Back when the Sustainable Gaming Standards Committee was just getting started, we approached all the major slot machine manufacturers to become a part of this industry changing ANSI Standard. Back then, we didn’t have much luck with getting our message out. Now that we have come to this point though, we are seeing that even if a company didn’t join our committee, it didn’t mean that they didn’t support the message that we on the team were trying to get across.

That message is one of long-term operational cost reductions through ingenuity, creativity, and sustainability. Making all slot machines 25 percent more energy efficient than what is on the market currently as a short-term goal, with the long-term goal being a 50 percent reduction in the energy used to run the machines... The committee has been laying the groundwork for these improvements to be made, and it seems that the industry is responding, even if they have been reluctant to join our team.

Now is the time that we need broad ranging support from the industry, and my hope is that when you are done reading through this column, you will take action and join our team. There are a variety of ways which you can do this. We are looking for people to participate as voting members of the Sustainable Gaming Standards Committee. We are also looking for members to be a part of our various sub-committees (marketing, education, fund-raising...). Finally, we are looking for financial support, and press coverage. Our hope is that this column and the general climate of the industry will push you to action.

It seems as if most of the major manufacturers have put some energy efficiency measures in place. We are now seeing slot cabinets that are close to 25 percent more efficient than the older cabinets. We are seeing faster and more efficient processors, and there are even companies out there that will retro-fit your slot machine lighting so that your old bulbs are replaced with an LED kit. This will greatly improve the life of the bulbs and decrease maintenance time on the machines.

As server based gaming technology improves, and the technology takes a greater hold on the industry, it seems entirely possible that the 50 percent reduction number can be blown away. I’m not sure that most understand that if your machines run 50 percent more efficiently than they did before, that will mean a 50 percent decrease in the cost to operate the electronic portion of your gaming floor.

When you are able to put those dollars right to your bottom line, you are increasing your profit margins by decreasing your costs long term. This will hold true even in times of flat or declining revenue.

How will your company take advantage of this new economy based more on how you can save than on what you can generate? Even when we look at generating renewable energy through solar, wind, geo-thermal, or co-generation, what we are really talking about is the ability to reduce the amount of money you are spending month to month on energy generation, and transmission charges. Whether you are discussing a large-scale sustainability project, or making the machines on your gaming floor run more efficiently, it’s the same theory: Long-term operational cost reduction to drive higher profit margins. It is my belief that when the industry totally embraces sustainability, we will start to see a more rapid recovery within the industry.