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Can Gambling Go Carbon Neutral?

carbon neutral lower co2In October 2021, the online gambling company Lottoland became the first company of their kind to sign up to the Climate Pledge and the second to become a carbon neutral company.

The German operator worked with the global climate reduction consultancy Tunley Engineering who then provided them with a Carbon Assessment that allowed them to assess their carbon footprint in annual tonnes of Carbon Equivalence.

In 2019, Amazon and Global Optimism together founded The Climate Pledge, which is a commitment for companies to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years ahead of schedule and be carbon net zero by 2040.

The question is will other gambling companies follow suit and do people actually care whether gambling companies are carbon neutral or not?  Would someone be more likely to bet with a brand if they knew they were being more responsible to the planet or would people just automatically go with whoever has the best odds, games and features?

Of course going carbon neutral is easier for online-only companies than those with land-based and retail premises.

Net Zero

football player outline made from trees against barren backgroundEarlier in the year, Gamesys Group, the online casino gaming operator behind brands such as Virgin Games and Monopoly Casino, were also certified to be carbon neutral by the Carbon Trust in relation to their emissions within their operational control.

The firm achieved its status by purchasing energy efficient IT equipment which allowed it to reduce its gross emissions by 32%.

The company then further reduced its carbon footprint by investing in a Gold Standard scheme in Peru and plans to achieve a 50% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2023 by sourcing its electricity supply from renewable energy.

Solar In Sin City

las vegas airport slotsIn terms of the gambling industry, it is far easier for online companies such as those listed above to offset their carbon emissions for running their sites and their offices, especially in the era hot desking and home working.

However, this is much harder for land based companies in the industry to pull off.

Traditional brick and mortar gambling centres such as high street bookmakers and casinos are responsible for a percentage of the greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere by the gambling industry.

Not only in terms of what it takes to keep betting shops and casinos open, but also in terms of how people travel to venues, for instance flying into Las Vegas to either sample the casinos there or take part in big events such as the internationally contested World Series of Poker.

Obviously, the gambling industry cannot take the blame for how people travel, but in Las Vegas the casinos still, unsurprisingly, use up 20% of the energy of the city.

In order to power their venues, including powering their fountains like the Fountains of the Bellagio, lights such as the Luxor Beam, and all of the other amusements, Sin City casinos are turning to solar power, something far more attainable in the deserts of Nevada than it is in other parts of the world.

However, according to the US Energy Information Administration, 73% of Nevada’s power is sourced from natural gas fired plants and only 21.6% of generated electricity comes from renewable sources.

This is changing though as more and more casinos try to up their reliance on renewable energy.

There are twenty acres of solar panels alone on top of the Mandalay Bay convention center which will soon become the biggest collection of rooftop solar panels in the United States.

Three of Nevada’s biggest and most famous casinos, Las Vegas Sands, Wynn and MGM Resorts have revealed their plans to continue to purchase, and make greater amounts of, renewable energy for their hotels.

British High Streets Pledge

William Hill ShopBack home, both William Hill and Entain, the firm behind high street betting giants Ladbrokes and Coral, have all pledged to go carbon neutral as soon as possible.

In Entain’s case, they have pledged to becoming net zero for greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2035.

Again, that would be 15 years ahead of the 2050 target for carbon neutrality that has been agreed by governments under the Paris Agreement.

The group, who are also currently in the process of digitising their high street shops to bring them in line with the online experience, currently have a workforce of over 24,000, with 4,500 retail outlets and more than 20 offices over five continents.

Elsewhere, online and retail bookmaker William Hill have managed to switch 100% of its electricity supply in the United Kingdom to renewable energy sources as part of their new green commitment.

William Hill’s energy is now sourced entirely from solar, wind and hydro sources, which is saving almost 61,500 tonnes of CO2.

This is the equivalent to 38,000 British cars or one solitary transatlantic flight from London to Las Vegas.

Additionally, the company onboarded a number of other environmental initiatives such as a full retail rollout of Smart Metering across all of its 2,000 betting shops in the UK.

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