It should come as no surprise to gamblers, or even people who have watched films about gambling, that gender politics are inextricably tied to gambling and casino culture. Casino floors are romanticized, sexualized environments and the fact that many casinos, of both the online and brick-and-mortar varieties, show a preference for young, attractive, female dealers.
However, virtually every gambler will continue making bets regardless of who is dealing the cards, so why is there still a bias towards hiring female dealers? And what could this bias tell us about psychology and its commercial use?
The rise in popularity of live dealer games
Online casinos have skyrocketed in popularity over the course of the last decade, and their rise in popularity shows no signs of slowing. Live dealer casino games are some of the favorite games that are currently expanding their reach. BetSpin.com has a wide variety of options to choose from, here it is possible to find a casino tailored to your specific needs, with a starting bonus to kick you off in the right manner.
For the uninitiated, live dealer games are essentially your favorite casino games, such as roulette and blackjack, played through a virtual interface. When playing a live dealer game, you join a specific table, play against other gamblers and chat with the live dealer who is dealing cards and managing the game and winnings, via a webcam.
One of the reasons that live dealer casino games are so popular may be that the live dealer makes it feel as if you are actually in a casino. During the pandemic, many of us have missed the excitement, glamour and lively atmosphere of the casino floor, and live dealers help to recapture that sense of exhilaration, all from the comfort of your couch.
Gender and psychology
Beautiful women have been used to advertise and sell products for as long as advertising has existed, and the world of gambling is no different. A young, beautiful person who is willing to engage with you can be an exciting prospect for many individuals, and in a gambling environment, this can enhance the adrenaline and exhilaration of the game being played.
In her article “Emotion workers on the production line: The feminizing of casino card dealing”, Elaine Enarson argues that women have traditionally been hired as dealers because of commercial “gender strategies”. She notes that casinos use female dealers to exploit socially constructed gender relations and to give male gamblers a sense of authority while playing.
The stereotype of the female personality as engaging and friendly is used to encourage gamblers and give them confidence. Finally, the societal view of female economic status as being less than that of a man is also used to subconsciously encourage male gamblers to play at tables with female dealers, in order to help them.
You may think that this is a harmless exercise in commercial psychology, which some companies have worked out. However, hiring specifically for attractive young women has the potential to be discriminatory against men and non-binary individuals. Additionally, Enarson argues that by hiring women for lower paid and lower status roles such as dealers, instead of as managers, women are still being held back in the workplace.
Opportunities for dealers
Live card dealing can be a great career opportunity or part-time job, especially for young people. Dealers must first be trained in how to deal cards, use the tech interface and engage with gamblers who are playing. However, once a dealer is fully trained and ready to start working, it can be a great job or side hustle because of the convenience and the possibility of tips from players.
Live dealers can work from a studio, or depending on the site, from the comfort of their own home. Dealers who are able to hold a good patter with gamblers are able to make a good amount in tips, in addition to their wages. This flexibility makes it an ideal role for single parent households.
Women and gambling
According to a 2017 study from the UK Gambling Commission, 44% of women in the UK had gambled in the past month, whereas 53% of men had. While there is still a discrepancy of nearly 10%, the number of women who enjoy gambling is on the rise, especially as online gambling continues to become more accessible and entertaining.
It is likely that as more women start gambling and become a larger consumer group in the sector, the demographics of live dealers may also start changing.
Savvy online casinos will likely catch on to the changing trends and start hiring a more evenly balanced number of male live dealers. As the industry continues to change and grow, it will certainly be worth paying attention to how demographics shift and change.