Carbon Reduction in Online Gaming: Strategies Employed by Casinos

As an industry grows, so does its impact, and the casino industry is no different. In the past decade, the ease of access to mobile phones has resulted in a huge boost in casino gaming. After all, anyone can sign up at an online casino and start playing within minutes, especially in Hungary, where casinos have simple registration processes. While this increased access has been great for players and casinos, it has not been so good for the environment due to the increased carbon emissions. We look at how casinos can address this issue to ensure that gaming is sustainable.

How Casinos Can Reduce Carbon Emissions

Greenhouse gas emissions result from various sources. The first is the casino’s direct emissions from its owned resources, e.g., maintaining its offices, generating electricity, etc. The second is indirect emissions, such as those from energy purchased to run the servers. And the third lies in the value chain, e.g., players enjoying the games, transport, etc. So, how can casinos stay on top of these emissions?

Direct and Indirect Emissions

Since controlled resources account for much of the emissions, casinos can cut back on energy by:

  • Training their staff to switch off equipment that is not in use, e.g., PCs.
  • Replacing old equipment with more energy-efficient options. Donate the old equipment to other causes like schools.
  • Cutting back on office heating, cooling, and lighting expenses. E.g., relying on natural light or using LED options.
  • Using motion sensing lights in areas that don’t have a lot of traffic, e.g., washrooms.
  • Switching to a sustainable energy provider.
  • Reducing data storage needs by reviewing file sizes and copies reduces cloud expenses and emissions.

Small changes have big impacts and can result in lower emissions in the long run.

Value Chain Emissions

These result from activities related to the business, e.g., staff commutes. Here are ways casinos can cut back on these:

  • Encouraging the reuse of office supplies and marketing materials.
  • Using hand dryers in the washrooms instead of paper towels.
  • Installing water coolers instead of buying bottled water.
  • Arranging for public transport or carpooling for employees. If providing transport, casinos can opt for electric or hybrid options.
  • Using trains instead of flying where possible. Casinos can also offset their flying emissions by paying for it through airlines.

Educating employees on carbon emissions is also important as it allows them to see the big picture and incorporate these lessons into their lives.

Increasing the Energy Efficiency of Games

Did you know that over 2 billion people play games on their phones? Millions of others access the games through PCs and consoles. Thus, casinos must consider how game coding, storage, and distribution could impact the environment. Below are possible mitigation measures:

  • Reuse game assets from different versions to eliminate the need to store multiple versions differently.
  • Configure games to match the average user setup, e.g., mobile casino games should match average smartphone capabilities.
  • Reduce the number of object updates on frames and minimize the processing power used in off-screen objects.
  • Optimize games such that only useful features load for each game.

Since this is an emerging area, casinos must continually assess how their games impact the environment and determine how they can make them more energy efficient.

The Sustainable Future

Even when reducing carbon emissions, casinos can still embark on other projects to pave the way for a greener future:

  • Invest in a certified carbon offset programme – these allow casinos to get accreditation after financing green energy projects that benefit the environment.
  • Include players in environmental conservation efforts. Casinos can engage their audience on social media and community forums to get their insights. Many casinos have been open about their green energy projects and encouraged their players and partners to consider similar routes.

Players can also play a part in reducing carbon emissions. Simple practices like turning off devices not in use and carpooling go a long way in making a difference.

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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