Over the past week, eGamingReview has published interviews with two female gaming executives – Isabelle Parize, vice-chairwoman of Mangas Gaming, and Bet365’s founder Denise Coates – both of whom are adamant that the public company model makes no sense in today’s online gaming industry. Given that all the male execs out there seem almost pathologically determined to see their companies given an LSE abbreviation, why are these women bucking the trend?
Could it all boil down to stereotypical visions of women as ‘nesters’, looking to build something of their own and then protect it against all interlopers? A recent study by investment managers BlackRock found that women were more cautious (or less reckless, depending on your viewpoint) when it came to investing, and more likely to think strategically about retirement than their male counterparts. Women were less likely than men to believe that government and public pension schemes would be around in perpetuity, and women also put a higher emphasis on their investment returning a regular, steady stream of income.
In other words, women are building something to last, something for themselves, and they don’t feel comfortable ceding control of what they’ve built to others who might not share their long-term vision. Women are content to let the goose go on laying the golden eggs, whereas men are more likely to want to cut that honker’s belly open and (hopefully) get all the shiny orbs now. Delayed vs. instant gratification. Sound familiar?
Of course, having the right business model is no guarantee of success, as evidenced by the fact that Bet365 is booming, while Mangas is, er, not. Structure is important, obviously, but you also need to have the right team, organization and strategies. However, Mangas could still turn things around, assuming it continues to resist the peer pressure to go public, and thus avoids having to deal with the restrictions, overhead and other miscellaneous pitfalls that come from being a listed company. If they needed convincing on that last point, the news that Sportingbet shares just suffered their biggest drop in 20 months (and all because they couldn’t make nice with Unibet) is a good place to start.