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No One Does Kitsch Better than a French Casino

In rooms that are packed with fake plants and covered in Egyptian murals, consumers lose their bearings and make impulsive decisions.

by Bastien Gomez
28 September 2016, 11:00pm

This article originally appeared on VICE France

The arrival of slot machines in France a few decades ago, turned casinos into public spaces of leisure, open to all social classes. Casinos give people the opportunity to live controlled experiences in reconstructed environments – often more fake than authentic, mixing the real with the imaginary. These places owe their popularity to people's need to escape the mundanity of their existence.

With these photos, I wanted to highlight the interior design of these spaces, which, along with location, plays a massive role on profitability. The lack of any indicator of time, together with the intelligent décor that uses sight, sound and smell, affect the behaviour of the gamblers. In rooms that are packed with fake plants and covered in Egyptian murals, the brain loses its capacity to distinguish between reality and make-believe. The aim of all of this is to make the consumers lose their bearings obviously mame impulsive decisions.

I took these photographs between March and June 2016 in the casinos of Lyon, Annemass, Évaux-les-Bains, Plombières-les-Bains and Aix-les-Bains.

You can see more of Bastien Gomez's work on his webite and his Instagram.