The gambling industry has historically been dominated by men. That’s not the case anymore, though. Meet the two women that are making a splash as leaders in the online gambling and sports betting industry.
Amy Howe questions FanDuel’s spending habits
FanDuel CEO Amy Howe started steering the ship for the sports betting giant in February of 2021. Before long, she started making waves by questioning the industry’s long-held customer acquisition practices.
Companies in the sports betting industry are aggressive when it comes to gaining customers. That’s why they frequently offer incredibly generous sign–up bonuses in the form of free bets and other allures.
Howe believes, though, that there’s a point at which spending on these promotions can become too aggressive. The free money given out cuts into company profits too much to be worth it.
In many states, like New York, sports betting companies also have to pay taxes on these promos as if they were revenue instead of marketing expenditures.
“If you look at the way we’ve been deploying our dollars in our customer acquisition costs relative to the value of the customer, we obsess about that,” Howe has said in January 2022. “We want to make sure that we’re reaching the broadest and the right audience, but we’re doing that in a fiscally responsible way.”
Jette Nygaard-Andersen’s new methods of gaining customers
Entain CEO Jette Nygaard–Andersen pushes for new methods of gaining customers with a similar mindset. Instead of offering free bets or sign-up bonuses, Nygaard-Anderson has proposed other strategies to capture new business.
She particularly wants to make recreational angles of the company’s products more alluring. One specific angle is to make games that are free to play more alluring.
Nygaard-Andersen’s strategy seems to have worked. Entain saw double-digit revenue gains in 2020. In 2021, the company’s global customer base grew by 25 percent.
In addition to success with new customers, BetMGM Sportsbook, which is owned by- both MGM Resorts and Entain, currently has the first–place spot when it comes to market share for online gambling and gaming.
BetMGM is also tied for second for the market share of sports betting in the states where the company is operating.
“That really puts us aligned with other companies that are high growth customer focused disruptors,” she said. “Like the Netflix and the Google.” she said.
She added that just like those two enormously successful companies, “We use our technology to constantly think about how can we could say, evolve our offering, how can we innovate on behalf of the customers.”
Pushing for increased female interest in the industry
Both powerhouse female CEO’s have expressed the desire to see more interest in the industry from women.
“Fifty percent of sports fans are women, right?” Howe pointed out. “But only 15, maybe 20% of the sports betting population.”
Howe says it’s important to “target female customers in a really authentic way.” One way to accomplish this is to promote female sports and express support for female athletes.
Nygaard-Andersen points out that technology plays a big role in entertaining Entain customers. She stresses that the tech, artificial intelligence, and programing data sets in the company’s platforms need to be bias–free to capture women’s attention.
“It’s about the underserved groups,” she said. “It’s certainly about women, and it’s about young girls.”
Entain invests in closing gender gap in tech
Entain announced recently that it has invested GBP100 million in an innovation lab called Ennovate. The goal is to bring the newest technology from around the world to non-profit organizations for societal benefits.
Nygaard-Andersen has also spoken of “Girls Who Code.” It’s an organization Entain has invested in which focuses on closing the gender gap in the technology industry.
“If we can get more girls excited about technology, then you start from an early age,” she said. “And the minute that girls know that, they can be superstars.”
FanDuel’s parent company made an aggressive goal in gender equality
Flutter, the parent company of online gambling giant, FanDuel, recently announced a commendable goal. The company has pledged to fill 40% of its leadership roles with women by the year 2026.
The publicly-declared benchmark mirrors Howe’s enthusiasm for increasing opportunities for women in the gambling industry.
Female leaders and their responsibility to other women
Howe recently spoke at the 2022 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference. Her efforts to mentor and grow with other women in the industry were evident during the conference.
Many women said Howe was instrumental in promoting them, hiring them, or connecting them with their high–level positions in the sports industry.
“I know that I’m in a position where I can give back, and it’s something that it drives me to be a better leader,” Howe has said. “And I truly believe it’s going to make our company, our industry, successful over time.”
Nygaard-Andersen has also stressed the importance of the inclusion of women in the male-dominated industry, when it comes to both employment and product design.
“I have ambitions to change the industry,” she said. “Both what we’re doing on the product side, but certainly also how we think about the industry from a diversity and inclusion perspective.”
However, Nygaard-Andersen doesn’t seem to want to confuse the issue and focus so heavily on something like a person’s gender. Instead, she puts the focus on merit.
“I don’t think about myself as a female CEO,” she has said. “I show up because I’m a leader in the industry.”