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5 Famous Gamblers Who Are Women: Women Gamble Too, and It’s Not Always a Problem


Here is a little secret: when we decide on what to write about here at the Gambling Herald, we search for trending gambling topics to make sure we stay consistently relevant, and, when I’d searched Google for famous gamblers who are women, as well as more generally, “women gamblers,” I found … nothing. Why is that? Read our article to learn about famous female gamblers, sexism in the online gambling industry, and what you can do about it.

“A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.”
― Gloria Steinem

It’s no mystery that the online gambling industry considers its main target audience to be males between 20 and 45 years of age. However, when I’d searched the internet for women gamblers, the first three pages were about female gambling addiction and recovery, how easy women can get hooked on gambling, and about unscrupulous online casino operators luring helpless housewives to their websites with kitten-themed slot machines.

Of course, not all online casinos are in it to destroy and corrupt. If you’re interested in positive examples of online gambling sites catering to women, make sure to check out our partner site 888ladies, ranked “Great” based on more than a hundred independent reviews.

That being said, the Independent even ran a story back in 2013 that stated that, “Online gambling is becoming more attractive to women than drugs or alcohol.”

From a certain point of view, it would seem that if you’re a man, then gambling’s a-okay, but if you’re a woman, and you like to gamble, then you’ve got a problem. And while some people (men and women) may suffer from legitimate gambling addictions, here at the Gambling Herald we believe in equal opportunities for all when it comes to risking money to win big, and so we’ve made a list of 5 famous female gamblers … because if not us, then who?

 1. Shannon Elizabeth Fadal

Famous Gamblers - Shannon Elizabeth

While not exactly a world-famous poker player, Shannon Elizabeth is a world-famous actress, producer, and fashion model who’d picked up a second career as a professional poker player, and achieved considerable success in this “traditionally male” volition as well.

After rising to fame in her first feature film American Pie, she went on to play in Love Actually, Jay and Silent Bob and over 20 more big-budget Hollywood flicks, producing or co-producing films in the process.

According to PokerNews, her total poker winnings as of today are a reasonably impressive $235,866.

2. Alice Ivers Duffield Tubbs Huckert

Famous Gamblers - Poker Alice

Better known as “Poker Alice,” the three-times widower Alice Huckert was a professional gambler, bootlegger, and brothel owner (usually all three at the same time).

Born in 1851, she went on to become one of the most famous figures of the American frontier, at first spending her poker winnings on trips to New York to keep up with the fashions of the day, and then investing her money into more profitable ventures like selling alcohol and operating a brothel.

Known for smoking cigars and generally being a badass, she forbid her brothel girls to work on Sundays because of her “religious convictions.” When a group of soldiers decided to overrule her in her own brothel and get some action anyway, she’d shot one man dead with her .38 and gravely injured another.

She was arrested, but soon acquitted after claiming self-defense.

3. Gladys Knight

Famous Gamblers - Gladys Knight

Gladys Knight, better known as “The Empress of Soul,” is an American singer, songwriter and actress, who won the Grammy Award seven times during her illustrious career.

While perhaps best known for her musical hits in the 60’s and 70’s, she went on to star in the movies Hollywood Homicide, I Can Do Bad All by Myself, Twenty Bucks, Pipe Dreams, Unbeatable Harold, and more.

It’s hard to resist a slight tinge of irony when listing the names of some of the films the legendary entertainer had starred in (eg., “I Can Do Bad All by Myself,” “Twenty Bucks”), because in her revelatory auto-biography, Between Each Line of Pain and Glory: My Life Story, Gladys claimed to have been addicted to sports betting and baccarat for almost 10 years.

4. Pamela Anderson

Famous Gamblers - Pamela Anderson

A household name around the globe, the model, producer, author, activist and a former showgirl Pamela Anderson rose to fame with her role in Baywatch.

She was less lucky in Las Vegas, though, reportedly becoming a “famous gambler” after losing a quarter million dollars ($250,000) in a night. But her misfortune was short-lived, and, according to the interview she gave to TV Guide, a gentleman she’d refused to name had cleared her debt almost there and then for … how shall we call it … a more intimate taste of her charming personality.

“I paid off a poker debt with sexual favors and I fell in love. It’s so romantic,” she said.

Well, like the saying goes, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

5. Lottie Deno

Famous Gamblers - Lottie Deno

Another gambling woman of the wild, wild West, Lottie Deno didn’t smoke cigars, ran brothels, or shot people with her .38, but she was nevertheless an extremely prolific and successful gambler, earning the title of “Poker Queen” when she’d bested Doc Holiday himself.

Earning a small fortune during her professional poker career, she retired in comfort and lived until the age of 89, a rarity in the turbulent times of the American frontier.

Gambling Herald staff unanimously agree that if women gamblers (for whom we have infinite respect) would like to take a role model, Lottie Deno is a much better example for success than Pamela Anderson or Poker Alice.

Or better yet, like one philosopher had said, “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”

Which brings us to …

What can you do about sexism in the gambling industry?

We are gambling industry professionals, not female rights activists, and so I feel hardly qualified to offer advice on social justice issues or feminism, but perhaps we can offer the suggestion to treat people like your equals, whether they’re male, female, Turkish, Russian, Jamaican, Muslim, Christian, atheist, black, white, red or zero.

It’s therefore only appropriate to conclude with a quote from another philosopher, a man who rose to fame by being an excellent writer and stand-up comedian:

“Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”
― George Carlin

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About the author

Max Salnikov is a freelance writer who likes art, reading, writing stories, playing video games, and self-improvement, one word at a time.

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