Prominent Women in the Gambling Industry

The introduction of online gambling was a game changer for the gambling industry. Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen the gambling industry escape the confines of gambling hubs like Las Vegas and Monte Carlo and find its way into the homes and lives of people all over the world. We’ve witnessed gambling evolve from being the somewhat seedy endeavour of hardened card sharks and obsessive slot machine enthusiasts into a celebrated pastime enjoyed by regular, everyday people from all walks of life. The movers and shakers within the industry are the ones responsible for propelling gambling out of the darkness and into the light, and you may be surprised to note that a good many of those movers and shakers are women.

A Place at the Table

Historically, women were not welcome in the world of gambling. Gambling was considered a wholly male endeavour; the best poker players were men, the big-time casino bosses were men, and in the early days’ software companies were made up of predominately male programmers and game designers. But times have changed. Women have taken their place at the table, so to speak, and they have made some giant waves across the industry. There are several top-class female poker players giving the guys a run for their money; there are a number of female casino bosses showing the world that the glass ceiling has well and truly been shattered, and women make up approximately 40% of the work force currently working for casino companies worldwide.

Games and Casino Bonuses for Women

Thanks to the online platform, there are now more casino games than ever before, many of which are marketed specifically towards female players. Some casino brands have placed their entire focus on attracting a female clientele. There are plenty of reputable casino bonuses and casino offers that speak directly to women, such as free spins on a ‘girly’ slot game, or a match deposit bonus associated specifically with a ‘girly’ casino brand. Thanks to these bonuses, it is possible to play casino games without needing to spend a fortune, making it easier than ever for women to hit up a few slot games or play a few rounds of blackjack or poker. And thanks to the convenience of the online platform, a busy, working woman can play games whenever they have a spare moment (rather than having to plan a night out at a casino).

Stigma No More

It could be argued that the reason there are so many high-profile women within the gambling industry is due to the fact that the women make up approximately 50% of online gamblers. Or perhaps, thanks to there being more women running the show, there are now more women interested in playing casino games? It’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation. Having access to casino games online has certainly given women the opportunity to gamble at their leisure, and in the privacy of their own homes. Gone is the stigma associated with women who gamble. So, who are these women taking the gambling industry by storm? Let’s take a look at some of the bigger names that have caught the world’s attention.

Vanessa Selbst

First up is Vanessa Selbst. Selbst is one of the world’s best poker players. Many would say that Selbst is the one of the world’s best female poker players, but we would argue that Vanessa Selbst’s skills go way beyond gender bias. This world class poker player has amassed an absolute fortune in winnings – we’re talking millions- and she just happens to be the first and only women to nab the Global Poker Index number one ranking.

Denise Coates

Denise Coates is the mastermind behind Bet365. Coates co-created Bet365 with her brother John, and then went on to take the role of CEO. Bet365 is one of the most successful betting companies on the planet, raking in billions of pounds every year. It is mainly thanks to Coates that the company has enjoys the level of success that it does, and Coates is now one of the highest paid CEOs in the United Kingdom.

Zoë Osmond

To round out our selection of powerful women in the gambling industry, we’re going to highlight the work of Zoë Osmond. Osmond is the CEO of GambleAware, a charity that helps people overcome gambling addiction. Thanks to Osmond’s tireless efforts, GambleAware has grown into a formidable force responsible for making huge improvements to player safety. Osmond herself is also now involved with the re-shaping of the UK’s 2005 Gambling Act.

More Awesome Women

Along with Selbst, Coates, and Osmond, there are plenty of other notable names to look out for within the gambling industry. Here are just a select few:

  • Therese Hillman – NetEnt: Former CEO
  • Pansy Ho – MGM Macau Casino: Co-chair
  • Ebba Arnred –Play’n Go: CMO
  • Jenny Watson – GameStop: Chair
  • Lara Falzon – NetEnt: Operational CFO and Red Tiger Gaming: CFO
  • Susan Hensel – Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board: Director of Licensing




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