Gambling is a pastime that has been growing with each passing year. Many people travel for hundreds of miles just to have a chance to play slots in Vegas. However, many of us do not take into consideration the environmental impacts that this can have. So with the rise of online gambling, over traditional physical casinos, what can this say for the environment?
A lot of things contribute to the energy use of traditional casinos. For instance, one of the most obvious ones is the lighting. Many casinos, especially those in Vegas, are so brightly lit that they can be seen from miles away. This is a huge issue when it comes to energy use, as Vegas casinos use about 20% of all the electricity use in Vegas.
The lights are just one issue as well, another one has to do with the game machines. Each individual game machine, which is often also equipped with flashing and bright lights, use upwards of 250 watts of electricity each. Each casino can have many of these game machines, and many different types of them, which build up over time, taking up tons and tons of energy in a typical day.
This does not even take into consideration air conditioning, heating, and the electricity and energy needed to run the hotels, the retail stores, and other places connected to the casino.
All of this is compared to online gambling sites, such as Moneyreels, which uses far fewer resources, and generally only uses a phone or a laptop. A typical laptop of phone uses far fewer watts per hour than even a single slot machine, and it does not need to be on all day to get someone’s attention. But what does all this energy mean in terms of environmental impact?
The biggest impact that all of this energy usage has is on carbon emissions. This is a huge issue, as recently, Donald Trump, 45th president of the United States of America, ended their deal with the Paris Agreement, which was working to help lower carbon emissions over time. In fact, the Vegas Strip, in particular, is problematic due to the fact that people who live and visit there emit twice as much carbon each year than their average counterpart elsewhere.
This does not even take into account the fact that 41 million tourists visit Vegas each year and most people who do go there to gamble. These 41 million tourists use cars and planes in order to travel here, which can cause massive emissions and natural gas use. It is known that even a single air mile can produce 53 pounds of carbon dioxide, which is then released into the air to act as a greenhouse gas.
These greenhouse gasses collect over time and warms the Earth, which can cause a massive and widespread destruction of animal and plant species and habitats. This can, in turn, cause awful effects on life as we know it. And this is simply the energy use and carbon emissions, we have not even gotten to the notion of how much pollution these land casinos cause.
While secondhand smoke has been known to pollute even the non-smoking area of most casinos, smoking is not even close to the biggest issues when it comes to environmental pollution caused by casinos. In fact, many people have brought up concerns about the construction of casinos and the pollutants that it can cause to rivers and the surrounding land.
Another issue is with sewage. Along with casinos come a lot of tourism and a lot of people staying at hotels, etc. Many places are just not prepared to deal with the massive amounts of waste that these many people will bring to their town. As a result, sewage issues can become a major issue, causing cities to have to scramble to deal with all the waste. This waste can cause a variety of health issues and is incredibly toxic to be around.
There is also the issue that many older brick-and-mortar casinos have when it comes to Asbestos. A lot of the older ones may still have drywall, tiles, etc, that have Asbestos in them, which can be highly toxic and even carcinogenic if disturbed. And while we are on the topic of environmental issues, just about a decade ago, they stopped using lead paint on their chips. Lead paint can be dangerous if ingested by accident.
Many people who visit casinos are also likely to leave trash all over the place, which can be picked up by birds or other wildlife and ingested, causing major health problems. Thankfully, most land-based casinos are doing their job in cleaning up the messes as they happen, but one of the benefits of online gambling is that you do not have to deal with any of that trash at all.
How online gambling wins out
Since there is no physical location, gambling through your laptop or phone causes far less trash to clean, less toxic waste, fewer sewage problems, etc. While you will always have a small amount of trash and other forms of pollution when using any form of technology, simply based on how it is made, making a cell phone is much greener than taking a plane to Las Vegas for a week.
These devices also use far less energy, making them the go-to way to enjoy gambling, while not having to worry too much about your carbon footprint. We all want to win it big and have a great time while gambling. And it is vital to do that responsibly and take care not to go overboard, but we do not have to destroy the Earth in the process of having fun.
Online gambling is something you can do at any time, and with whomever you want. But it is important to try to make sure that while we are having fun, we are helping to create a world where our children can live and thrive.