Let’s be honest, the image of the average casino is not exactly the most woke. However, in this article I want to look at the ways in which women are increasingly becoming involved in the gambling industry and changing attitudes.
Perhaps one of the biggest game changers has been the rise of online gambling. Web based digital casinos like Casumo offer a huge variety of ways to gamble over the internet. This means that you no longer need to go into a physical casino to gamble. It presents an opportunity for women who may previously have felt uncomfortable in a casino setting to bet. In fact, this is indicated in the fact that women who gamble are most likely to do so on a tablet and at home. This suggests that more women are happier and more comfortable gambling outside of the often macho environment of brick and mortar casinos.
This has been furthered by the rise of women oriented gambling sites which focus on the types of games that are typically more popular with a female audience. These sites also encourage a social element between players.
Although betting on the horses at the bookies is done predominantly by men, betting on horse racing at the track has always been a more mixed affair. Of course, there are events like Ladies’ Day at Ascot, which are far more social events and fashion expos than gambling events (although of course, plenty of betting happens too). However, even outside of specially organised events, women play a large role in horse racing and are far better represented here than other areas of gambling. There are many prominent female jockeys, owners and trainers, and the list is only growing as more women are attracted to the sport.
This is not to say that horse racing is perfect – far from it. Women are still hugely underrepresented in the sport in comparison to men, with large disparity in earnings too and claims of sexism rife. The hope is that with these problems being forced out into the open, more will be done to combat them. This in turn will encourage more women to become involved in all areas of the sport.
Poker is another area of the gambling industry that has some prominent female figures, but is still dominated by men. To try to fight back against this by encouraging more women to pick up te cards, there has been a rising trend in womens-only tables and tournaments.
The fact that there is a need for womens-only tournaments highlights the main issue in poker though, that is that men at the table are sometimes just outright sexist. This can take a number of forms, from being patronising through to being creepy. The point is, many women who have tried to get into poker simply find that they are treated poorly, and it is off putting. Obviously this is not good enough and more needs to be done to address this. The hope is that as more women become involved these views will be driven out of the game for good.
Finally, I think it is important to stress that are actually women out there who are involved in the gambling industry – it is not as male dominated as is sometimes assumed. Take for example the UK betting site Bet365, founded by Denise Coates. She was an early pioneer of online betting, the first of the major british betting companies to fully embrace the digital over bricks and mortar shops.
Her decision to go after the online market with such fervour completed changed the face of gambling, as competitors were quick to imitate, and the internet age of sports gambling was born.
Furthermore, the constant drive for innovation in that field meant that they needed a new idea to keep ahead of the competition. This lead Coates and her team to invent the idea of online in-play betting, another pioneering move that again completely changed the game. Arguably then Coates was behind the two largest changes to modern sports betting, and earned her the title of Britain’s most successful self-made businesswoman.
The world of gambling has a long way to go in terms of combatting sexism. However, hopefully in this article I have outlined a few ways in which women are forcing the issue and fighting to make the gambling industry fairer and more representative.