Gambling prizes under fire due to a lack of diversity in the jury

Gambling prizes under fire due to a lack of diversity in the jury

08.06.2021 0 By Andrzej Sikorski

One of the most prestigious award-winning events in the gambling industry has come under fire after a jury of 52 people found there is one female and no blacks.

Global Gaming Awards, convened by the industry publication Gambling Insider, recognize top companies and executives for their achievements over the course of the year. The 2018 awards will be judged by an 888 strong panel that "represents a dynamic section of the global gaming industry," according to the published shortlist of nominees.

The judges include the managing directors of the London 888 Holdings and Playtech list, the chief operating officer of the British gambling company Betfred, the head of the London Hippodrome Casino and the director of Google. The panel also includes older people from major gambling companies such as Sweden's Betsson and LeoVegas.

Women in the industry expressed their horror via the professional social network LinkedIn after realizing that the boss list only contains one female and no blacks.

The nonprofit All-In Diversity Project wrote: “Women reading this will know what's wrong with these photos. And yes, it comes from 2021. "

"I'm sorry to see that there are so many talented and unique women in this industry," said one employee at the slot machine company Slotsmillion.

Gary Roudette, CEO of Gambling Insider Players Publishing, said, "We understand what it looks like," but blamed an imbalance on the need for judges to be senior executives to ensure "sufficient authority."

He said: "The sad fact is that there are not many female CEOs at the leading gaming companies," adding that some who were asked to join the panel refused.

The gambling informant is now considering whether to open the panel to include fewer seniors in order to broaden the representation, he said.

One woman who spoke to the Guardian said the judges already had men below the level of the conference room, including one who is referred to as a "payment consultant".

Karolina Pelc, founder and CEO of, missed the Gambling Insider defense via a LinkedIn post.

"There are not enough women CEOs in the industry, and I understand you may not be able to secure the commitment of a few, but there are many in senior management positions with fantastic expertise to give you" authority "to judge," she said.

"We want more women in leadership positions, but where we are not promoting those we have or who may become one, including participation in such panels of judges, the circles of change will not start."

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The controversy again sparked lingering fears of sexism in the industry that surfaced in 2018 when the Guardian exposed allegations of sexual harassment at its annual London ICE event, when scantily clad women and pole dancers were hired to entertain a predominantly male audience.

Abby Rachel Cosgrave, founder of the gambling company Saf eComply, said: "Everyone involved is expected to step back until it is fixed."

The Guardian addressed 888, Playtech, Hippodrome Casino, Betfred, Betsson and LeoVegas for commenting on their management involvement.

Only Hippodrome boss Simon Thomas replied that this year's judging process was complete, but that he had asked the Gambling Insider to reconsider next year's judges.

While criticism from the industry has largely focused on the lack of gender diversity, there are also no blacks in the judging panel.

Roudette said he was unaware of any industry comments about the absence of black panel members, but said "as a black CEO with four daughters, [...] I take diversity very seriously."