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Slot machines and gaming tables going ‘green’

TOMS RIVER, N.J. – Eric Hansel is a visionary who knows how to make things happen. EGM Green, his one-year old brain-child, is setting casino industry standards for “green” slot machines and also produces “green” gaming tables.

EGM Green is the first company in the world to design and manufacture 100 percent eco-friendly casino gaming products, including the “green” poker table that was set up at Harrah’s Rio All Suites Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas as a prize for the winner of the World Series of Poker. EGM’s tournament poker table is made from 98 percent sustainable materials.

EGM Green is an offshoot of gaming table supply company Executive Gaming Monthly (EGM).

Hoping to reduce waste and the consumption of natural resources, EGM believes that applying sustainable design principles to their tables and other casino products will go a long way towards providing safety, security and sustainability for families and communities over the next seven generations. Hansel said, “We are looking for sustainable/green initiatives to affect real change to the casino industries bottom line.”

“The sustainable slot machine standard that is being developed is going to be a collaborative standard based on what casino operators, manufactures, educators and the press wants. It is going to be something that everybody wants to live with. Big slot machine manufacturers that have top tier machines are already working on server based gaming, which will become more energy efficient over time. We want these kinds of groups to have a say in what is going to happen because server based gaming is the future of the gaming floor,” he said.

“Our sustainable standard for slot machines intends to make them 25 percent more energy efficient after one year and 50 percent more energy efficient after five years. Sustainability and its long-term cost savings can be one of the things in these uncertain economic times that help turn things around within the casino industry,” Hansel said.

Hansel and the other participants in the initial draft of the standard, gaming industry veterans Dean McClain, Paul Magno – Gaming Laboratories International, and Michael Arny – Leonardo Academy, are looking for operators and manufacturers who would like to join the slot machine sustainability standard development advisory board.

“Casinos want to buy machines that will perform the best based on payback models. They also want to buy the ones that perform the best when you take into account energy efficiency – because that increases the payback. We are looking forward to hearing from the MGMs, Harrah’s, Turning Stone, Fox Woods; the larger casino companies because they purchase the most slot machines,” he said.

“There is more that can be done to a slot machine to make it greener. One is to use greener or more efficient product as the casing for the machine and use different materials inside the machine. One of the major issues with energy consumption for a slot machine is the amount of heat it puts off as a by-product of the energy that it uses. One of the things we talked about is using a different type of fan to cool a whole bank of machines instead of having fans in each machine. This will also keep the area around the players cooler which means that when you are sitting in front of a slot machine for four hours your knees don’t get burned from touching the machine.”

In July the team announced a contest to kick off the development of the standard. Slot machine manufacturers were invited to compete for recognition in developing the greenest slot machine using the Draft Sustainability Standard for Slot Machines. “Proper planning leads to better outcomes,” Hansel said.

The team is aiming to release the final standard by October of 2009.

EGM also custom designs eco-friendly poker tables, blackjack, roulette, mini-baccarat and baccarat tables as well as seating for table games, slot machines and orders for luxury lounge furniture.

“While we build a sustainable table, we want it to be as good, or better, than any table out there.”

According to Hansel, all of EGMs energy conservation projects incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certified engineering protocols in their products. All materials they use are Forest Stewardship Council-certified, recycled or reclaimed.

EGM Green also offers consulting services for energy reports; preliminary energy studies, comprehensive energy studies, MEP design, construction administration, project management, building commissioning for new and existing properties, feasibility energy analysis, training and on-going technical support and internet based advanced metering solutions.

“Sustainability in general has come to mean that things are green – eco friendly. Really what it comes down to is what we can do now to provide for our children’s children, and their children after them,” Hansel said.

For more information about EGM Green visit www.egmgreen.com or call (201) 927-3526. Parties interested in supporting the development and implementation of this standard, or participating on the Standards Committee or a subcommittee, can contact Amanda Raster, Leonardo Academy’s Sustainability Standards Development Manager, at (608) 280-0255 or e-mail amanda@leonardoacademy.org.