Over the last two decades, the role of women in casino gaming has increased significantly. This was not the case in the mid-1950s when women’s gambling power was unheard of because men dominated gambling. Currently, women are contributing to various aspects of the game by being operational managers, business executives, and pro-gamblers.
Danielle Benham, the Women’s Poker World Managing Editor says that women are catching up to their male colleagues in casino gaming and that they are not yet at the same level with men but they are edging closer every single day. With the progress made from the fight for equality, women are on the verge of taking on equal roles the very competitive environment of gambling.
In the early days of the Wild West in the USA, women took up background roles in casino gaming, which mostly constituted entertainment. Despite this stereotype, some women like Alice Huckert, alternatively known as Poker Alice by becoming a professional gambler, brothel owner and bootlegger at once.
Born in 1851, Huckert went on to become one of the most famous people on the American frontier. Due to her ability to offer people the commodities that they sought after, she got an invitation to play poker with lawmen, gamblers and outlaws. She was a successful player and fierce competitor.
Lottie Deno was another successful gambling woman in the Wild West who went on to win the title of ‘Poker Queen’ by besting Doc Holiday himself in a Five Card Stud game. She was a very prolific and successful gambler who made a small fortune through playing poker. She retired and lived in comfort until the age of 89, which was unheard of during the tumultuous times of the American frontier.
The early 2000s witnessed a boost in casino gaming especially with the onset of online poker rooms. However, on April 15, 2011 everything came crashing down when the United States Department of Justice prosecuted top three online poker sites in the USA which were Absolute Poker, Full Tilt Poker, and Poker Stars. Since this incident, poker popularity dropped dramatically.
There has been a recent increase in poker’s popularity because of the great influx of women into the male-dominated gambling industry. Online poker rooms are filling their sponsored ambassador roles with young and upcoming female poker players as they await the legalization of online poker in the United States. Some poker veterans have been quoted saying that the revival of poker will highly be propelled by women. The role of women in gambling has completely evolved in terms of customer and management aspects of casino gaming.
Traditionally, women began at the lower end of the operational ladder when it came to gambling. The much progress that women have achieved today was unfathomable in the early civilization years. Today, it is common to see women in the highly operational positions of casinos including the fact that women in the USA have managed to take up the position of Casino Manager of major Las Vegas properties. Women have not only increased their presence in casinos but also video poker games and slot machines. Patti Hart headed IGT before it merged with GTECH. IGT was the largest provider of slot machines and video poker games in North America. Before taking up this role, she was the Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Gaming Systems.
Today, the corporate world is more focused on results instead of gender and this has allowed women to experience breakthroughs in the gambling industry. Time has proven that women are equally qualified in holding positions in the gambling industry. Both men and women should be judged on their ability and skill set.