Rod Stewart at Cesar's Palace.
Arts & Culture

What Music Do We Hear in Vegas Casinos, and Why?

Vegas. The world’s playground. Packed with casinos of all types, it’s where social psychology meets serious money. One aspect of social psychology that goes into casino design is music. And as the saying goes, if music be the food of love, play on…

Various areas of Vegas casinos play different music, and they play different types of music to facilitate an overall vibe to each space, whether it’s a space for playing, partying, or just taking a breather. Vegas casinos are designed so that you will have an area for every mood that you’re having – designed so that you never have to leave!

Oline casinos and slots use music, which is different than land-based casinos. Because you are in a different setting, usually at home, different music will appeal than if you were out and about. But that’s a story for another day. Let’s head over to Vegas instead…

The casino floor

You will hear all sorts of different music on the casino floor, and it’s no accident. There will even be a different playlist for different times of the day. Usually, this is upbeat, general appeal pop music from the past couple of decades. Think artists like Bruno Mars, Coldplay, or Maroon Five.

This is music to set you in a good mood that’s relaxed but not too relaxed – a little excited but comfortable. There are entire music companies dedicated to helping casinos find the perfect mix for their own floor. For example, if you hit up the Hard Rock Casino, you are more likely to find that easy listening rock music that you’re looking for – no Ed Sheeran here.

Live music lounges

In the various lounge bars dotted around the Vegas casino floor, you’re likely to hear music of a slightly different nature than what’s piped out to the tables and slots. When people come to the lounge bar for a break from the gambling action, they’re there for a drink and to relax and to chat to their friends – or new friends at the bar.

Vegas is also famous for residencies of the world’s biggest bands and DJs

Depending on the time of day, you can expect to hear a live band set up in the corner of the lounge. This will be a band that has a time slot every week and they’ll usually be playing all your favourite pop-rock songs from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 00s. This will be easy listening stuff that the whole crowd knows, and they’ll usually accept requests, too. Expect top-notch bands – better than you’ll find in your local bar, that’s for sure.

Piano bars

A few casinos you’ll come across will offer you the indulgence of a piano bar or jazz bar. These are great joints to check out if you’re into a smoother style of music and a nice wine or fancy cocktail or two. Get immersed and wind your way back in time.

The clubs

The Vegas clubs are where you go if you want to party hard. Play hard at the casino, then dance hard on the d-floor. At the moment, the big clubs play some serious EDM, hosting residencies and special guests from some of the world’s biggest DJs, such as Calvin Harris, The Chainsmokers, Zedd, and Steve Aoki.

Then there are also the poolside day parties to attend, with more of the same, just splashing about in the pool looking like a superstar in your bikinis and shorts.

Both of these types of parties will require a cover charge, and bottle service prices for a table, booth, or day bed are considerable so remember to bring your credit card.

The shows

The Las Vegas residency shows are where you get to see the world’s biggest superstars from all different genres. From Celine Dion, to Cher, Britney Spears, Usher (in 2021), and Barry Manilow, you’ll be able to see the cream of the crop of the music world in their very own, completely choreographed and set-designed full-length show.

If you head to Vegas you have to take in at least one of these shows. Why not broaden your musical horizons and pick someone you’d never normally even think to see? You might just be blown away by the 5-star performance which is a given these days, even if they are lip-synching (we see you Britney).

Music for all occasions

Vegas is the professional playground for the world’s best casinos so it comes as no surprise that their music is as tailored as each individual zone and experience. When you’re feeling great in a Vegas casino just remember that the tunes you are listening to are playing a big part in your enjoyment factor and bless the strategic music gods behind it. Or should we say, the music psychologists – what a great career to get into.

About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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