As public and business opinion finally begins to see sense regarding climate change, the importance of making buildings, homes and businesses energy efficient and environmentally friendly is coming to the fore. We’ve seen environmentally friendly stadiums, airports, shopping centres and so on, but the casino industry- one that you might imagine wouldn’t be particularly fussed with the environment- has not yet truly made the green leap. Luckily however, casinos throughout the world are slowly beginning to embrace the notions of efficiency, decarbonisation and recycling, offering a tentative glimpse into the future of the industry.
If there’s one thing casinos use most of, it’s electricity and, believe it or not, casinos are some of the most inefficient, CO2-intensive establishments. Blinding lights, bleeping slot machines, enormous show-time spectacles being put on for the public; it may be fun and flashy but it’s a state of affairs that represents a nightmare in terms of energy efficiency. In Vegas however, thankfully the tide is starting to change. No, casinos aren’t turning off the lights, but they are installing solar panels on casino roofs and raising solar plants that, in the baking Nevada sun, provide a large amount of energy throughout the year.
Of course, to really cut down on energy we could all simply use online casino gaming providers. A smartphone or tablet leeches a miniscule fraction of the energy of the Bellagio, and providers such as MrSmithCasino, Betsafe and Ruby Fortune could all still provide for casino lovers’ enjoyment of the game whilst drastically reducing levels of energy use. Now it is true that smart devices do use electricity, however this small energy demand is more easily mitigated by a switch to renewable energy as supposed to energy-hungry, inefficient casino complexes. It’s measures such as these that will allow us to retain and enjoy large portions of our current lifestyles whilst making a real difference in terms of helping the environment.
Part of the solution to making the casino industry greener is simply taking the crucial elements of casinos and their facilities, making them environmentally friendly in a manner that preserves the overall casino experience. Many casinos across the states and Asia are changing to LED light bulbs as supposed to traditional filament bulbs that use a far larger volume of energy to run. The bulbs are saving the casinos a fair bit of cash too; they last far longer without needing replacing, alongside the obvious energy saving benefit.
Even the tables that casino games are played upon are going green. EGM Green is a company releasing the world’s first ever range of gaming products crafted out of 100% sustainable materials. Until the energy used to produce the tables is sourced from renewable sources, the products won’t be entirely environmentally friendly, however until then the mix of Forestry Stewardship Council certified wood, low-emitting materials, and linoleum-free coverings produced from natural products is an excellent start at decarbonising this niche, and these could easily be transplanted into every casino across the world to great benefit.
This way of ‘greening’ the various aspects of casinos – as supposed to changing the experience outright in order to be more environmentally conscious – is something a far greater portion of individuals can get on board with, an option far removed from the extreme dictums of environmental activists, and one that will likely yield greater results.
That’s not to say there isn’t any room for solutions that may seem extreme from a contemporary perspective, however. Some casinos, for instance, are ditching the idea of electric lighting entirely. In Massachusetts, the Suffolk Downs casino- currently being built- is installing features that will allow as much natural light as possible to flow in to the casino building, removing that rather dingy, claustrophobic feeling one often gets in a large casino. Alongside this, rainwater collection systems will recycle water, greatly reducing the facility’s strain on the local water table. Arguably, with these currently unorthodox solutions a new breed of casino could proliferate, a breath of fresh air after seventy or so years of the same stuffy, energy-intensive buildings we’ve become accustomed with. The entire industry could breathe a breath of fresh air!