It’s one of the oldest past times on earth, but can we now say gambling has gone green?
Whilst many US states severely regulate casinos to stay in bricks and mortar locations – for obvious political reasons – thanks to the internet, other parts of the world have seen a dramatic shift towards online gambling.
For many years now the battle has raged between traditional venue casinos and the upstart online casinos. Whilst they are now coming together more and more, the debate still rages as to which is better. For people who are concerned about sustainability and the environment, there may be an answer.
Although making huge improvements in recent years in regards to carbon footprint and environmental impact, traditional casinos still have a massive impact on our planet. The CO2 emissions produced by the millions of people who drive to casinos each day is on an astronomical figure, as is the energy consumption used to power the casinos and all the electronic games within.
As well as polluting the air and consuming energy, physical casinos also have a much greater impact on the land itself.
The Bellagio in Las Vegas takes up almost 5 million square feet and dumps out enormous amounts of waste. In contrast to this, the PokerStars’ headquarters on the Isle of Man takes up only 60,000 square feet, allowing far more space for greenbelt areas.
However, whilst online casinos are clearly more environmentally friendly, socially they don’t have the same positive impact as their traditional counterparts. Whilst some online casinos do attempt to employ local people, they don’t have nearly the same impact on local communities as the bricks and mortar venues. Big casinos literally employ thousands of people which pumps money back into the community, stabilizing local economies and, more importantly, supporting local businesses.
Whilst the big online casinos also have a large amount of employees, they’re often specialist staff, such as software engineers and security experts, who are sourced from further afield. On top of this traditional casinos also generate much more revenue per casino. This is largely thanks to the range of amenities that come with a traditional casino such as food, drinks and retail shops.
There is a serious concern that thanks to the proliferation of online casinos, gambling is now easier and more accessible than ever. This leads to the obvious problem of addiction. However, whilst this is certainly true, unlike traditional venues, online casinos often have large call-to-action buttons for suffering gambling addicts to seek help.
So what does this all mean? Well, thanks to the power of the internet, online casinos are not going anywhere. Whilst they’re not as good as traditional casinos in terms of generating jobs and economies, they have much less impact on the natural world which makes them far more sustainable for the long term. The chips have been laid down, and they’re green!
Our staff writers come from all over the world, but one thing unites them - their passion for sustainability.