Gambling is supposed to be a man’s world. However, it seems that the tides are slightly shifting, with more and more women registering as players at top gambling venues worldwide. Moreover, in the last couple of years, a female cast joined the scene in almost every gaming sector, including its nexus – Las Vegas.
Are women finally taking their rightful place under the dazzling casino spotlight? Let’s discuss.
Las Vegas might not be Nevada’s capital, but it is undoubtedly the most famous city in the state. Nicknamed the Sin City, Las Vegas has been attracting millions of players looking for a bit of casino fun for decades. This melting pot was a place of convergence for people from all walks of life, many of them being female.
However, despite its diversity, the gambling scene in Las Vegas is considered a male-only habitat. Women are allowed into casinos; many even work as dealers and hostesses. But this male-dominated story began with women. Casino Chick, a website dedicated to women in gambling, compiled a neat overview of women’s gambling history. The female evolution in a male-dominated sphere is just one example of how Casino Chick accentuates lady gamblers’ rising power.
Casino Chick’s experts introduced us to Mayme Stocker, a stubborn and hard-working lady from Pennsylvania who opened her Northern Club in Las Vegas in 1920. In 1931, her club on Fremont Street received a full license for work, the first to be bestowed ever, not just to a female owner.
A Nevada casino solely owned by a woman was the Hacienda, the property of Judy Bayley. In a way, Stocker passed the torch to Bayley, who pushed traditional gaming boundaries with her innovative style.
The mantle was passed down to several other powerful ladies, including Sarann Knight Preddy, Jeanne Hood, and Claudine Williams. All three made history with their achievements and bold leadership. But they are certainly not the only ones who can do that.
The world today is a bit different than it was five years ago. In 2015, the statistics showed that 86% of the gambling population was male – only 14% were female. But in 2021, the situation is different. Women are not only playing the games but also running international gaming halls.
Among the shiniest examples are the new leaders of four Atlantic City casinos, led by Melonie Johnson, the newly appointed Borgata president. Besides her, impactful changes transpired in the Tropicana casino when Caesars Entertainment hired Jacqueline Grace as the Senior Vice President and General Manager. Ocean Casino Resort’s new CEO is none other than Terry Glebocki, while Bally’s new Senior Vice President and General Manager is Karie Hall. Together, these four women are rewriting the narrative and showing that change is significant – and inevitable.
In Las Vegas, such a radical change is not yet on the horizon, but that does not mean it is not in plans. Nevada is still opening to female leaders in the casino department, with Debra Nutton as a clear example of how rocky a women’s path in the Las Vegas industry can be. Before becoming the Senior Vice President of Wynn and MGM casino halls, she worked as a craps dealer and a pit boss. Being a woman and a craps dealer (and a pit boss) was unheard of at the time. But her determination inspired many women looking for a career in the business. And that’s just the start.
A Brave Female New World
Gaming comes different to men and women. Women and men frequent gambling halls for different reasons, their gaming habits are different, and even the way they organize their playtime has distinctions. But one thing is certain: more and more women are stepping into the spotlight. And shaking the frame would be a welcome refreshment – it would honor all the >women in Nevada history.
Female players are actively seeking entertainment at some of the world’s biggest casino establishments, and it is just a matter of time before they start occupying leading positions in the same brands. Thanks to Nevada’s Global Gaming Woman active work on supporting and inspiring women in the gambling industry, we might see an influx of female power in the tight circles of the traditional gambling world in Las Vegas.