Striding into a casino one would be hard pressed to find any semblance of sustainability, ecology or nature. Our casinos have traditionally taken the form of velvet monoliths, bristling with flashing, lurid bulbs. Windowless, unnatural and imbuing all that is fake in a quest to pursue a strange type of atavism or epitome of luxury, casinos are traditionally set at polar opposites to the noble notion of ‘green’. There are changes happening in the business, however, that perhaps might provide some hope for the future of these monstrosities of excess.
There are many changes occurring in the layout of the new eco-casinos. Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg, ML has made efforts to employ skylights in an effort to wean itself off electrical lighting, with energy costs reduced by 50% during the day, and showing that going green doesn’t necessarily mean the end of gargantuan excess, the largest skylight is the size of a football field. Even in Vegas, the Mecca of machination, the former Las Vegas Hilton has drastically reduced the volume of water it consumes through the use of oxygenic showers that use far less water than the norm.
New casino builds are at the forefront of the green casino movement. Suffolk Downs, who hope to build a $1 billion casino near the East Boston racetrack, are toting a design that includes rain harvesting systems and what would be the region’s largest privately owned solar array. Poker tables are also turning green. EGM Green is a US company that produces the world’s first casino tables made from sustainable materials such as FSC certified wood and recycled aluminium, importantly providing them at a price equal to other, traditional tables on the market.
There are problems with these grand plans for green gambling, however. Traditions at the Glen, Binghamton NY, recently unveiled plans for a casino including a multi-storey car park made from permeable materials (thus reducing the chance of storm water issues) and solar cells, but, as with any large new development, increases in traffic are expected but are still not addressed in the plan. Perhaps the recent rise in popularity of online casinos such as http://www.gamingclub.co.uk and the establishment of online sections for many of the high profile casinos could be a panacea to this problem. People are now able to enjoy gambling whilst only using the electricity to charge their computers, with all of the obvious benefits attached to that.
A massive thank you to our guest blogger, Herman Shaw, for this post.