Sports-Betting Industry Doing Better on Diversity, but Room for Improvement, Report Finds

Forty organizations with more than 140,000 employees took part in the 2021-2022 report, which showed varied results when it comes to diversity in the legal sports betting and global gaming industry.

Last Updated: Jul 26, 2022 2:48 PM ET Read Time: 3 min
All-Index Report
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Diversity and inclusion have improved in the online sports betting and gaming industry but there is still room for further progress, according to an annual study of the sector’s workforce. 

The third “All-Index” report was released on Monday by the All-In Diversity Project, an industry-led, not-for-profit initiative that is trying to measure diversity, equality, and inclusion in the global gaming industry. 

Forty organizations with more than 140,000 employees took part in the 2021-2022 report, which showed varied results when it comes to diversity in the legal sports betting and global gaming industry.

One finding was that leadership levels have increased for women since the organization's last report three years ago. Women made up 29.2% of heads of departments, up from 25.8% in 2019, and their representation in director positions increased from 23% to 25%. The percentage of female CEOs and managing directors also rose, to 18.5% in 2021 from 15.4% in 2019.  

“If the All-Index is a benchmark for the industry then it is closer than ever before to hitting 30% female representation at Executive Board level, and in the case of non-executive roles, has surpassed it,” a press release said

The room for improvement 

However, the report found progress lacking in other areas, including the overall percentage of women in the industry. In previous years, the split was close to 50-50 for men and women. This year, however, the report recorded the industry was 56% male and 43% female. 

“The biggest gap being at entry level and a real cause for concern when looking at long term prospects for role models, mentors and talent pools,” the release said. 

The percentage of female managers fell to 32.1% from 39.2%, while the ratio of female supervisors fell to 33.3% from 34.4%. Entry-level positions also decreased. In 2019, there were 48.3% of women in entry-level positions. In 2021 the number was 45.9%. 

The All-In Diversity Project also worked with Facebook (now Meta) Gaming in 2021 to study the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global gaming industry.

One of the findings of that study was that more than 85% of participants in the industry identified as "white," and just under 10% identified as "other" or preferred not to say. Around 3% of participants identified as "Asian" and "Hispanic/Latin."

“This lack of diversity is likely to have a negative impact on the industry if the key findings are an indication of a long-term trend,” the report stated.

Trends affecting diversity, inclusion 

The report cited three possible reasons for the shift in numbers: life decisions made by Generation Z, “The Great Resignation,” and “The Menopause.” 

Generation Z, born after 1997, are expected to make up 75% of the workforce by 2030, but their criteria for where they work depends on how companies’ values, policies, and practices align with their philosophies, the report said. They place a heavy emphasis on diversity, equality, and inclusion, and expect it from where they work. 

The “Great Resignation” was a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Workers re-evaluated their work goals and the research indicated their priorities regarding work changed from needing to work for a company to having a desire to work for themselves. They also believed they were undervalued and wanted a more active role in a company. 

Meanwhile, research released in line with “World Menopause Day” found nearly 25% of women left their job due to their symptoms, with 20% of those surveyed saying ill health because of menopause cost them a promotion or pay raise. 

Mixed results were found in how companies are responding to these trends. While the number of organizations offering paid sick leave fell to 84.4% in 2021 from 95.8% in 2019, those with flexible-working policies jumped to 84.4% from 75%. 

“There has also been a noticeable shift from passive policy to active awareness and practice,” the release said. “Whilst the number of organizations with equal opportunities and anti-discrimination policies has dropped, the number providing practical training and guidance in these areas has gone up, together with an increased focus on addressing harassment/bullying, challenging behaviour/language, and cultural stereotyping.” 

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