • Ace of Spades – Motörhead
  • Tumbling Dice – The Rolling Stones
  • Poker Face – Lady Gaga


According to a 2007 article issued in the International Gambling Studies, three experts namely, Dixon L, Trigg R, and Griffiths M studied the impact of tempo music on the player’s gambling propensity. The result was surprising. They found that different levels of tempos impacted the gambling behaviour of players. For example, when fast music was played, the gamblers tended to place more bets quickly unconsciously without thinking too much. On the other hand, slow tempo music made the gamblers uneasy and often took the excitement out of the casino games. This is how advertisers and marketers use music to reach target markets. It is the only reason why you will hear pleasant musical interims in slot machines.

In another paper published by the Norwegian Research Council, an investigation on the effects of music on gambling behaviour was performed by five industry experts. They analysed the behaviours of 101 participants who were playing a card game called SuperJack. 50% of the players listened to slow tempo Jaz music while the other half listened to fast tempo pop music. The results were again surprising! Just as they had perceived, faster music resulted in a higher pace of betting but the slow tempo music also resulted in high number bets.

More research needs to be done to properly correlate the connection.

What about online casinos?

Background music is quite different in the case of online casinos. Here, players are given total freedom to turn on and off the music whenever they feel like. It is up to the player if he wants to listen to some stimulating music or play in silence to enhance concentration during the gameplay.

How music affects gamblers?

  • Atmosphere – Several players gamble just for recreational purposes. In this case, music can help to uplift their moods. The choice of tempo and music is responsible for creating the ideal atmosphere for gambling. The tempo is crucial for determining the terms of the game. If the wrong music plays in the background, it can be uncomfortable to players. For example, the game of Roulette requires players to wager more. Here, faster music can be played to enhance the gameplay environment.
  • Feelings -Although many researchers have argued that by observation, music does not play any effect, but statistics show that it does play a pivotal role in the betting behaviour of players.
  • Effects – Ever heard the winning sound in casinos to signal a winner? Sounds are a mode of communication and can be used to pass on certain crucial information during the gameplay.

The music choice is essential in casinos for impacting the player’s betting habits. Proper music encourages gamblers to play more. This is the reason why gamblers play for long hours in casinos without noticing anything out of ordinary. In short, music and gambling are intertwined with each other and plays a crucial role for players in making difficult decisions.


Name: The Correlation Between Gambling and Music
Author: Helen Stratford
Published Date: 21/06/2019