Casinos Don’t Gamble with House Money - Implement these 2 Cost Savings Strategies

Keith McAslan is a Managing Partner with ASG Energy a comprehensive solutions provider for energy savings using LED lighting, HVAC Optimization,  Solar Power and Energy Storage.  For additional information, please visit: or email at

Posted on Wednesday 10th April 2019






A constant stream of flashing lights, buzzing slot machines and a ricocheting ring of winning jackpots draw in millions of casino guests each year. Many casinos offer more than just a gaming experience as well, with lodging, spas, golf courses and pools on site.

It’s no surprise, then, that casinos are also big energy users, often operating 24 hours a day in areas with extreme climates and temperature fluctuations.  

Casinos are a business where the odds of winning in gambling favor the house to pay for the facilities, staff, overhead and generate profits for the organization.  There is a strategy given to the design of casinos, from the obvious “no clocks” in plain sight  to the pattern on the carpets, the flow of guests through the casino floor to reach guest rooms, entertainment and dining all with the idea of keeping you there longer and spending more.

However, Casinos are giving away house money by not implementing two effective energy savings strategies that pay for themselves in three years or less. Therefore, implementing LED lighting and optimizing the HVAC systems for casinos are a smart bet for owners and operators. 

Casino Cost Savings Strategy #1 – LED Lighting

Casinos need to be a well-lit and safe environment for a variety of reasons. According to industry experts, guests who enjoy gambling seem to prefer well-lit gaming tableslobbies and pedestrian walkways.

Casino security professionals also benefit from LED lightingas casinos typically have a significant number of  close circuit video cameras and LED lighting provides superior color rendering benefits that can aid in helping to catch cheats and improves the odds of the facial recognition software as well.

Additionally, LED lighting technology can help save energy in a variety of lighting fixtures and video gaming systems. Casinos have entire floor spaces devoted to hundreds and hundreds of slot machines, each consuming energy at an alarming rate. For example, the Monte Carlo Casino in Las Vegas, an MGM Grand International property, spends about $5 million a year in energy costs, much of it attributed to lighting.

According to the EPA, replacing the conventional existing lighting in the Monte Carlo Casino slot machines to LED lamps  provided an 85% energy usage savings that is incremental profitability.

Casino FloorThat kind of energy savings can extend to the entire facility by using LED lighting in recessed, cove and track fixtures - it can save up to 70% - 90% of all lighting energy costs.  

LED’s have an average life expectancy of 50,000 hours, therefore maintenance costs will be significantly reduced. Harrah’s Rincon Resort and Casino in California replaced over 7,000 incandescent, halogen and fluorescent lamps with energy-efficient LED lighting, saving over $200,000 per year. The entire project cost $362,000 and installation took place over three weeks with a 1.8 year payback on the investment.

The trend is starting for casinos to take a serious look about ‘going green’ with LED lighting. Since the odds in casinos always favor the house, making the switch will continue to add more green to their bottom line.

How Can LED Lighting Save Money in the Casino Operational Budget? 

LED lighting can reduce the overall cost to your operational budget (OPEX) in several ways:

  • LED lighting is approximately 70% more efficient than other forms of lighting such as “traditional fluorescent lights” and can last up to ten times longer, reducing maintenance hours and improving inventory control.
  • LED lights are mercury free and therefore are hazardous free. As a result, they don’t require special handling or disposal fees. 
  • LEDs have a long life. An LED lasts 50,000 hours, or 5.7 years on average, if running in a casino 24/7. LEDs eliminate replacement and labor costs for that time period. 
  • LED’s often come with energy company rebates.


LED Case Study #1 – Chumash Casino Resort | Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in Santa Barbara County, California

Chumash Casino

Background – Located on the reservation, facilities include a full casino with 2,000 slot machines, four restaurants, 106 guestrooms, a pool, a hot tub and a spa.  A financial return on investment was important, but other considerations such as staff health, performance, and guest experience were significant.  

