“Play online casino at the cutest casino in the world!”, hails the first gambling website for women. Indeed, Garbo.com, which was named after Swedish-American actress Greta Garbo (in honor of her role as baccarat-lover Mata Hari, perhaps?) drips with cuteness. Pink unicorns and benevolent flamingos adorn the most recent venture of Stockholm-listed Mr Green and Company AB.
From graphics to engineering, the female-focused online casino underwent a complete makeover under the new leadership.
It has been a sleeping beauty in the company's Scandinavian iGaming portfolio ever since Mr. Green raised the steaks and acquired a handful of gambling platforms in 2014. Now, it rose from deep slumber to provide an outlet for a growing trend.
Online casinos for the ladies
Mr. Green in Sweden: Marketing Campaigns with the Touch of the Riddler
Why female gamblers? And why Sweden? In the context of a world intent on making gender “so last season”, the choice of building a women-only online casino smacks of reverse discrimination.
Or, to put it more delicately, the company's investment in Garbo.com looks puzzling to some.
But Mr. Green, the Malta-based casino operator whose digital mascot bears an eerie resemblance to the green-suited Riddler, delights in such puzzles.
Its reputation precedes it. Here is the stylish rogue of traditional gambling. No wonder its unusual, spellbound design has attracted the attention of TakeBonus.com.
Here, we have lined up the Swedish company's bonuses like hot cakes straight out of the oven.
In 2017, Mr. Green has placed its highest bet yet. It breathed new life into Garbo.com, a woman's casino table available only on the Swedish market.
In April, BingoSlottet.dk, BingoSjov.dk and BalletBingo.dk. completed the string of new acquisitions, boosting Mr. Green's value at approximately five million new shares.
But its point of pride, the online casino site Mr. Green is willing to go all in, turns out to be Garbo.com. The rationale seems intuitive enough.
Garbo serves a niche- a purpose-built, mobile-friendly platform that caters to female players who harbor more sophisticated interests than bingo.
Led by Mr. Green's Chief Venture Officer, Oskar Mühlbach and his team of four, the female-orientated brand will focus on the social element of gaming and the immersive experience of the users through gimmicks such as the Facebook-style, gladiatorial thumbs up or down.
In the man's words...
“Garbo will have a catchy, clever tonality, Garbo will be fun, crisp and at the same time personal. There is a big number of mobile gaming sites on the Swedish market, however, with Garbo’s sometimes provocative profile, I believe there is a position open for us.”
From Faro Ladies to Garbo Valkyries
The days of the 18th century when women were ridiculed, punished and fined for hosting gaming nights in the intimacy of their homes are long gone.
(The Faro's daughters story has been referenced plenty of times as a showcase for gender discrimination in the dark past of gambling.)
In the midst of a fierce debate over gender equality, the tables are turning in the favor of the ladies. A wildly circulated report from ESA argues that about 50% of gamers in 2016 are women.
The figures may be accurate but not all casino operators are willing to dispense with gender biases in game design. Most online casinos run in a neutral vein but still talk to a male audience.
Other reports, for example, note that men and women display different playing habits.
- Women like to network- Female gamers prefer to stay connected on their smartphones or other mobile devices, an inclination recognized by Mr. Green and their social media-oriented marketing campaign.
- Women are more risk-averse- Popular wisdom contends that whilst men opt for more dynamic and dangerous games of skills, women are sensitive enough to risk less and more wisely.
- Swedish women are the Amazons of gambling- According to data from Optimove, Sweden registers the highest percentage of female iGamers. 32% of players are women who will make 59% of their bets on their mobile devices.
It seems that women are not merely threatening to trespass the male-dominated area of gambling. Women have already dug deep and enduring tunnels into this sacred temple of men.
But as we glide over the digital furnishings of the industry, do we perceive a stereotypical rendition of a woman's taste? Is it all fairy-tale unicorns, pink and silky lace? It it a man's vision setting the stage for the female-focused casinos?
Not All Women Love Pink
Dedicated online casinos that are run like digital Amazon dens have made men the official trespassers, and not vice-versa. You can count them on your fingers, here.
Also, let's make a mental note of all the casinos using Barbie-decorum to attract female gamblers.
- Anna Casino: Pink theme with glossy diamond. Great selection of Microgaming slots.
- Manhattan Slots Casino: High legs on high heels, blooming with pink roses and welcome bonuses.
- Foxy Casino: Is that Heather Graham as the face of Foxy Bingo or is it our eyes playing foxy tricks on us? The Hangover star is selling diamond deals and fairy tale legends with a Northern male accent, indeed.
- Maria Casino: Women love a glitzy skyline, right? Not to mention the slots and the roulette. We will forgive Maria Casino's enforcing the stereotype, as the women-only site also boasts other Microgaming, NetEnt, and Quickspin games.
- Space Lilly Casino: The Wonder Woman of online casinos, Space Lilly features an eponymous superheroine from a far-away galaxy (that resembles a golden Las Vegas skyline, what do you know?). Her destiny is to transform the entire universe into one huge slot machine.
Just as Greta Garbo's Mata Hari has taken the men's baccarat table by storm, the marketing practitioners at Garbo.com are opening the floodgates to women gamblers looking for high-quality games of skill.
Women players have muscled up financially, and Mr. Green, ever the sharp-witted casino baron, got a premature whiff of that growing market. In the long run, however, it would be wise to forego the Hello Kitty design of fluffy unicorns and crazy-pink décor. Not all female gamblers bet on pink.