Three female gamblers who left their mark on the gambling world

In the words of James Brown and Betty Jean Newsome – it’s a man’s world. But it is getting better.

And when it comes to the casino world, while it’s still predominantly a male-dominated world, there are some amazing women who have nevertheless managed to make a mark in it. 

So, if you want to learn more about these icons, well you’re in luck as this article is going to celebrate them. Make sure to read on to learn more.

Lottie Deno – a.k.a Carlotta J. Thompkins

We’re going back all the way to the 19th century for one of the first female gambling icons – Lottie Deno, famous for mastering classic games, such as online roulette, poker, horse racing, and others. If you’re a casino enthusiast, you’ll certainly appreciate one of her many nicknames: Roul-Lottie, which symbolizes her passion for roulette.

Famous for handling cards with confidence, Roul-Lottie was not only a gambler but also a businesswoman, owning a boarding house and a salon – an impressive woman all around.

Born in Kentucky at a time when women basically did not gamble, it is fascinating to find out that she was the most famous poker player in the Southwest, at least according to the author, Johnny Hughes. Her talent was, in a way, gifted to her by her wealthy family, as they were the ones who taught her all the secrets to winning at cards – more specifically, it was her father who taught her this.

She started out her gambling career around 1865, as a house gambler in San Antonio. However, she left the area and traveled throughout Texas after her partner got accused of murder. Quite a story, eh?

Her rise to casino fame can be pinpointed to the saloons in Fort Griffin, a rough frontier outpost. During her journey around Texas, she became somewhat of a legend and garnered several names, but Lottie Deno is still by far the most common one.

Eleanor Dumont – a.k.a Simone Jules

It seems the 18th century had plenty of iconic female gamblers, and one of those is Eleanor Dumont. You might have heard of her by her nickname Madame Moustache.

Her gambling career started in Nevada, not the state, but the city in California. She opened up her own parlor and was a skilled card dealer. However, as glass-ceiling-breaking as she was, unfortunately, she limited the entrance to her to only men and she was the only woman allowed. 

Thanks to her parlor’s success, she expanded upon it and opened up Dumont’s Place. Unfortunately, she had to leave and sell it as Nevada City was experiencing an unfortunate economic crisis.

Just like Lottie Deno, Dumont traveled around and gambled seemingly everywhere, from California to the actual state of Nevada. As a beautiful female gambler, with an aptly, although not very nicely, given moniker, she had quite the reputation that drew in a lot of people.

Unfortunately, she was conned out of all of her money by the man she fell in love with. Eventually, she made a gross mistake while gambling and owed quite a lot of money. This sadly led to her alleged suicide. Regardless of her tumultuous story, she still is considered to be one of the women who paved the way for future female gamblers.

Maria Gertrudis Barcelo

Finally, we have someone who only has one name – Maria Gertrudis Barcelo, born during the U.S.-Mexican War. Another female gambler from the 18th century, she was commonly known as La Tules.

This remarkable woman has quite a legacy, with her life story even told in a musical titled Viva Santa Fe! It was popular enough to be featured at the Music Teacher’s National Convention in 1995.

But if you’re wondering what exactly made her life so interesting to warrant immortalization in musical format, well, we’ll tell you all about it. She started out by operating a gambling saloon for miners in New Mexico. However, she didn’t stop there.

She moved to Santa Fe and opened up an even larger saloon in the city center. Because of the time, she attracted a lot of Americans traveling the area. Of course, as a product of the time, she had plenty of critics – gambling, drinking, and smoking were not exactly seen as lady-like pursuits.

There are plenty of different accounts about her life, some seem to be absolute lies, and some are plain racist. Regardless of this, no one can dispute the fact that she was a great businesswoman who excelled at monte and won countless amounts of money from her saloon’s clientele. In fact, she was so rich that even the US Army loaned money off of her.

Three iconic women to celebrate

History has shown that regardless of the current laws, women will still try their best to make the best of their situation. Incredible things can be achieved even with remarkable hurdles. So, in the 21st century, we’d like to look back to these three iconic women and thank them for working hard in seemingly impossible times to continue doing what they wanted.