Women Leaders of the Gambling Industry
For many years, the gambling industry was seen as a “man’s world.” However, there are several hugely impressive women with leading roles who are helping to shape the industry. Here we will take a brief look at the most influential of them in the last year, in no particular order.
Sarah Blackburn – Director, GameOn Marketing
The emergence of GameOn as a leader in a crowded field is largely down to the hard work of Sarah Blackburn. She is hugely passionate about her job and the industry, which has driven her to achieve great things. She is committed to helping women in the industry build their profiles and realize their potentials, ensuring their future at the same time.
Melanie Gross – Former VP of Online Casino & Sportsbook, Caesars Interactive
Melanie Gross has worked in iGaming for close to two decades, she started as an engineer in 2003, and by 2010 she was responsible for the product and P&L of seven casinos across 150 countries. She believes that at present, the industry rewards men for their potential but women for their performance and that this needs to be addressed.
Charmaine Mabuza – Chief Executive Officer, ITHUBA Holdings
ITHUBA has achieved great things under Charmaine Mabuza’s leadership. It became the first in the world to integrate with banks and last year released an RNG-powered draw system that has since become the industry standard. Mabuza has also launched corporate social investment programs to support women and students in South Africa.
Dr. Sally Gainsbury – Director, University of Sydney Gambling Research & Treatment Clinic
As player protection and safer gambling become ever more important, Dr. Gainsbury’s work is taking on greater prominence. In the past, she has worked treating those with gambling problems, and she has published more than 100 research papers about gambling addiction. She has earned the respect of all major stakeholders in the gambling industry, and her work on technology and gambling is considered ground-breaking.
Laura McAllister Cox – Chief Compliance Officer, Rush Street Interactive
Laura McAllister Cox has worked in the gambling industry for four decades, during which time she has always led by example. She is always looking for opportunities to help women and other minorities in the industry and is rightly proud of the diverse group she has working under her at Rush Street Interactive.
Maria Naveira Sund – SVP Engineering, Kambi
Maria Naveira Sund says that it took the recognition of a female colleague of hers to help her start climbing the managerial ladder. She said that prior to joining Kambi, she regularly experienced discrimination, but that this has served to make her stronger. Today she oversees a department of more than 250 people in offices around the globe and hopes to serve as an example to other women looking to get ahead in the industry.
Claire Osborne – VP of Interactive, Inspired
Claire Osborne believes that the industry has come a long way in regards to equality, with managers today seeing the benefits of diversity. Furthermore, she believes that women can now succeed without having to try to fit in with men. However, she does believe that there is much more work to be done to enable women to have children and then return to a career.
Maarja Pärt – CEO, Yolo Group
Maarja Pärt’s achievements in gaming, cryptocurrency and fintech, mean that she truly stands out from the crowd. She is known for being bold and ambitious, and, in just over a decade, she has gone from being in charge of a small team of six to the CEO of a company with roughly 700 employees.
Birgitte Sand – CEO, Birgitte Sand & Associates
During her time as head of the Danish Gambling Authority, Birgitte Sand established the foundations for sustainable iGaming regulation. Today, she aims to build a dialogue and cooperation between regulators and operators in order to achieve diversity and sustainability.
Lindsay Slader – Managing director – Gaming, GeoComply
As online sports betting continues to expand across the US, GeoComply, led by Lindsay Slader, has become the go-to choice for geolocation-based compliance. By ensuring that GeoComply meets the needs of the industry and working closely with regulators, lawmakers, operators, and other industry stakeholders, Slader has helped the gambling industry flourish in the US.