In celebration of Pride Month, Bob Casino will take a look at the expanding role of the LGBTQ+ community in both offline and online gambling. We’ll explore the strides the gambling industry is making towards becoming more inclusive, the most notable efforts in creating a gay online casino, as well as the role of LGBTQ+ individuals in online casino streaming. Let’s start!
Business & Pink Money
The world of business first began to pay serious attention to the LGBTQ+ community in the 1980s. Up until then, the vast majority of corporate marketing and sales efforts were targeted primarily at straight cisgender individuals, and little thought was given to anyone else. Everything changed in 1984 when the Guardian published an article that estimated the purchasing power of the LGBTQ+ community in Great Britain to be a staggering £6 billion a year. Accounting for inflation, this figure translates to about £16.5 billion ($20.5 billion) in 2020 money. This one article forever changed the business world by opening the eyes of businesspeople to the fact that they were ignoring an audience with an astonishingly large purchasing power. From that point onward, slowly but surely, businesses in all industries began to make concerted efforts to become more inclusive.
Pink Money in the Gambling Market
It has been estimated that the UK gambling market brings in a total of about £15,000,000,000 GBP every year, and about a third of that sum comes from online gambling and sports betting. The gambling industry in the US is even larger, being worth a staggering $240 billion a year. As you would understand from the industry’s size, these activities are enjoyed by people from all walks of life, regardless of their race, religion, political beliefs, gender identity, or sexuality.
One thing that makes gambling companies potentially more inclusive than most other businesses is the fact that they have no hidden religious or conservative political agenda. A person’s sexuality or their gender identity makes absolutely no difference to gambling venues. They are there to provide a service and make a profit doing so. If a person has money to gamble with, they are more than welcome to sit down at a table and play alongside everyone else.
Knowing this, it is perhaps not surprising that the number of online casinos and slot machines targeted at the LGBTQ+ community has grown tremendously in the last decade. There’s also been a shift in terms of marketing strategy. It’s no longer uncommon to see people of all sexual orientations and gender identities in gambling and sports betting advertisements.
LGBTQ Friendly Casinos
In the last few years, countless enterprises attempted to create an LGBTQ+ online casino, but the two most famous projects to talk about here are undoubtedly LGBTBet and TOMS casino.
Kim Alexander’s LGBTBet was the first online casino aimed at the LGBT community. Having launched in 2015, the venue’s plan was to first establish itself in LGBTQ-friendly Philippines and then to expand into Europe. The online casino also had plans of becoming a gambling software provider and developing the world’s first LGBTQ+ themed slot. The machine would replace the traditional card and fruit symbols with LGBT themed symbols, and the slot’s free spins mode would take the player through various stages of a relationship, from flirting to dating to sex to marriage. Unfortunately, despite their good intentions, the venue didn’t manage to attract enough of an audience due to inadequate marketing. They had to shut its virtual doors in 2015.
The very next year, in 2016, Lunas Entertainment opened the world’s first online casino aimed exclusively at gay men. The venue was called TOMS casino. Its website proudly touted being “The World’s only Gay Online Gaming Site.” The goal of TOMS casino was to provide gay men a gambling space where they would always be welcome. What’s more, a portion of its profits was to be donated to charitable causes related to the LGBTQ+ cause. The idea was great, but as was the case with LGBTBet, the execution left a lot to be desired. Due to a lackluster marketing campaign and the inability to separate itself from the competition, TOMS Casino had to close shortly after opening.
But these efforts were not in vain. Eager not to be left out, many traditional online gambling venues began paying more attention to their LGBTQ+ players. These days, inclusivity is the norm in gambling and online venues are fighting each other for the opportunity to attract LGBTQ+ users.
And we’re not just talking about online casinos here.
MGM Resorts is probably the most famous casino that made headlines for its efforts in prioritizing LGBTQ+ equality. Thanks to their progressive corporate policies, workplace practices, benefits, protections, health care benefits, and public outreach programs, the venue was recognized by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation as a perfect workplace for LGBTQ+ persons. So they’re not only a great place for LGBTQ+ individuals to play; they’re a great place for them to work at.
LGBTQ+ Individuals in Casino Streaming
YouTube and Twitch casino streaming is becoming more and more popular every month. And for a good reason. Watching streams is the perfect way to enjoy the atmosphere and thrill of slot machine gambling without having to deposit any of your own money. The largest casino streamers are true superstars. They have hundreds of thousands of followers on social media and their most popular clips have millions of YouTube views.
Some of these streamers belong to the LGBTQ+ community. While it is true that the casino streaming community is still dominated by young white cisgender males, the tide is slowly starting to shift in this field as well.
One of the most popular casino gambling personalities on YouTube, Brian Christopher, is openly gay and often features his husband Marco in both his blogs and slot related videos. As of today, his channel, Brian Christopher Slots, has over 260,000 loyal subscribers and several of his videos have earned over a million views. Brain’s videos are full of energy and joy. There can be no doubt that his content will inspire the next generation of gay YouTube and Twitch casino streamers not to hide their orientation from their viewers. And these streamers will, in turn, inspire the generation after that one.
If you would like to find, watch, and support streamers from the LGBTQ+ community, we recommend following the LGBT Streamers Twitter account.