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Are Eco-Friendly Casinos a Real Thing?

  • Written By Kevin Parker
  • Edited
  • Reading 6 minutes

Sustainability is more than an opportunity to whitewash one’s brand name. In today’s world, CO2 emissions are reaching precipitous rates and consumerism is making a reluctant reality check. Believe or not, casinos are also trying to be perceived as more eco-friendly places where you can sip on a cocktail and dive into the neon-lit bowels of the gaming world without ever having to worry about over-consumption.

But how do you gauge the sustainability of a project? Well, there are many things that come into play, from the materials used in building a venue to the lighting and heating.

While not all casino venues have set out with the idea of being environmentally conscious when they first opened doors, many are quickly catching up and making sure their brands are seen as originators of positive change in the world of gambling. Today, we take a look at several good examples for successful sustainability practices.

How Are Casinos Complying with Eco Standards in 2020?

Good examples of eco-friendly solutions in the casino world abound. As we turn the leaf of a new year and climate change is upon us, making environmentally-conscious decisions remains a top priority on the agenda of many casinos.

Just recently, MGM has announced a plan to add over 3,000 solar panels to the MGM Springfield property in a bid to generate more energy for the casino and cut its dependency on traditional utilities.

MGM estimates that around 10% of the total power consumption can be satisfied via the new solar panel canopy. Given the property’s impressive sprawl of 2 million sq ft, MGM is definitely making its best to keep up with tackling climate change.

To address issues of climate change properly, however, MGM has assigned a top man on the job in the face of Jyoti Chopra who serves as the brand’s Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Sustainability Officer.

Meanwhile, Melco Resorts & Entertainment has announced its decision to remove single-use plastic from its properties in a bid to tackle plastic pollution in the oceans.

As Melco puts it, a sustainable future is a better future, and the casino company’s efforts to offer better, more eco-friendly solutions will continue until 2030 in the very least. More “unique sustainable experiences” are coming.

Other brands setting a good example have been The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel where food waste and electric vehicles (EVs) have been taken very seriously.

In fact, Macao encourages visitors to use EVs through the deployment of parking lots with charging stations. Moreover, Melco’s operator, Las Vegas Sands Corp., has been very serious about slashing food waste across the board.

Sustainable Resources for Eco-Friendly Casinos
Renewable energy and sustainable resources are paramount for an eco-friendly business.

Casinos Get Creative with Food and Local Sourcing

Sustainability is evidently about addressing a range of issues, from the one-use items that turn into unrecyclable waste to squandering organic materials that can otherwise help. Meanwhile, one of the sure-fire ways to reduce the economic impact of transporting food is focusing on ingredients obtained locally.

That is why the Mandalay Bay Resorts has decided to make its absolute best in negative the downsides of transporting food by sourcing products and ingredients locally. An ambitious task that has nevertheless had its economic windfall, supported producers and slashed CO2 footprint.

Moreover, the facility also uses smart heating systems, which calculates when the heating can be cut off in certain parts of the facility so as to lead to overall lower consumption. Even something as simple as bars of soap can be recycled efficiently.

For example, Caesar’s Entertainment has teamed up with Clean the World to recycle bars of soap and has so far donated over 2.4 million bars across the world! Other properties, such as the Turtle Greek Casino and Hotel, has replaced part of its lightning system with skylights leading to a considerable drop in electricity bills.

Learning from the Best Practices

The fact is sustainable casinos are already here. Some properties are naturally restricted to their designs, but as brands add more square footage to their facilities, they always seek to innovative.

Most new design is cutting-edge so as to reflect the affluence of the brands, but underneath the veneer, there are clear signs that architects are thinking about the environmental challenges we as a species face.

Using specific materials, such as marble, timber and slate is a good way to start. Yet, where material constraints exist, there are multiple ways to counterweight this by adopting more conscientious efforts to tackle the aforenoted problems, including minimizing food waste and frivolous use of lightning and heating systems that could otherwise be let to rest.

Introducing LED lighting, adding solar canopies and using smart sensors to regulate temperature have been just a few of the practices casinos have been open to.

They are encouraging local production and building sustainable – if somewhat dependent – communities around them.

The Future of Casino Sustainability in 2020 and Beyond

In 2020, in light of dramatic climate changes that threaten the livelihood and often the lives of people, casinos must adopt sustainable practices that aid the environment and their local communities.

Water conservation should be one of the top priorities for many companies out there. Casinos are quite capable of managing their water resources with enviable accuracy. Smart landscaping techniques are most of the reason why behind this success.

In Nevada for example, casinos only consume up to 4% of the state’s water supply, but then again, they constitute a big percentage of the Silver State’s GDP, showing that in certain areas, most gambling properties are actually quite accomplished.

True, you might think that casinos are still dropping the ball in certain areas. For example, you can’t really find places to recycle yourself on most resorts, but that’s just because most casinos hire armies of recycling crews who sort out the trash.

Wynn Resorts have also been helping a whole lot by offering frozen leftover food – and specifically untouched food – to feed people in need.

All of this paints an industry that may have built its fortune on people’s proclivity to gamble away fortunes, but in many ways, the biggest casino brands out there are the ones who have taught themselves to recycle the best and negate their impact on the environment. In fact, casinos are even helping by setting new standards for eco-friendliness in the entertainment business.

Kevin was raised on sports since a young teen and following a (fortunate) injury pursued new hobbies in table games such as Blackjack and Poker. Since 2009 Kevin has been writing for casino sites for various big names in the industry and CasinoSites.us is but one of his latest passion projects.