Manufacturers Weigh In

These feature articles discussed the importance of the casino industry going green and what architects and construction firms are doing that’s environmentally responsible and sustainable. But gaming manufacturers are going green, too. CEM asked some of gaming’s major manufacturers to weigh in and share their sustainability plans and goals. Read on to find out that they’re doing in their products that will help the casino operator—and Mother Earth.

Their logo may be red, but Bally has gone green. The company’s new Pro Series™ cabinets are Bally’s greenest cabinets to date. They utilize energy-efficient LED lights on both sides of the game monitor, in addition to being RoHS compliant. And according to Bally’s Vice President of Marketing Dan Savage, “Bally is the first gaming company in the U.S. and Canada to have an energy-efficiency rating from a nationally recognized testing lab.”

Bally also implements and supports the EU WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment) Directive, which adheres to the take-back program for recycling of up to 80 percent of its products.
“In addition, we drive our suppliers to deliver components using reusable racks, pallets and corrugated and low-dunnage packaging configurations,” Savage said.

Building environmentally friendly slot cabinets is an important benefit to gaming operators. It reduces power consumption and electrical use, which is ultimately a cost savings that adds up. And more energy-efficient slot cabinets emit less heat, which makes it easier for casinos to keep their environment cooler in warmer months and reduces power consumption from increased air-conditioning use.

“As our cabinets become sleeker and more streamlined, they also become more energy efficient and lighter, thanks to advances in injection molding and the availability and reduced cost of more energy-efficient components,” Savage added.

WMS launched a company-wide green initiative in 2009. For its product development, the company selected a low power video chip to work with environmentally friendly low power lighting devices and are conscientious in the materials used. All current offerings are RoHS compliant, which means that they meet or exceed required standards for maximum allowable levels of dangerous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, etc. As waste costs increase, it’s important to make sure that toxins do not leach from the equipment after disposal.

“One very clear operator benefit resulting from our green initiatives is lower levels of power consumption, and not just from the gaming equipment,” Norm Wurz, vice president of hardware design and development, commented. “As games use less power, less ambient heat is created throughout the casino. This in turn allows the operator to save on air-conditioning (and heating). For operators invested in optimizing a green approach to power consumption, lower power level games could allow more units on the floor consuming the same amount of power, and hopefully more games would mean more play/revenue.

“We are a global socially responsible company, and whether it is exploring new sustainable materials to use or working with suppliers to continue to develop new technologies that support these efficiencies, being “green” is a focal point in our designs. Change won’t happen overnight, but as innovations continue to evolve, we are devoting the time and effort to see how they can help the gaming community and our customers.

IGT’s environmental efforts are shown through its representation on the Sustainable Gaming Standards Committee and its own company’s Green Team.

IGT’s newer machines are SMIBless, meaning there is less hardware needed by allowing the game CPU to deploy Service Window and player tracking instead of using secondary hardware devices that emit energy.

The company is also introducing virtualization technologies that result in energy efficiency through server consolidation and dynamic management of computer assets across a pool of servers.

IGT began manufacturing RoHS compliant machines for European distribution and includes many of the parts that meet or exceed the RoHS standards in machines manufactured for the U.S. and outside the E.U.

Konami Gaming is also committed to being environmentally responsible through eco-friendly practices in the consumption of materials and its “resource-lean” manufacturing process. The company’s K2V platform products are RoHS compliant, and all future products will also be compliant.

In its machines, LED lighting replaces fluorescent lighting when applicable. At the most recent G2E, Konami unveiled a new Lot-A-Bucks version and sign package that runs on the Konami Casino Management System. The package is a “green” sign—the monitor in the sign is a full LED LCD that utilizes less electricity and has a longer short life than any other monitor on the market.

SPIELO and ATRONIC’s prodiGi Vu™ cabinet is a shining example of a gaming product gone green. During design, the team challenged itself to see if the cabinets would adapt to environmental values, both during production and once the machines are on the slot floor. “At that point, our customers hadn’t yet begun to ask for these features, but we knew we could serve them better and support the cause by making small changes that result in a bigger payback for everyone,” noted Ken Bossingham, COO for ATRONIC Americas.

prodiGi Vu’s green features include a terminal that emits 27 percent less heat and energy than the previous AURA cabinet, reducing cooling costs in venues and energy consumption costs. It’s also 21 percent lighter than the AURA, which reduces fuel consumption during shipping. It boasts 100 percent RoHS and WEEE compliance. Its energy efficient buttons and service lighting were designed without fluorescent or incandescent lighting. Additionally, all software and games are updated through memory card and Flash downloading, reducing waste and travel for service calls.

“Our customers are happy with our solution because it offers extra benefits without any drawbacks,” Bossingham said. “By reducing our products’ energy consumption and heat emission, our customers can reduce their overall operating costs, so the prodiGi Vu offers more value as a result.”

ATRONIC Americas and SPIELO have added environmental responsibility to its core values. Green requirements have been built into the product specification template during development.

One of BetStone’s major initiatives is server-based gaming, and the company holds that SBG can reduce the cost of equipment in monetary terms and the impact to the environment.

“BetStone’s server-based gaming platform provides remote distribution of content from central servers, thus removing the requirement to ship equipment and content by air, sea and rail,” explained Avron Goss, director. “As new content is released, all machines on the BetStone platform are updated remotely with new content, reducing the environmental impact of packaging and deploying content to locations internationally.” In addition, BetStone’s cabinet signage is achieved through high definition LCD screens—meaning no physical signage change is required to a cabinet to introduce new themes or titles. The central server saves on printing and shipping materials.

BetStone is committed to developing tools that can all be integrated onto the one platform with remote updates. This results in less requirements of having multiple systems operating at once, which in turn, provides energy and equipment production savings.

Gaming Support
Gaming Support’s SlotTimer product is a great example of an environmentally responsible gaming solution. Holland Casino has deployed SlotTimer on all its EGMs. SlotTimer is designed to reduce the power consumption of slot machines. It saves operators money while also being environmentally friendly, making it a win-win.

“TransAct Technologies is always looking for ways to incorporate environmentally friendly practices into our products,” commented Mike Kumpf, executive vice president of engineering. One example is achieving RoHS compliance. “The RoHS directive aims to restrict certain environmentally dangerous substances that are often used in electronic equipment. TransAct is committed to leading the way in the gaming industry with environmental efforts such as RoHS compliance.”

Another way TransAct has gone eco-friendly is its Epic 950 product. It incorporates a state-of-the-art ticket low sensor technology that alerts slot technicians when there are only six to eight tickets left in the tray. This technology also provides a secondary benefit to casino operators with paper saving. The feature ensures that the absolute minimum number of tickets are wasted.

“TransAct is continuously looking for ways to implement environmentally friendly practices into our processes and products,” Kumpf commented. “We are currently designing multiple printer packaging for our printer shipments to our customers with recyclable materials. This reduces the amount of packaging used, and ensures it can be reused.”

MEI also has a dedicated Green Team, and the company’s Querétaro plant in Mexico has been awarded the Industria Limpia (Clean Industry) certification. This is the Mexican government’s highest level of recognition for environmental excellence.

Eric Fisher, vice president-Americas, further stated: “MEI recognizes our company’s responsibility to nurture sustainable business practices in all areas of our organization. Our Querétaro plant has committed to protecting the environment, and we are proud that the Mexican government has recognized these efforts.”

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