Since the mid-1950s, casinos have been dominated by men in every kind of role, and even gamblers have been overwhelmingly male. However, over the past two decades, women are gaining ground in the world of casino gambling. They may not be quite where men are yet, but they are getting closer all the time.
From the early poker days to virtual casinos
During the days of the Wild West, women were mostly peripheral to gambling and provided entertainment for the men. There were only a few respected women gamblers.
Poker went through a boom in the early 2000s, but in 2011 the three largest online poker sites had indictments issued against them. Today virtual casinos are very popular. Parx casino is a real money online casino where both women and men enjoy playing poker and many other games.
Gambling in movies and advertising
Gambling in casinos was often depicted in masculine movie genres, such as gangster films and westerns. The secondary parts would fall to female protagonists who were usually good luck charms or troublemakers.
Gambling ads tended to focus on the idea that men gain status from gambling, and it makes them more attractive to women. In a gambling advert banned in 2017 for sexism, this was the underlying message.
The days of overt sexism are over
When gambling was legalized in the U.S. in 1931, men had more disposable income than women, and so attractive women were brought into casinos to help extract money from patrons.
Overt sexism is no longer acceptable in the U.S. Casinos would think twice about using women’s bodies to sell gambling products and services as they did in the past. The climate has changed so much, with gender equality in the US constantly in the headlines. Some casinos are still struggling to shrug off past stereotypes.
Women take more strategic roles
It was only due to the feminist movement in the mid-1960s that women started getting into the operations side of casinos. They may have started off in lowly positions, but this was still a far cry from how they were regarded in the past.
Today both women and men play strategic roles in many businesses, including in casinos, investing in real estate and in other industries. The corporate world of today is all about getting results, and if a woman can prove herself as qualified to do the same job as a male in the gambling corporate world, she can hold a high position.
As time goes on, and with the introduction of online gambling, there is likely to soon be little distinction between men and women in the gambling world. It will be a good day when people are judged on their skill sets and ability rather than their gender.