As soon as you enter a casino, you’re immersed in a world where money changes hands, champagne glasses clink and there’s an electric buzz. The scent of excitement fills the air, and it’s almost impossible not to get caught up in its magnetic force.

It’s also hard not to fall for the trappings of the casino’s world, which is designed from the ground up to keep you gambling longer and taking more risks. It’s a complex system of slight of hand, orchestrated by sound, light and physical design. And the people running casinos know exactly how to pull it off, so you’ll never stop gambling — even though you know you should.

The blaring music and flashing lights are designed to distract you from the math. Every game has a mathematical expectancy, and it’s rare for a player to beat the house. That’s why the casinos offer such extravagant inducements to big bettors, like free shows and transportation, luxury living quarters, reduced-fare hotel rooms, drinks and cigarettes while gambling and more.

But there’s a more subtle way that casinos manipulate people, and it involves routines. Everybody follows the same patterns at the tables, which makes it easy for security personnel to spot any out-of-the-ordinary behavior. And, if something does look suspicious, they can quickly intervene. It’s also why you never see a clock in a casino: The people who run them want you to lose track of time and forget how many hours you’ve spent losing your money.