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The Sustainable Casinos Bucking the Trend for Wasteful Entertainment




The land-based casino industry is notoriously wasteful. In Las Vegas, the home of gambling in the United States, casinos use a fifth of the city’s total energy. And that doesn’t account for all the waste generated by these casinos and the many visitors that flock through their doors every day.

There are some notable exceptions out there, though. As consumers and regulators demand more sustainable options, the casino sector is being forced to change, leading to some exciting innovations and ingenious projects.

The Shift to Online Gambling

One of the most positive changes for this industry is not actually driven by a desire for sustainability, but it’s indirectly having that effect. Online gambling has soared in popularity over the last few years, and that growth is showing no signs of slowing down.

The growth is driven by a perfect storm of improved technology, the need for consumer convenience, and the fact that many states are now opening their doors to licensed operators.

Globally, the biggest operators don’t have any kind of physical presence, and due to the increased costs and risks involved, most of them are happy to keep it that way. In the US, it’s a different story, and many of the biggest casino and sports betting licenses are being granted to existing gambling brands, including Caesars Entertainment.

They’re not going to close their resorts anytime soon, but online gambling could give them the revenues needed to make eco-friendly changes in their land-based operations.

The Canadian, European, and Asian markets have also exploded in recent times, largely thanks to the convenience these sites provide. So, whether they are looking to find casinos in Ontario, Michigan, Nevada, London, or Athens, players seem to prefer online casinos.

Mandalay Bay Convention Center

In 2013, the Mandalay Bay Convention Center installed 21,324 solar panels on its roof, and this is not the only positive change it has made. It has also added LED bulbs into all of its light fixtures, reducing energy consumption considerably. It recycles all corks from the countless popped bottles of sparkling wine, and the wines themselves are also sourced from sustainable providers.

These might seem like small changes, but on a grand scale, they are. But we’re talking about a resort that welcomes millions of visitors, buys an incredible number of bottles, and pops countless corks.


Some of the other green initiatives utilized by the Mandalay Bay Convention Center include:

  • All of the menus are designed with sustainable practices in mind
  • Leftover food is used as animal feed
  • Compostable cups are used at the center’s water stations
  • Oyster shells are thrown back into the ocean to aid with repopulation
  • There are recycling stations throughout, including in the staff areas
  • Linens that don’t meet the center’s high standards are cut up and refused as cleaning clothes
  • Minimal plastic is used at the dinner table
  • Many of the napkins used in the dining rooms are made from sugarcane

Harrah’s Resort

Harrah’s Resort is an Atlantic City resort that is committed to sustainable practices. It goes to great lengths to reduce packaging waste and minimizes the use of plastic and other non-biodegradable materials.

All lights at Harrah’s Resort use energy-efficient bulbs, all of the staff use eco-friendly cleaning solutions, and the Resort aims to waste as little water as possible.

All of these practices are tied to the “CodeGreen” strategy. It’s a Caesars Entertainment strategy that focuses on producing less waste, and it applies across the corporation.

Element Las Vegas Summerlin

The Element Las Vegas Summerlin is fully dedicated to going green and has come a long way over the years. It is certified by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and some of its practices include not using disposable dinnerware and using carpets and décor made from recycled materials. Plastic is rarely used, and there are vehicle-charging points on site.


The Resort is managed by Marriott, a brand that has spent a great deal about making the entertainment and hospitality industry cleaner and leaving as little mark on the environment as possible.

Summary: A Long Road Ahead

The casino industry is vast, and the biggest resorts span hundreds of rooms across incredibly vast spaces. It will take a lot of money and effort to convert these spaces, and any changes they make will have to be gradual. Take the Mandalay Bay Convention Center as an example. We mentioned that they added over 20,000 solar panels back in 2013, but we didn’t say that these panels contributed to just 20% of the Resort’s energy!

Imagine that—over 20,000 solar panels in the middle of a desert, and they barely scratch the surface! Still, every change, no matter how small, is positive, and if resorts like Mandalay Bay Convention Center keep making an effort and investing in sustainability, this industry could be fully green and clean within a couple of decades.

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