Outcome – Chumash Casino is one of the first facilities to convert all gaming floor and exterior lighting from CFLs to LEDs.

LED Case Study #2 – Nugget Casino Resort | Sparks Nevada

Nugett CasinoBackground – Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada, consists of more than 1,500 guest rooms, 110,000 square feet of meeting space, nine restaurants, an Olympic-size swimming pool and many other guest amenities. The property has a full-service casino offering 24-hour gaming, including blackjack, roulette, craps, Keno, bingo and a smoke-free poker room. 

Outcome – The casino converted a total of 5,372 incandescent lamps (11-watt and 5-watt) to 1-watt LED lamps, and the total project cost was $74,630. The casino received a $10,123 incentive from NV Energy, and will continue to benefit from long-term savings by saving a projected annual kWh of 244,422.

Casino Cost Saving Strategy #2 – Air Conditioning Optimization

Given that air conditioning and air handling systems typically account for 40-60% of a building’s electricity costs, this platform has shown to save 15-40% of cooling energy spent across a variety of implementations. This is what we refer to as “The Next Level of Retro-Commissioning” – beyond what a lot of other existing “retro-commissioning” practices claim to do when it comes to improving energy efficiency in chiller systems.

Dynamic Chiller Optimization is taking retro-commissioning to the next level by incorporating dynamic variables that impact energy utilization and load balancing across the entire cooling eco-system within a facility.  The platform has been designed in order to maximize the results and


  • Impact the thermostat settings.
  • Have any disruption of operations.
  • Require any new HVAC equipment.
  • Have any upfront capital costs.HVAC


  • Cost Reduction 15% – 40%
  • Low Payback – Under 3 Years
  • Performance Guarantee

Key Features:

  • Dynamic Chilling Optimization
  • Non-Intrusive Implementation
  • Remote Monitoring
  • Flexible BMS or HMI Interface Integration
  • Automated Response System

This “clean-tech solution” is ideally suited toward facilities that have large central cooling systems with a chilled water loop and installed chiller capacity of over 200 tons, as these types of environments can greatly benefit from this optimization. For more information visit

Financing Options

Casino Executives and CFO’s are always looking for cost saving initiatives, but the hurdle is how to fund them out of current cash flow. Fortunately, there are many financing options related to green investments and some include no cash outlay and the casino still incurs a utility savings.  ASG partners offer Energy Service Agreements (“ESA”) that utilize the energy savings to pay for energy upgrades avoiding up front capital investment and keeping the project off the balance sheet.  The monthly ESA payments are fully funded out of the savings created by the energy savings; however, the ASG Energy financing partner only allocates about 80% of the savings to the project payback, the other 20% is retained by the hospital to reduce ongoing operating costs.  Additionally, ASG Energy has partners that also offer traditional leasing, financing and other creative financing alternatives. 


Casinos should implement the 2 cost savings strategies of LED lighting and Air Conditioning Optimization as they are proven methods to significantly reduce operating costs and improve profitability with a quick ROI. 

Do not hesitate in implementing these strategies.  Remember do not let capital stop you, there are many financing options available, contact ASG Energy immediately.

About ASG Energy LLC

ASG Energy a comprehensive solutions provider for energy savings using LED lighting, HVAC Optimization, Solar Power and Energy Storage, with a successful track record of managing energy reduction initiatives and installations for several Fortune 500 companies and hospitals throughout the U.S.  ASG utilizes professional project managers and engineers for all our commercial and industrial customers, medical centers and schools to assist our clients in realizing rapid cost savings, as well as, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving facility lighting and safety.  For additional information please visit or email at or call 303-520-2493.

About Revolution Energy Group

Revolution Energy Group was established to provide next generation commercial energy efficiency solutions.  Revolution supports public and private sector facility owners and managers who seek high ROI “Energy Intelligence” to reduce operating costs and meet sustainability goals. For more information please visit See this link for the optimization beyond HVAC Optimization.

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