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Green Trends in the Gambling Industry

Written by:
Charlotte Witte

Buzzwords such as ‘’sustainability’’ and ‘’carbon footprint’’ are commonly associated with greener future and eco-friendly agendas. It’s often regarded as simple virtue signalling but in many cases, businesses and corporations are genuinely striving towards carbon neutrality.  The gambling industry is also doing its part, by embracing greener trends in casinos.

Of course, the players are also a contributing factor. First, instead of driving to a brick-and-mortar casino and throwing away gas, players have the choice of staying home and playing at online sites. In many countries around the world, the “green” trend is therefore the practice of using data centers on green energy and therefore simply playing at home is much more environmentally friendly. For example in Ireland there are best Irish casino licensed platforms which often offer good welcome deals to players, so you have even more of an incentive to be green and stay in. But apart from digitalisation what are the specific measures being implemented? Stick around to find out.

Sustainable Casino Building Practices

Sustainable building practices reduce environmental impact through the use of eco-friendly materials. These can include:

   - Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints

   - Sustainably sourced wood.

   - Recycled steel

Another significant aspect is energy-efficient lighting (LED), now standard in many new and renovated casinos. It consumes a fraction of the energy used by traditional bulbs and lasts longer. The Wynn Las Vegas, for example, has implemented a robust LED system that also creates a dynamic atmosphere, with changing colours, lights and effects.

Water conservation is also critical, and Las Vegas is actually a leading city in this category. Low-flow faucets, toilets, and showerheads, along with water-efficient landscaping practices, are just some practices that are becoming increasingly common. The Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, known for its iconic fountains, uses an advanced water management system. It relies on water from onsite underground wells, instead of municipal sources, and therefore reduces the demand from the Colorado River or Lake Mead.

Renewable Energy Sources Used at Casinos

Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind power are synonymous with sustainability. Solar power, in particular, has gained traction due to spacious roof areas of casino buildings. These can accommodate a large number of solar panels, and a great example is Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. In fact it has one of the largest rooftop solar arrays in the United States that generates about 8.3 megawatts of electricity. Through panels alone, they cover roughly 25% of the resort's energy needs.

While less common than solar installations, wind power is also being explored. Wind turbines turn kinetic energy into electricity, which is as renewable a power source as it gets But rather than installing these on-premise casinos are purchasing energy credits from wind farms. This is another strategy to offset emissions, by investing in green infrastructure. 

Waste Reduction and Recycling Programs at Casinos

Another way casinos stay eco-friendly is by reducing waste and recycling. Anywhere between 50% and 60% of their waste is recyclable. In other words, casinos can make a meaningful impact through recycling programs like:

   - Waste segregation

   - Recycling of materials like paper, glass, and plastic

   - Repurposing various discarded materials

Water conservation is another form of recycling. It’s achieved through  water recycling systems, automated irrigation, and low-flow fixtures

Green Certifications and Awards

Casinos can earn certificates and awards as a testament to their commitment to environmental sustainability. For example, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification is a renowned award in this category. It recognizes the brand's efforts for sustainable building practices, evaluating factors such as:

   - Energy efficiency

   - Water conservation

   - Use of eco-friendly materials

Green Globe is another such certification, which assesses a casino's environmental management and impact on local communities. Some notable LEED awardees have been MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.

Eco-Friendly Technologies in Casinos

Advances in technology allow casinos to make their operations more eco-friendly. Energy-efficient gaming machines, like the ones developed by Aristocrat and IGT, can reduce energy consumption by up to 40%. Automated energy management systems, like the ones used by the MGM Grand, help optimize lighting and temperature control.

We can find another example of putting tech in service of the environment in The Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. They installed a 1.4-megawatt fuel cell system, which generates electricity and heat from natural gas. There’s also the Turtle Creek Casino which has integrated a massive array of solar panels and high-tech LED lighting to slash energy consumption.

Sustainable Food and Beverage Services

Another fact worth mentioning is that casinos are enhancing sustainability in their food and beverage services. They do this by focusing on locally sourced ingredients, and organic produce, and reducing food waste. This reduces transportation emissions and supports the local economy.

Additionally, casinos are implementing waste reduction strategies like optimizing food preparation processes and donating unused items.  Again, this significantly minimizes their environmental footprint. These efforts not only improve sustainability but also appeal to environmentally conscious consumers, enhancing the casinos' reputations.

By Liliana Alvarez

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