The gambling sector doesn’t have many prestigious awards to hand out, which is why a lot of attention is devoted to any occasion where the efforts of the industry are recognized.
Unfortunately, the attention Global Gaming Awards have received this year hasn’t exactly been positive. Namely, the show has been accused of not featuring a diverse enough judging panel. To make matters clearer, the panel features 52 people, one of whom is a woman. There are no people of color.
Assembled by the industry publication Gambling Insider, the Global Gaming Awards honors the best companies and executives for their yearly achievements.
Judging Panel in Question
The judging panel in question is composed of some of the most well-known faces in the gambling industry. Some of the names you’ll recognize include the chief operating officer of Betfred, a UK gambling firm, and chief executives of London-listed Playtech and 888 Holdings.
Other names on the list are a Google executive, London’s Hippodrome Casino boss, and gambling giants like LeoVegas and Sweden’s Betsson. As you may have guessed, all of the top-ranking people on the judging panel are Caucasian males.
Ever since the list of the judging panel saw the light of day, many women have raised concerns on LinkedIn, a professional social network.
All-In Diversity Project, the non-for-profit organization, has posted:
“The women reading this will know what’s wrong with these pictures. And yes, it’s from 2021.”
One female employee of the Slotsmillion company has said:
“Sad to see this, when there are so many talented and exceptional women in this industry.”
What Does the Other Side Have to Say
Chief executive of Gambling Insider publisher Players Publishing, Gary Roudette, has blamed this lack of diversity on the imbalance in senior positions. Namely, he claims the judging panel needs to be composed of senior executives to establish authority.
Roudette has also said:
“The sad fact is there are not many women CEOs in the gaming industry’s leading companies.”
He has added that some women who were asked to join the panel did not want to participate. The latest discussion from Gambling Insider is considering including the people with less seniority to broaden representation.
The founder and chief executive of SharedPlay.io, Karolina Pelc, has written in a LinkedIn post:
“There aren’t enough women CEOs in the industry and I appreciate you might not be able to secure the commitment of the few but there are many in senior leadership positions, with fantastic expertise warranting ‘authority’ to judge.”
The current criticism on the lack of women on the judging panel has taken the gambling industry by storm. However, not many have focused on the absence of people of color on the same panel.
Speaking on that topic, Roudette has said:
“as a black CEO with four daughters, […] I take diversity very seriously indeed”.
But, he has also mentioned he is not aware of any industry comments on that particular topic.