Here’s a prediction for 2020 and going forward: We will begin to look beyond the usual suspects when it comes to scrutinising carbon footprints and green credentials, and we will begin examining every industry to see what they could improve on. Every Single One.
Sure, there are certain industries that have been the main drivers climate change – 20 firms have contributed to almost one-third of greenhouse gas emissions according to a special report in the Guardian – but there is an increasing realisation that all industries must reflect on and ultimately make changes in the coming years.
An interesting case study is that of the online casino industry, especially as it has a physical counterpart in the huge land-based casino resorts. We could layout comparison of the two sides of the industry all day long, and the resorts are going to be the biggest culprits – consider that McCarran Airport in Las Vegas flew in just under 50 million passengers in 2017 – but we really want to look at the online industry too, and see if there is anything that can be improved.
Online industry can trumpet green credentials
As you can see by looking here casino.com/casino-games/ it doesn’t take much manpower to run a typical casino game. Once an online game has been created it is reusable. Casino games are not quite as demanding on power as multiplayer video games, but playing online is still going to be a lot greener than playing in a resort, especially when you consider the carbon footprint of getting staff there and the other resources used to house a casino game.
An interesting development, however, has come around with the advent of live dealer casino. What is it? Basically, real casino games streamed from vast studios to your smartphone or computer. These games have become hugely popular – effectively creating a new arm of online casino – but it could be argued that they are not as green as virtual games. Thousands of dealers are employed in these studios, and it takes a lot of energy to stream the games around the world, although the games require remarkably low bandwidth.
Live games have become popular – but are they greener?
Yet, appearances can be deceiving. While a live dealer game might have a bigger carbon footprint than a virtual game, it should also be noted that these studios cater for many casinos and operators. In short, it might feel like all this technology has been set up to facilitate you playing one on one with a dealer, but the same game, table and croupier could be being used under licence to dozens of other online casinos in dozens of countries across the world.
In the end, when we look at the online casino industry the challenges it will face are those that will be looked at in all digital industries; namely, the amount energy used by servers.
Green computing should be given much more emphasis in the coming decade, with everything from video gaming to the mining of cryptocurrency likely under scrutiny. While the online casino industry’s impact is very small compared to the big players in the digital media, it too should look at ways to lessen its carbon footprint.
So, is the online casino industry green? Certainly, when compared to the huge resorts people visit in the gaming world. Yet, as with all industries there will be some room for improvement. Those changes should be explored and implemented by the industry in the coming years, as too should other areas of the digital entertainment.