America’s gaming industry is huge, we love to enjoy ourselves and we should be able to. Hardworking people deserve to have excellent amenities to enjoy during their downtime. (topgunstore.com) However, the casino industry in America is a huge contributor to the environmental issues that the whole world is suffering from nowadays. We’re going to take a dive into the issues that this sector is facing regarding their sustainable credentials and the solutions that could resolve these problems, both the ones already in use and some proposals.

First, A Word on The Online Sector

Whilst most American casinos are certainly taking strides towards sustainability, there’s a competitor sector that is getting there more quickly — online gaming sites. Thanks to the far smaller space requirement, online gaming companies naturally have a lower carbon footprint. Further to this, comparison platforms such as OddsChecker can often provide better value for customers, frequently providing free bets and bonuses that land-based casinos and betting shops can’t compete with owing to huge overheads.

These online sites also benefit from not having to physically cater to customer’s needs, perishable items like food and drink simply aren’t necessary, meaning that this stage of the sustainable issue is avoided too. With more Americans choosing to spend leisure time at home nowadays, a move into the online sector of this market could provide a valuable way for land-based casinos to lessen their carbon footprint.

Food Waste

 

There are a lot of challenges facing the casino and gaming industry that are not unique to it, but one that it suffers from hugely is food waste. Particularly in Las Vegas, food waste is a huge issue because people have come to expect overindulgence. Enormous buffet carts are the standard that tourists want, so without disappointing guests, it can be hard to cut down on wastage. In response to this, some casino operators have come up with creative ways to tackle the problem. In Las Vegas, the need for a big buffet cannot be ignored, so instead of reducing the food available to guests, they have come up with composting schemes to feed kitchen gardens, as well as food redistribution. One casino that is making food redistribution work particularly well is Chumash Casino Resort in California. This casino has partnered with Meals on Wheels to send perfectly good, but surplus, food to elderly folk who need it locally. Ideas like this not only lower the environmental impact of the casino, but they also actively contribute to a better-served community.

Waste in General

While food waste is a big contributor to the problems faced by casinos, this isn’t considering all of the other waste that they make. Single-use items are a huge problem, for example, the individual soaps and shampoos provided by the resort side of gaming establishments. These are sometimes used by guests, but often people travel with their own toiletries so they can go to waste. Caesars Palace, working together with Clean The World, came up with an ingenious idea to combat this waste, which is very similar to Chumash Casino’s approach to food waste — redistribute it.

People around the world are forced to struggle with poor hygiene because soaps are simply unavailable, or too expensive. Clean the World is helping Caesars to redistribute their unused soaps and are turning the items that are slightly used into new ones through recycling. Although this hasn’t been adopted by all casinos yet, it is such a simple and cost-effective way to reduce waste that it surely won’t be long before it becomes the industry standard.

Energy Usage for Lighting

Both the online and land-based gaming sectors have energy usage to consider. Running game servers and lighting offices for workers uses plenty of electricity, so too does running highly lit slot machines and neon signage. Energy usage is one of the most prominent environmental issues facing the American gaming industry today, but thankfully, there have been some creative solutions to reduce its impact.

Lighting is a major energy factor for gaming resorts and whilst changing to energy-saving lightbulbs is a simple fix, there are far more creative ways of solving the problem. Turtle Creek casino made the switch to greener bulbs but also installed skylights in some of the darker areas of the resort. This allowed the light from the sun to shine into these areas, eliminating the need for bulbs to be illuminated at all during the day. Neon lights are also a mainstay of the casino scene and have an effect that is difficult to achieve by other means. Some casinos have found success with neon tubing filled with LED lights instead, the effect is very similar, but the cost to the environment is far smaller.

Other Energy Usage

Depending on the location of the gaming destination, keeping the building heated or cooled is another big use of energy. Some casinos have found that utilizing the naturally heat-regulating properties of green roofs is a good way to maintain a pleasant temperature indoors. Green roofs trap heat from the sun in the soil and insulate the inside, reducing the need for air conditioning and heating. Not only this but we all know that plants sequester carbon and cleanse the air, so they’re doing good in two different ways and benefitting from it.

A final way that casinos have been employing to cut down their energy usage, or at least make it greener, is by installing solar panels. Large resorts have plenty of roof space and those in hot locations that benefit from a lot of sun, such as Las Vegas, can not only cut down on their energy bills, but also power their buildings in a more sustainable way by using solar power. Whilst this list demonstrates that gaming companies are serious about lowering their environmental impact, if there’s a way to save money along the way then that’s surely all the better for everyone. Finding methods that allow companies to see a drop in their own costs and are beneficial to the environment provides the best argument for behaving more sustainably, so it’s heartening to see so many resorts taking these kinds of initiatives.

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