10 Women Rising in Gaming

October 2023

Caroline Ponseti

Current company and role: Invariant, Communications Strategist

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

First job in the gaming industry: Director, Media Relations for the American Gaming Association (AGA)

Did you apply for work in other industries? Do you think it was easier to find a job in gaming than other career paths?

I first joined the gambling industry in 2018 after serving as a press secretary on Capitol Hill. I considered multiple paths for my next career move, but ultimately, I chose the role that seemed like the most exciting challenge, and I was absolutely right. Little did I know that the gambling industry would experience its biggest moment to date when the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports betting just an hour after I walked through the doors on my first day. The speed at which the industry has evolved over the past five years is nothing short of unprecedented, making every day (almost) as exciting as the first.

What do you like about working in gaming?

Part of what keeps drawing me back to the gambling industry is the opportunity to help the industry more effectively tell its story. My background is in political communications and public affairs, which is a natural fit for a highly regulated industry like gambling. There are a lot of misconceptions about the gambling industry, and helping companies reshape the narrative is a challenge I enjoy. But at the end of the day, what I like most about working in the industry is the people I’ve met along the way.

Did anything surprise you about the industry when you first started?

I didn’t expect so many people outside the industry to be confused by the term “gaming.” When I first told friends that I was going to work in the gaming industry, people thought I meant anything from video games to hunting. I eventually changed from saying I worked in “casino gaming” to now just calling the industry what it is: gambling. The gambling industry no longer experiences the same perception issues it once did when the industry was largely viewed as a sin industry. Leaning into the term “gambling” prioritizes clarity while reinforcing that the industry is in a new era.

I am passionate about helping companies communicate their messages in ways that their target audiences understand, from regulators and policymakers to media and consumers. Reputation is everything in the gambling industry, and ensuring your key audiences understand your priorities is paramount, particularly when it comes to topics as important as problem gambling.

Were you familiar with gambling before landing a job in the industry? What were your thoughts about it before starting to work in gaming? Has your impression of the industry changed at all?

I grew up surrounded by the gambling industry in New Orleans and have always been familiar with the vital role that casinos can play as economic engines in their local communities, but I now have a much deeper understanding of how dynamic the industry is beyond just the brick-and-mortar side.

Can you envision making a career in the gaming industry? What are your long-term goals?

Absolutely. I currently serve as a communications strategist helping companies influence policy and tell their stories. Though I now advise brands across multiple industries, my passion for the gambling industry has continued to grow, and I always relish the opportunity to work with companies in the gambling, sports betting, and igaming markets. I hope to continue to be a voice for positive change in the industry and keep contributing to the momentum behind how the industry proactively communicates its responsibility around problem gambling.

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