Going Green on The Felt: How is The World Series of Poker Going Green? Going Green on The Felt: How is The World Series of Poker Going Green?

This series of articles has been designed to focus on the positive steps taken by poker operators as they aim reduce their carbon footprint at live events and beyond—in the full understanding that there is always more that can be done.

Climate change is real. Global temperatures are on the rise, oceans are getting warmer, sea levels are rising, glaciers are shrinking, communities are being displaced due to extreme weather, and there is more greenhouse gas is in the atmosphere now than any time in human history. The list goes on.

“Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities,” NASA says on their dedicated climate change website “Most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position.”

There is a part we can all play in tackling climate change no matter how big or small. All efforts in trying to turn the tide in favor of a sustainable future should be applauded and its heartening to see companies within the gaming sector doing their part to make environmental issues as a priority.

Catching pokerfuse’s attention on Twitter back in early May, poker player Max Silver highlighted the apparent lack of recycling facilities at live events.

With no comment from the poker operators as to green initiatives during their live events, the question was raised internally by the pokerfuse team as to how important green issues are to poker operators. What is being done on the tournament floor and beyond to reduce the carbon footprint of these events?

With this in mind, pokerfuse caught up with Vice President of Corporate Communications at Caesars Interactive Entertainment and the World Series of Poker (WSOP), Seth Palansky, before the WSOP kicked off to find out more about the company’s green initiatives.

“Caesars is very progressive in this area” Palansky told pokerfuse, with the company creating a CodeGreen Initiative back in 2008 that underpins all of their environmental stewardship endeavors across the organization.

There are four main sections that support the CodeGreen initiatives including reducing waste water and energy usage as well as being dedicated to “collaborating with other organizations to advance industry-wide and overall corporate climate leadership,” as stated on their website.

Caesars also states that they have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 23% since 2011, they have reduced all water consumption by 11% since 2008, and 58,000 tons of waste was diverted from landfills in 2017 alone.

In terms of actual real-life initiatives players will see whilst attending the WSOP, Palansky told us there are water jugs in the tournament rooms for players to use and he also mentioned how all waste from the series is sorted and recycled where possible.

“Since we’ve had our relationship with One Drop we have always put out 5 gallon water jugs in the tournament rooms where players can bring their own refillable bottle and utilize those jugs,” Palansky told pokerfuse. “Everything is also recycled. It is done back of house, so you may not see it when you throw things in to our trash cans, but it all gets dumped and separated in the back.”

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The One Drop foundation has been providing safe water and sanitation to communities who need it the most since 2007 and has worked with the WSOP since 2012 when the Big One for One Drop raised nearly $10 million for One Drop charities.

In 2019 the WSOP will play host to the Little One for One Drop that features a buy in of $111,111. Th event will take place from July 6-8.

To find out more about Caesars CodeGreen Initiatives you can go here.

Having reached out to multiple operators, most remain tight lipped on their green initiatives. As such, it was refreshing to hear about the progress the WSOP and Caesars are making.

It might not sound like the WSOP has done much and there is always more that can be done, but it is important to recognize the steps the WSOP is making at its events to go green no matter how small. Change always has to start somewhere.

Palansky didn’t mention any additional plans the Series has to go green, but maybe we will see even more improvements next year? I wonder if WSOP packages could be given away that include a provision to offset carbon emissions?

If you want to be part of the Going Green on The Felt series please email, samantha@pokerfuse.com