The History of Women in Gambling

Empowering Women in the World of Gambling

The arena of gambling hasn't always been kind to women. Historically, they faced many barriers, but with resilience and determination, many broke through and carved their names in gambling history. Let's dive into the remarkable journey of these women and how they changed the face of gambling.

The Faro Ladies: A Game of Defiance

  • In the 18th century, society restricted aristocratic women from gambling in public, leaving them to only play privately.
  • Not content with this norm, a bold group of women emerged. Known as the ‘Faro Ladies’ or ‘Faro’s Daughters’, they began hosting their own events.
  • Here, they played without restraint, especially their signature game, faro, giving rise to their group’s name.
the faro ladies

Trailblazers of the Wild West Think of the Wild West, and your mind might conjure images of rugged men and gun duels. Yet, women too left their indelible mark.

  • Unlike the Faro Ladies, women in the Old West had the liberty to gamble.
  • They stood shoulder to shoulder with men, with some even outshining them.
  • Prominent names include Kitty Leroy, Lottie Deno, Poker Alice, and Maria Gertrudis “Tules” Barceló.

Shattering Glass Ceilings in 20th Century Vegas Vegas in the 20th century was largely a man's domain, but a few trailblazing women made history.

  • Judy Bayley: Dubbed ‘The First Lady of Gambling', she pioneered as the first woman to own a major strip resort.
  • Claudine Williams: A name etched in the Nevada Gaming Hall of Fame, she was the first to launch an after-dark gambling club.
  • Shirley Brancucci: Making her mark with skills, Shirley became the inaugural female baccarat dealer in Vegas.

A New Dawn: Women's World Series of Poker 1977 was a landmark year, as women stepped into the World Series of Poker.

  • Groundbreaking players such as Vanessa Selbst, Annette Obrestad, Vanessa Rousso, Kathy Liebert, and Annie Duke showcased their skills on this grand stage.

The Digital Age: Equal Playgrounds in Online Gambling The 21st century heralds a new age where online casinos don't discriminate.

  • The playing field is leveled, providing everyone, regardless of gender, an equal shot at gaming glory.
  • As society progresses, the gap left by years of disparity gradually diminishes.

Summary From the saloons of the Wild West to the digital tables of online casinos, women in gambling have journeyed a long way. Their resilience, skill, and determination have not only earned them a place at the table but also reshaped the very fabric of the gambling world.


  1. When were women first allowed to participate in the World Series of Poker?

    • Women were first permitted to join in 1977.
  2. Who was the first female baccarat dealer in Las Vegas?

    • Shirley Brancucci made history as the first female baccarat dealer.
  3. What was the significance of the Faro Ladies in the 18th century?

    • The Faro Ladies defied societal norms by hosting their own gambling events, paving the way for women to openly enjoy gambling.


Head of content

Lukas is one of the leading authors at Casinoble. He entered the casino world through his passion for online poker. Lukas is also a dedicated sports betting fan. At Casinoble, Lukas usually writes about Live Dealer Games, Sportsbetting and Betting Strategies.

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