Have you got a gambling problem, but are not sure if you can be hypnotised? I believe that gamblers are extremely receptive to hypnosis because gambling corporations, have spotted the huge potential that hypnotic techniques have on consumers. Shops, advertising agencies, sales people are using techniques designed to appeal to our senses (see, hear, feel taste, smell) and help us to feel that we are part of something. Let me take you through some of the hypnotic techniques the gambling industry use to lure you in.
Consider the one-armed bandit, the fixed odds betting terminals in the bookmakers and the casino style gambling apps for phones and tablets. The graphics are bright and colourful, there are whistles, bells and and other zany sounds to induce in you a frenzied excitement, so you spend money quicker. They are simple and intuitive to play, requiring no effort. There is no need to study form, and there are no skills involved. They are reminiscent of happy, carefree and fun childhood experiences, like cartoons and seaside amusement arcades. The gambler will continue to play in eager anticipation of the flashing lights, bells and whistles of a win, in the same way that the Russian scientist Ivan Pavlov conditioned his dogs to salivate at the ring of a bell. We are spammed with emails and messages telling us that we can play apps on our phones with £30 of free credit, insinuating that it’s an offer to good to miss, but of course it’s just a ploy to reel us in.
The casino is psychological playground, designed to keep you spending your money for longer. The casino is a relaxed, windowless, clock free environment with ambient lighting, designed to make you feel cosy, comfortable and lose track of time, so you stay longer. The background music is usually soft, instrumental ‘Muzak’, very much like that played in shopping malls and department stores to slow you down and keep you there longer. Again there will be exhilarating whistles and bells which unconsciously give the impression that everywhere around you people are winning money, despite the reality that the majority are losing. You swap your money for chips because chips are a much more subtle reminder that you’re losing money, compared to seeing a wad of your cash disappear on each game. The layout of the casino is usually like a maze designed to keep you in, with refreshments and services tucked inside so you don’t have to leave. A bit like IKEA really – if you have ever visited the IKEA Coventry store to buy a specific item, you may have found it almost impossible to get in and out quickly as the layout is cleverly designed to make you browse the whole store. Casino’s are usually clean and luxurious, licenced to serve alcohol, have great restaurants and a smart dress code so that you feel pampered and on a special evening out. You might get coupons for free meals or drinks, and there are points to win and collect, so it feels as though you are getting a bargain.
Late night gambling television programs are interesting as they really appeal to one of our basic human needs. The need to belong and be part of something. Right from the start of the program the presenter will be giving you hypnotic suggestions. Telling you “This is your lucky night” or “Be a winner, play along with us”. The presenter will tell you to join them, even asking you to text your name. Your name will then get read out on TV to make you feel special, and part of the experience. Even the gambling advertising is aimed at this basic need. Have you seen the Bingo ad which says “Come and join your friends”, and shows shots of actresses dressed to kill, meeting friends? This ad is aimed at younger women who are feeling isolated and lonely. Or maybe the advert for on-line Bingo targeted at the older lonely woman which says “You can even bring your dog”.
I hope you can begin to see through these psychological techniques which have conned you into a ‘hypnotic’ trance. All gamblers know how to do hypnotic trance, once they are in that state they are very focused. It is almost like they are in a tunnel and can see only one option – to gamble. There is no alternative, there is no choice. I use this state with them to create an escape from the tunnel, with new and better possibilities. When the fun stops and you can’t stop give me a call.