How do casinos affect the environment?
It’s our duty these days to consider the impact that all of our habits and hobbies have on the planet.
Casinos have been a big part of the leisure business for many years now, but how do they impact the environment, and what trends can help to improve this?
Travel and Other Factors in Physical Casinos
Casinos have been popular destinations for at least a couple of centuries, and many people will travel long distances to play some games of roulette, blackjack, or whatever is their favorite form of gambling.
There are famous casinos scattered all over the planet that many of us dream of visiting at least once, while some gamblers make several visits a year to these places. Of course, nowadays you can play online, so casinos lost the exclusivity of being the only place that offers these games. For example, Bovada offers gambling games similar to the ones you find in physical casinos.
Nonetheless, land-based ones still have a different glamour, which includes more than the games themselves. They have restaurants, concerts, and accommodation, so they compete with other forms of entertainment.
Naturally, this has an effect on the planet in terms of the greenhouse gases that are emitted on these journeys.
However, it’s extremely difficult to know exactly how much these trips contribute to global warming.
Some popular casino destinations are well-known tourist attractions for other reasons, so we can’t say that people travel there purely to play some games for money. On the other hand, Las Vegas and Macau are arguably examples of casino destinations that people generally travel to with gambling on their minds.
This study into the impact of gambling in Macau mentions air pollution, traffic congestion, and overcrowding. It’s worth bearing in mind that the world’s biggest casinos are massive affairs that have a big impact on the local environment that might not be seen for a number of years.
In terms of Las Vegas, about 32 million people visited the city in Nevada in 2021. Interestingly, a study released in 2018 confirmed that Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the US, with a rise of almost six degrees since 1970.
More recent studies have put Reno, also in Nevada, ahead of Las Vegas in this respect. The Nevada Climate Change committee has identified 17 different ways to help slow down global warming, such as the use of cleaner vehicles, greater energy efficiency, and moving away from natural gas.
Some studies in the US suggest that casino players in the US Midwest consume an average of almost 100kg of CO2 to get to their closest casino and back. So the recent loosening of regulations in some states should allow more casinos to help to reduce the damage done on long journeys like this.
Places like Las Vegas and Macau have a huge tourism economy built largely around casinos, with a large number of hotels, restaurants, and other facilities. It’s clear that residents and local authorities consider that some damage to the planet is a necessary part of this infrastructure but what more can be done to minimize it.
What Are Casinos Doing to Help the Environment?
While we can’t work out exactly how much of an impact casinos have on the planet, there are definitely some things that they can do better. To their credit, many of the biggest casinos are looking at ways to cut down on the negative impact that they have in this sense.
Making them more energy efficient is one of the key issues, as this will save them money as well as helping to lower their greenhouse emissions. Using Led lights and finding ways of using natural light and ventilation are important advances.
We can also see that some casinos have fitted electric vehicle charging stations for their players. The biggest resorts typically have hotels, resorts, and casinos all very close to one another anyway, with some of them providing free shuttle buses to let their visitors move around together.
The Emergence of Online Casinos
Online casinos provide one of the main reasons for believing that casinos will soon produce less greenhouse gases and other environmental damage. These sites have emerged in the 21st century as a convenient way of playing online at any time without leaving home.
This method cuts out the need to travel or to stay in a hotel between games. Even the latest generation of live dealer games with a human dealer are live-streamed from modestly-sized studios designed to look like opulent casinos on the screen.
Online casinos still have some sort of environmental impact, as energy is needed to power the site, and all their players need to be online on a desktop device or a mobile device. However, it’s easy to see how this switch has made a direct impact on the way that casinos affect the planet.
As more people around the world move to online playing, it seems certain that the overall industry begins to have less of a negative impact on the planet than ever before. Yet, people who enjoy playing slots and table games for cash stakes can still continue to play their favourite games in a more sustainable way.