The Global Gaming Awards (GGA) is one of the most popular and prestigious gaming awards in the industry.
The 2021 GGA is set to take place in London from 16 June to 28 June and is expected to be a completely online event. The GGA does get a lot of public each year in the lead up to the show but this year, some of that publicity is rather negative.
The GGA show recognizes all of the top gaming operators and executives for their outstanding contribution the industry. A 52 member judging panel puts together the list of nominations for each of the different awards and then finalizes who the winners are. The judging panel is made up of senior executives who are recognized in the industry.
The GGA is convened Gambling Insider and some of the judges on the 52 member panel include veterans from top gaming operators such as Playtech, 888 Holdings, Betfred and the head of the Hippodrome Casino. However, it has come to light that out of the 52 member panel, there is only one woman and one black judge.
The fact that the judging panel is predominantly white and male, has caused a backlash as fans have taken to social media to call out GGA for being sexist and racist. All-In Diversity project which is a not for profit company said that it was sad to see the GGA display pictures of a 52 member judging panel that had only one woman and one black man. To continue with this behaviour in 2021 was just wrong.
Gambling Insider Defends Panel
Gambling Insider was forced to respond to the criticism and put out a statement that defended its judging panel. CEO Gary Roudette said that it does not look good for the GGA to have just one woman and one black man on its 52 member panel but justified the decision by saying that they were looking for senior executives to be part of the judging panel and members who were considered an authority in the industry.
Roudette said that there were currently a very limited number of women in C-level positions in the gaming industry. He confirmed that they did approach a few women to be a part of the panel but they turned the invitation down. Roudette did not specify which women were invited but said would likely lower the criteria for the judging panel for 2022 to bring in more diversity.