10 Most Influential Women in Global Gaming for 2021

This is iGB’S list of the 10 most influential women in global gambling space for 2021.

Director, GameOn Marketing & PR Agency

She is the Director of GameOn Limited, an iGaming marketing and PR agency based in the Isle of Man. Her Company has carved out a niche for itself in a teeming field of specialist agencies. She credits her success in the industry which has spanned over 16 years, to having an excellent team and great clients.

Former VP of online casino & sportsbook, Caesars Interactive

Melanie Gross is an iGaming executive, operations & product leader with over 18 years experience within social & real money online casino verticals. She is highly known and regarded for her ability to maximize the opportunities that came her way. She is the former VP of Caesars Interactive (online casino & sportsbook). She started out as an engineer in 2003 and by 2010, her in-depth understanding of products prepared her to become responsible for products of 7 casinos across 150 countries.  She has a background in startups and a highly regarded expertise in the regulated iGaming business; operations, P&L management, marketing products and compliance.

Chief executive officer, Ithuba Holdings

Charmaine Mabuza is the CEO of Ithuba, a trailblazing South African business. She is Africa’s first black female CEO to own & run a lottery operation. She led Ithuba to become the first national lottery operator in the world to integrate with banks by partnering with 4 major SA banks.

 She rolled out an online platform and introduced the ground breaking Random Number Generator draw system; a new method of drawing lottery numbers, which has now become industry standard. She has launched a number of corporate social investment programmes and initiatives to support women, and offers bursary programmes to university students across South Africa; with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty through education. She uses her platform to motivate and pull women off the sidelines and ensure that they are fully integrated into decision-making positions. Ithuba’s executive team is 60% female.

CEO, Yolo Group

She is the CEO of Yolo Group, a data driven and determined entrepreneur, who has made a career out of being bold and ambitious. She has a wealth of understanding and expertise, spanning almost all verticals within the iGaming sector. She is also a board member of Kopikas Entertainment OU.

Pärt has made her mark in 3 different male dominated sectors; gaming, cryptocurrency and fintech. She has worked her way from a 6 person employee business to nearly 700 employees and countless projects. She works hard alongside a network of women, to create a diverse environment, where employees will have equal opportunities and to create a platform that will make it easier for women to climb the ranks.

CEO, Birgitte Sand & Associates

Birgitte Sand is a senior executive with over 25 years leadership experience. She was the Director of the Danish Gambling Commission from 2008 to 2022 where she established the blueprint for sustainable igaming and built on a dialogue and cooperation between the regulator and industry that had been lacking in earlier regulated markets such as France and Italy. While in office she was responsible for the successful reconstruction and consolidation of a liberalized gambling licensing regime covering betting, online casino, land-based casino, lotteries and gaming machines.

She believes that creating a strong dialogue based relationship between regulators and the gambling industry is a key driver and she has been championing this approach even after stepping down in 2020, by sharing her experience with regulators and policy makers around the world, and has been pushing diversity and sustainable gambling through her board appointments.

Managing Director – Gaming, Geocomply

Slater is the MD of Geocomply; a global market leader in geolocation security, designed to stop location fraud. She has extensive experience and background in regulatory compliance and government relations for iGaming and geolocation technologies. With her comprehensive knowledge and experience as well as the relationships she has built within the many different sectors of the industry, from operators and regulators to lawmakers, she has truly become a recognized expert in her field.

Under the leadership of Slater, Geocomply has become the superlative geo-location-based compliance provider, tasked with ensuring players can only access products designed for the state in which they are present. They have become a dominant business in the sector, with the supplier holding close to a 100% market share in the US. Slater is also leading the supplier’s expansion into new markets, including Canada, Latin America and Europe while launching potential new markets in the US, including New York and California.

With the announcement that private equity businesses; Blackstone and Atairos will each invest in Geocomply, it is said that the deals made Geocomply a billion-dollar “unicorn” business and that Slater was a definite instrument in securing that funding.


Director, University of Sydney Gambling Research & Treatment Clinic

Dr Sally Gainsbury is the director of the Gambling Research & Treatment Clinic at the University of Sydney, and also an associate professor at the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology.

Dr Gainsbury, in 2007 worked as a psychologist at a public health treatment centre for individuals with alcohol, drug and gambling problems and has since then, published over 100 research materials. Her work on technology and gambling has helped to pioneer and transform policy in the field of internet gambling research. During the pandemic, she helped fill the conference and convention gap by creating the Technology, Risk and Gambling webinar series.

Dr Gainsbury is one of the few gambling academics in the world to have the respect of all major stakeholders, including those working in the industry and her inclusion in the influential list, confirms how pivotal consumer protection and safer gambling have become for the igaming sector.

Chief compliance officer, Rush Street Interactive

As a CCO of Rush Street Interactive, she develops and leads a team of compliance professionals in the areas of technical, product, operational, regulatory, anti-money laundering and licensing compliance while managing strong and effective global regulatory relationships.

She has had over 40years of experience in the gaming industry and always points to her career as a lawyer and her ability to build relationships as well as give and earn respect as a contributory factor to her success.

SVP engineering, Kambi

She joined Kambi in March 2018, where she has since enjoyed a stellar rise, with two promotions to oversee a department of over 350 people in offices across the globe.  She hopes to serve as a good example for other women, showing them it is possible to assume senior roles in technology.

Claire Osbourne, VP Interactive/Inspired Entertainment

Osborne is the VP of Interactive; a successful gaming Technology Company. Interactive operates in approximately 35 jurisdictions worldwide and supply gaming systems with associated terminals & games for more than 50,000 gaming machines located in betting shops, pubs, gaming halls and other route operations.


Reference: 10 most influential women in global gaming 2021. www.igamingbusiness.com


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