Ever wondered about the environmental impact of casinos and the casino industry as such? Truth is, casinos worldwide have long since been a concern in the fight against climate change and in calls for greater sustainability because of the 24/7 energy consumption and the carbon footprint of millions of gamblers traveling to their favorite land-based casino.
Recently, the industry has taken a number of significant steps to contribute to casino sustainability. Take, for example, the development of online casino sites. Playing a live dealer online casino game as opposed to driving to the casino reduces fuel consumption and the planet’s carbon footprint.
This blog post takes a closer look at measures being taken by casino operators to become more eco-friendly.
Sustainability is generally benchmarked against the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) framework. Each element has its own footprint, which is affected by choices and decisions made.
Leading casino operators are committed to securing a sustainable gambling industry through a variety of measures. Although sustainability is a multifaceted concept, there are common areas of priority for the gambling industry to focus upon.
The evolution of casinos in recent years has led to an increase in the number of online sites. These go a long way toward lowering the industry’s carbon footprint because of the reduction in travel. But if one digs below the surface, one discovers the hidden environmental impact of casinos online as a result of the use of massive servers and other energy-consuming technologies.
On the positive side, in addition to utilizing renewable energy sources to power technology, casinos are investing in super efficient software and cloud-based technology – investments that help to cut down on storage space and processing energy, in the process reducing the levels of energy required.
The online industry has a clear advantage over land-based sites in respect of lower energy consumption. However, brick-and-mortar establishments are carving their own green path by adopting eco-friendly products and utilizing renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
Another area being addressed is waste management, which is obviously particularly relevant for land-based casinos. Many operators are committed to composting unused food, sourcing products locally, eliminating plastic straws and implementing food rescue programs.
Recycling is paramount to these eco-friendly casinos, with major operators recycling everything from soap to curtains. Rather than ask their guests to recycle their rubbish in the correct bins, many casinos are taking the lead by employing their own recycling teams.
Eco-friendly practices have also found their way into the design and construction of new land-based casinos. Sustainable materials are sourced locally, while buildings are designed to make the best use of natural daylight. It’s not uncommon to find solar roof panels or rainwater harvesting systems as sources of renewable energy in these casinos.
The social aspect of the ESG framework considers the contribution casinos make to the wider community. Top of the social impact agenda is the protection of players through the promotion of responsible gambling. Reputable casinos that are licensed by stringent regulators now offer protection tools for players to utilize.
Such tools include deposits, loss and session limits, reality checks, time-outs and enforced self-exclusions. These digital tools are proven to empower players to make the responsible choice when it comes to safer gambling. Additionally, the advancement of technology has helped casinos to analyze data and identify players who are potentially at risk.
A more recent development has seen the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI.) These technologies can mimic the problem-solving abilities of humans, only much faster and at scale. For instance, AI is changing poker for the better since players are able to use AI-based tools to practice, evaluate and improve their gameplay.
Finally, casino operators promote diversity training and inclusion programs for their employees through training programs, recruitment, networking and wellbeing initiatives. To support the wider community, many large brands sponsor local sports teams or green initiatives.
Economic performance and financial stability are important aspects of any business, not only casinos. For players to gamble sustainably, casinos must ensure transparency of finances, policies and procedures. Proper tax reporting plays a vital role in funding community projects, including environmental ventures.
Clear procedures for registration and the verification of players are paramount. Gambling should not be used to support criminal activities and casino policies must be clear. Strict procedures need to be in place to combat Anti Money Laundering (AML) activities and corruption.
Because the use of paper has contributed significantly to the climate crisis, most casinos have now moved to digital documentation. This includes in-house forms and customer documents, which are required for verification. Most online sites now have a secure portal for the safe upload of such documentation.
The gambling industry is highly competitive and casino operators are fully aware of widespread concern among players about the sustainability of the industry. To get ahead, many have implemented numerous eco-friendly practices and now even seek out Green Gaming certification. By contributing to the reduction of its own carbon footprint, casinos are able to include the initiatives that led to such a reduction in their marketing campaigns.
Leaders in Sustainable Casinos
Here are some examples of green initiatives implemented by leading casinos:
- MGM Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas: Solar panels installed on the roof account for more than 90% of daytime energy provision.
- Turtle Creek Casino and Hotel: Skylights installed throughout the building reduce energy consumption by as much as 50%.
- Silver Legacy Resort and Casino: Traditional lighting was replaced with LED lighting.
- MGM Grand: Multiple water-saving initiatives have been implemented.
- MGM Resorts: More than 7,600 tonnes of food waste in Las Vegas have been sent to a pig farm.
- The Mirage: Containers are filled with 6,5 tonnes of glass and recycled every five days.
- MGM China: Plastic straws and take-out packaging have been eliminated, estimated to amount to 860,000 straws and 470,000 boxes per year.
- Caesars Entertainment: Unused toiletries and bars of soap are donated to more than 100 countries.
- Bellagio, Las Vegas: A comprehensive water conservation strategy has been employed.
While eco-friendly practices have gained momentum in the gambling industry, there’s always room for growth. Many casinos have committed to securing a sustainable industry, which feels like half the battle may already have been won.
Of course, playing at a casino online helps to reduce the industry’s carbon footprint. So why not register at BetMGM today? You’ll find hundreds of the best online casino games, not to mention terrific bonuses, just waiting for you.