Online gaming needs green servers to keep them sustainable

wind turbines

Looking out for a future with renewable energy

Casinos are illegal in some countries, online or off, and in some they are heavily regulated like in Canada and the United States where profits may go to First Nations people or Native Americans – the same as taxes from cigarettes they might produce. The governments there heavily tax the income from casinos, or give the revenue to communities to be used in education and community building. A no brainer to get the world off foreign oil would be to tax revenues from casinos online and off at legal gambling sites to benefit renewable energy deployment.

Like all vices of mankind, smoking, drinking, and even petrol fuel for driving hours a day –– the government knows that by taxing the things we can’t live without, huge payouts can be made and these payouts can benefit minorities. We say why not change legislation so that people who are going to gamble anyway, will at least do it for the good of the planet? 

Update Oct. 2020, read Wired’s story on how next generation gaming is an environmental nightmare

Wired reports how US gaming platforms create 34 terawatt-hours a year in energy usage—more than the entire state of West Virginia—or about the amount of emissions generated by 5 million cars. 

And it’s only going to get worse, reports Wired: “Total emissions are going up,” says Gary Cook, global climate campaigns director for Stand.Earth, an environmental nonprofit founded to challenge corporations’ climate practices. “There’s a real reckoning that needs to happen.”

Vote for renewable energy powered servers

Is the online game you are playing powered by green energy like wind or solar? How about a system like Fairtrade seals and organizations that online casinos share a part in to offer or promise that a certain percentage of earnings will go towards building and financing renewable energy, even for the servers that the gaming companies use?

There are even online gaming operators who are building their own servers in remote locations and with those foundations of server power also build renewable energy plants to keep them running, and the air conditioners on so the server farms stay cool. One company we met in Helsinki built a server farm underground, under a church and it gets cooled passively, without much energy input. 

We are not the first to come up with the idea and it’s not the first time we’ve thought about this approach here on Green Prophet. Ecosia does it for online searching, taking no small bite out of Google’s online ad sales. For every click and search you make at Ecosia, they plant trees and reduce greenhouse gases.

While Sheldon Adelson has a grip on casinos and who makes the profits in Las Vegas, Americans are reopening the debate on the legality of online casinos, and we think that by regulating them as a gateway to renewable energy several things can be accomplished.

People who want to gamble online will find a way anyway, so why not do it in a regulated way? In a way it’s like legalising cannabis. 

For one, the government can take earnings from a perceived negative and flip them into something positive. The government could use the taxation system to monitor the rules and regulations of the operators, while proceeds go to education and implementation of renewable energies in areas like green cars, solar power, wind energy and more.

Nevada could be a good home for online casinos, which could be served through renewable energy centers situated on the strip in Las Vegas. Just a vision. Just a dream.


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