Online real-money poker might not be the first entity to come to mind when thinking about sustainability. However, there are most certainly factors that bring the two together. Let’s discuss how online poker is already helping the environment and how it can do better in the future.
Online Platforms Oust Casinos
No matter how many servers or computers an online real money poker platform needs, the carbon footprint will be much smaller than the tangible casino poker industry. While the online option will need a fair bit of electricity, as will the casinos, the lights, machines and bar will all need power of some description. Then of course you must factor in the fuel which is used when the players and staff commute to the venue, which is very damaging to the ecosystem.
Couple Server Farms with Wind Farms
Touching on the point above, lots of companies that have a big online product require their own or usage of a larger server farm. These are buildings with many computers which allow the site to operate efficiently with many users at the same time. Compared to a single computer, it takes up a lot more energy. It would be a beneficial idea to couple them with wind farms, as a direct form of energy – meaning that at least some of power needed would come from a renewable source.
Lean Towards Blockchain and Crypto Tech
Many USA based real money poker rooms can make considerable reductions in their energy consumption by adopting and promoting both blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies. For the most part, these methods use less power than traditional means owing in part due to their decentralized status. In an effort to work these processes into their business operations, some online poker platforms now only accept cryptocurrencies which eliminates the usage of other funds which can take longer to process and subsequently use more energy.
Re-Design Websites for Efficiency
The more data that a website or platform needs to work, the longer it will take to load and in the end – it will consume more energy. While completely re-designing websites and re-writing code can be an expensive process it will pay for itself if companies do this periodically, as to be more efficient and use less data with its software design. As well as the financial incentives it also helps the environment as they will be producing less waste from energy output.
Poker Assets Not Required Online
There are multiple assets which are needed for a game of poker. Firstly, a table. A pack of cards. Chips to gamble with, seats to sit at, etc. All of these can be made with recycled materials as some casinos are now starting to do, some casino chips can be seen with stickers like: ‘made with 100% recycled plastics’ which is a good step in the right direction but online trumps it all together. None of those assets need to be made for online poker. The table, cards and chips are all virtual. Which surprise surprise, don’t take up any tangible resources.
Multiple Companies in Poker Against Plastic Pollution Campaign
Plastic might not be the first commodity that comes to mind when thinking about the logistics of online poker – but these companies typically use a lot of it, especially plastic bags, which are used in varying size to transport multiple goods from site to site. In an attempt to combat the plastic pollution, a UK-based firm, ECOSEC, started a campaign where poker firms plant five trees for every 1,000 bags they purchase. So far this has led to over 700 trees being planted which will only help the environment. Companies already participating in this include 888poker, PokerStars and Fivebet.
But do Companies Really Care?
Companies might say they care about the environment in their large-print marketing campaigns but their actions can be very different. When researching specific firms environmental policies, the rules they claim to abide by are usually very generic and lack detail. Some of which are incredibly old and haven’t had many revisions since 2019! A lot has changed in the world since then, with a lot more people working from home and the industry growing rapidly, surely if they cared about the environment they would have updated their policies accordingly?
Host Environmental Causes Events
One very easy and pertinent action for online poker companies to execute in order to assist with their carbon footprint would be to host specific events and tournaments that donate proceeds to environmental causes. Whether its running a weekend-long event, the Green Open, where the house rake is all donated to a pro-active environmental body or allowing players to easily donate their winnings to such a cause throughout their sessions, bringing the environment to the forefront of poker players minds should be considered to be of paramount importance.
Poker brands might not immediately share synergies with green firms like Greenpeace or ECOSEC but the relationship is just about showing that despite different primary objectives, they share the same desire to protect the planet. Even when being totally cynical it would be in poker companies best interests to protect future generations, as they won’t be able to take their money if the planet burns up to a cindering crisp as a result of global warming.